User Logon Details Test

The process of a user logging into a Microsoft RDS server is fairly complex. First, the domain controller is discovered and the login credentials are authenticated. Then, the corresponding user profile is identified and loaded. Next, group policies are applied and logon scripts are processed to setup the user environment. In the meantime, additional processing may take place for a user – say, applying system profiles, creating new printers for the user, and so on. A slowdown in any of these steps can significantly delay the logon process for a user. Since logons on Windows happen sequentially, this may adversely impact the logins for other users who may be trying to access the Microsoft RDS server at the same time. Hence, if a user complains that he/she is unable to access an application/desktop published on Microsoft RDS, administrators must be able to rapidly isolate exactly where the logon process is stalling and for which user.

This test periodically monitors the user login and profile loading process and accurately identify where the process is bottlenecked. This test helps administrators to capture anomalies in the user login and profile loading process and report where the process is bottlenecked - in the authentication process? during profile loading? during GPO processing and if so, which GPO? which client side extension was processed by the GPO when the delay occurred? is the group policy processing mode impacting user logon?

By default, this test is disabled by default. To enable the test, go to the enable / disable tests page using the menu sequence : Agents -> Tests -> Enable/Disable, pick the Microsoft RDS as the desired Component type, set Performance as the Test type, choose the test from the disabled tests list, and click on the < button to move the test to the ENABLED TESTS list. Finally, click the Update button.

Target of the test : A Microsoft RDS server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

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

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

This indicates how often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Port

Refers to the port at which the host listens.

Report Total

By default, this  flag is set to No. In this case therefore, the test will only report metrics for every user to the target server. If this flag is set to Yes, then the test will report metrics for a Total descriptor - the metrics reported by this descriptor will be aggregated across all users to the target server. This way, the administrators will receive a system-wide overview of the health of the profile loading/unloading process.

Profilesizelimit

Specify the profile quota size (in MB). The default value is 50 MB.

FileSizeLimit

Takes the file quota size (in KB). The default size is 10000 KB.

Exclude Folders

By default, when this test computes the size of a profile, it automatically excludes the following folders and their sub-folders from the computation: AppData\Local,AppData\LocalLow,Recycle.Bin,SkyDrive,WorkFolders.

If need be, you can choose to include one/more of these default folders when computing the profile size; for this, all you need to do is remove those specific folders from the default Exclude Folders specification. For example, to include the SkyDrive and WorkFolders folders, simply remove them from the default specification above. Also, if required, you can exclude more folders from the profile size computation, by appending the corresponding folder names / folder name patterns to this default list. For instance, your specification can should be of the following format:

AppData\Local,AppData\LocalLow,Recycle.Bin,SkyDrive,WorkFolders,*Backup*,Favo*,*Desktop

In the case of this sample specification, in addition to the default list of excluded folders, all folders with names that embed the string Backup, with names that begin with the string Favo, and with names that end with the string Desktop, will be excluded from size computation. Moreover, all sub-folders within these folders will also be ignored during size computation.

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time this test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against dd frequency.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Logon duration

Indicates the average time taken by this user for logging in during the last measurement period.

Secs

If this value is abnormally high for any user, then, you can compare the time measurements reported under Logon Phase to know where exactly the user logon was bottlenecked - was it when loading the profile? when processing group policies? when authenticating the user over the network? when initializing the user? when initializing the desktop?

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which were the client side extensions processed for a user, which group policy was processed by each extension, and what is the processing time of each client side extension. In the process, you can quickly identify the client side extension that is taking an abnormally long time for processing and is probably the root-cause for the logon delay.

Network providers duration

Indicates the amount of time taken by the network provider to authenticate this user on their network.

Secs

A Network Provider is a DLL which is responsible for a certain type of connection protocol. On each logon, Winlogon notifies these Network Providers so that they can collect credentials and authenticate the users on their network. Citrix PnSson is a common network provider found on XenApp and XenDesktop VM's.

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to an authentication delay.

