User Profile Management Test

User logon is a complex and resource intensive process on a Citrix XenApp system, and is a key determinant of the quality of a user's experience with the Citrix XenApp environment. This process is initiated when a XenApp farm load balancing algorithm selects the system where a published application or desktop, which a user has selected, will be started and ends when the application or desktop is running and the user is able to interact with it.

Delays in the user logon process can therefore serve as key spoilers of a user's experience with the Citrix XenApp farm, causing significant loss of revenue and reputation in mission-critical environments.

One of the common causes for delays in user logons are delays in the loading of user profiles. To reduce the time taken to load profiles and thus minimize the user logon time, many Citrix administrators in recent times have been using the Citrix Profile Management solution. Citrix Profile Management is a profile type that supersedes all other profiles for the user.

During logon, the Profile management service manages the user settings in a Citrix user profile. This service helps minimize the user logon time by enabling administrators to exclude (and include) certain files and folders in order to prevent extraneous settings from needlessly being copied with the profile. For example, some applications may create folders and files that account for tens or hundreds of megabytes—data that is really not required. By excluding these items, the profile is thus smaller, and smaller profiles load faster. Alternatively, you could elect to only include specific files and folders, thus keeping to a minimum the amount of profile data being managed within the user‘s profile.

Also, upon logoff, the Profile management service merges back only changed user settings to the centrally stored user settings (user‘s store).

In environments where the Citrix Profile Management service is utilized therefore, the user experience with the XenApp farm greatly depends upon how efficient the service is.

To ascertain the efficiency of the Citrix Profile Management service, administrators may have to periodically track the logon/logoff duration and profile size of each user to a Citrix XenApp server and determine whether/not the Profile management service has succeeded in minimizing both user logon times and profile sizes. The User Profile Management test helps administrators perform this check at pre-configured intervals. The 'per-user' performance results reported by this test will not only enable administrators to judge the effectiveness of the Profile management service in its entirety, but will also shed light on those user logons/logoffs that are still experiencing delays; this provides insights into how the service can be fine-tuned to enhance the XenApp experience of such users.

Target of the test : Any Citrix server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every user to the Citrix server monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. TEST PERIOD – How often should the test be executed
  2. Host – The host for which the test is to be configured
  3. Port – Refers to the port used by the Citrix server
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Logon Duration:

Indicates the duration of logon processing for this user.

Secs

This value helps to measure the reduction in logon times when the Profile Management service 'streams' the profile. Ideally therefore, this value should be low. A high value or a consistent increase in the value of this measure could indicate that profile loading still takes a lot of time at logon - this could be owing to a large profile size. You can then check the value reported by the Logon Bytes measure to know the profile size at logon. If profile sizes continue to grow at logon despite the use of Profile management, it is indicative of the ineffectiveness of profile management. You may then have to fine-tune the feature to further reduce the profile size by excluding more unnecessary files from the profile, or you may have to explore other options such as roaming profiles, mandatory profiles, etc. 

Logon Bytes:

Indicates the size of this user's profile when it is retrieved from the user's store at logon.

MB

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low. A low profile size could result in faster profile loading at logon, lesser time to login, and consequently, a richer user experience with the XenApp server. 

If profile sizes continue to grow despite the use of Profile management, it is indicative of the ineffectiveness of profile management. You may then have to fine-tune the feature to further reduce the profile size by excluding more unnecessary files from the profile.

Logoff Duration:

Indicates the duration of logoff processing for this user.

Secs

A low value is desired for this measure. A high value could indicate that the profile management service takes too long to update the user's store with changes in the user settings. This could be because of a bad network connection between the XenApp server and the user's store, or because too many changes are waiting to be written to the user store.

Logoff Bytes:

Indicates the size of this user's profile when it is copied to the user store at logoff.

MB

This measure provides a fair idea of the volume of changes that were copied to the user's store at logoff.

 

Local Profile Setup Duration:

Indicates the time taken to create or prepare this user's profile on the local computer.

Secs

A low value is desired for these measures.

If a user complaints of delays during logon, you can use the value of these measures to determine where the XenApp server is spending too much time - is it when setting up the local profile? or is it when deleting the local profile?

 

Delete Local Profile Duration:

Indicates the time spent deleting this user's local profiles during the initial migration.

Secs

Processed Logon Files Under 1KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size of 1KB.

Number

All the Processed Logon Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand whether/not 'profile streaming' (performed by the Profile Management service) has helped  in reducing the number of locally copied files during logon.

All the Processed Logoff Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand how many files changed when the user session was in progress.

 

 

Processed Logoff Files Under 1KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied file for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size of 1KB.

Number

Processed Logon Files from 1KB to 10KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size ranging from 1KB to 10KB.

Number

Processed Logoff Files from 1KB to 10KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size ranging from 1KB to 10KB.

Number

Processed Logon Files from 10KB to 100KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size ranging from 10KB to 100KB.

Number

All the Processed Logon Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand whether/not 'profile streaming' (performed by the Profile Management service) has helped  in the reducing the number of locally copied files during logon.

All the Processed Logoff Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand how many files changed when the user session was in progress.

 

Processed Logoff Files from 10KB to 100KB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size ranging from 1KB to 10KB.

Number

Processed Logon Files from 100KB to 1MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size ranging from 100KB to 1MB.

Number

Processed Logoff Files from 100KB to 1MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size ranging from 100KB to 1MB.

Number

Processed Logon Files from 1MB to 5MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size ranging from 1MB to 5MB.

Number

Processed Logoff Files from 1MB to 5MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size ranging from 1MB to 5MB.

Number

All the Processed Logon Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand whether/not 'profile streaming' (performed by the Profile Management service) has helped  in the reducing the number of locally copied files during logon.

All the Processed Logoff Files measures help Citrix administrators to understand how many files changed when the user session was in progress.

Processed Logon Files Above 5MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logon and categorized by the file size above 5MB.

Number

Processed Logoff Files Above 5MB:

Indicates the number of locally copied files for this user's profile that are synchronized during logoff and categorized by the file size above 5MB.

Number