Sometimes, an authentication delay can be caused by an interim delay between when the Network provider phase ends and when the next phase - i.e., the Citrix profile management phase - begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on the network providers authentication process, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the Network providers phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay is the reason for the delay in the Network providers phase.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the Network providers duration measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Citrix profile management duration

Indicates the amount of time taken to load the citrix profile of this user successfully during the last measurement period.

Secs

During logon, Citrix UPM copies the users' registry entries and files from the user store to the local profile folder. If a local profile cache exists, the two sets are synchronized.

User profile duration

Indicates the amount of time it took to load this user's profile successfully in the last measurement period.

Secs

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to a delay in user profile loading.

One of the common reasons for long profile load times is large profile size. In such circumstances, you can use the User Profile test to determine the current size of this user's profile. If the profile size is found to be large, you can conclude that it is indeed the size of the profile which is affecting the profile load time.

Another reason would be the absence of a profile. If the user does not already have a profile a new one is created. This slows down the initial logon quite a bit compared to subsequent logons. The main reason is that Active Setup runs the IE/Mail/Theme initialization routines.

Sometimes, profile loading can be delayed by an interim delay between when the User profile phase ends and when the next phase - i.e., the Group policy processing phase - begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on the profile loading process, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the User profile phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay is the reason for the delay in profile loading.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the User profile duration measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Group policy processing time

Indicates the time taken for applying group policies for this user in the last measurement period.

Secs

Group policies impact logon performance.

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to a delay in group policy processing.

Typically, group policies can be processed in the foreground or background. While background processing of group policies have little to no impact on logon performance, foreground group policy processing can cause logon delays. Particularly, if foreground processing is done synchronously, the user's logon experience is bound to suffer. This is because,when foreground processing is synchronous, the user is not presented with the logon prompt until computer GP processing has completed after a system boot. Likewise the user will not see their desktop at logon until user GP processing completes. This can increase startup time as seen by the user.

Other factors that can impact group policy processing time and consequently, the logon time are, long-running WQL queries and group policy scripts.

Sometimes, group policy processing can be delayed by an interim delay between when the Group policy phase ends and when the next phase - i.e., the Group policy script execution phase - begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on group policy processing, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the Group policy phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay is the reason for the delay in group policy processing.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the Group policy processing time measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Group policy scripts duration

Indicates the time taken for executing group policy scripts for this user in the last measurement period.

Secs

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to slow group policy script execution.

If logon scripts are configured to run synchronously, they can cause logon delays. This is because, if logon scripts run synchronously, then the system will have to wait for the logon scripts to finish running before it starts the Windows Explorer Interface program and creates the desktop. This will delay the appearance of the desktop, which in turn, will delay user logon.

Sometimes, group policy script execution can be delayed by an interim delay between when the Group policy script phase ends and when the next phase - i.e., the Pre-shell phase - begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on script execution, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the Group policy script phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay has significantly delayed is the reason for the delay in group policy script execution.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the Group policy script duration measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Pre-Shell duration

Indicates the time taken to execute Userinit.exe for this user during the last measurement period.

Secs

The Winlogon service runs Userinit.exe, which runs logon scripts, reestablishes network connections, and then starts Explorer.exe, the Windows user interface. On RDSH sessions, Userinit.exe also executes the Appsetup entries such as cmstart.exe which in-turn calls wfshell.exe.

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to slowness in the completion of user initialization tasks.

Sometimes, pre-shell tasks (i.e., user initialization tasks) can be delayed by an interim delay between when the Pre-shell phase ends and when the next phase - i.e., the Shell phase - begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on pre-shell duration, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the Pre-shell phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay is the reason for the delay in pre-shell tasks.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the Pre-shell duration measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Shell duration

Indicates the time interval between the beginning of desktop initialization and the time the desktop became available to this user including the Active Setup Phase. Active Setup is a mechanism for executing commands once per user early during login. Active Setup is used by some operating system components like Internet Explorer to set up an initial configuration for new users logging on for the first time.

Secs

If Logon duration is abnormally high, then compare the value of this measure with the other time measurements displayed under Logon Phase to determine whether/not the logon delay can be attributed to a delay in desktop initialization.

Sometimes, shell tasks (i.e., desktop initialization tasks) can be delayed by an interim delay between when the Shell phase ends and when the next phase begins. To verify whether/not such an interim delay has occurred and to assess its impact on the time taken by Shell tasks, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. The detailed diagnosis reveals the time that elapsed between when the Shell phase ended and the next phase began. Compare this interim delay with the value of this measure to understand whether/not the interim delay is the reason for the delay in Shell tasks.

Note:

By default, this test does not report the Shell duration measure. If you want the test to report this measure, then make sure that Audit process tracking is enabled on the managed Microsoft RDS server. The Audit process tracking setting determines whether/not to audit detailed tracking information for events such as program activation, process exit, handle duplication, and indirect object access. To enable this setting, do the following:

  1. First, check whether/not the setting is already enabled. For that, login to the managed server.
  2. Go to the command prompt.
  3. Run the following command at the prompt:

    Auditpol /get /category:*

  4. If this command returns the value No auditing, it implies that the Audit process tracking setting is not enabled on the server.
  5. In this case, proceed to enable the setting by issuing the following commands at the prompt, one after another:

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /success:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Creation" /failure:enable

    Auditpol /set /subcategory:"Process Termination" /failure:enable

  6. After enabling the Audit process tracking setting, ensure that the size of the security log is increased to 100 MB. This is required because, once Audit process tracking is enabled, the security log will be flooded with numerous Process creation and Process termination events. If the security log is not sized adequately, then it will not be able to capture these events. Consequently, the test will not be able to report this measure. To avoid this, it is imperative that the security log size is increased.

Group Policy processing status

Indicates the current status of the Group policy that is applied for this user.

 

The values reported by this measure and their corresponding numeric equivalents are described in the table below:

Measure Values Numeric Values
Success 1
Warning 2
Error 3

Note:

By default, this measure reports the above-mentioned Measure Values while indicating the current status of the Group policy. However, in the graph of this measure, the values will be represented using the corresponding numeric equivalents i.e., 1 to 3.

User account discovery

Indicates the amount of time taken by the system call to get account information for this user during the last measurement period.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user’s logon process spent maximum time in retrieving account information.

To know which domain controller and DNS is being used, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

LDAP bind time to active directory

Indicates the amount of time taken by the LDAP call for this user to connect and bind to Active Directory during the last measurement period.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user’s logon process spent maximum time in connecting to Active Directory. Besides impacting authentication time, high LDAP bind time may also affect group policy processing.

Domain Controller discovery time

Indicates the time taken to discover the domain controller to be used for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user’s logon process spent maximum time in domain controller discovery.

Total group policy object file accessed time

Indicates the amount of time the logon process took to access group policy object files for this user during the last measurement period.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user’s logon process spent maximum time in accessing the group policy object file.

To know which files were accessed and the time taken to access each file, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure. With the help of the detailed diagnostics, you can accurately isolate the object file that took the longest to access, and thus delayed the logon process.

Total client-side extensions applied

Indicates the total number of client side extensions used for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Number

 

Client-side extensions with success state

Indicates the number of client side extensions that were successfully used for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which were the successful client side extensions for a user, and which group policy was processed by each extension.

Client-side extensions with warning state

Indicates the number of warnings received when client side extensions were used for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which were the client side extensions that resulted in the generation of warning events at the time of processing. You will also know which group policies were processed by each extension.

Client-side extensions with error state

Indicates the number of errors registered when client side extensions were used for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. A sudden/gradual increase in the value of this measure is a cause of concern.

If a non-zero value is reported for this measure, then use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which client side extensions resulted in processing errors. You will also know which group policies were processed by each such extension. Moreover, the error code will also be displayed as part of detailed diagnostics, so that you can figure out what type of error occurred when processing the client side extensions.

Total client-side extension processed time

Indicates the total amount of time that client side extensions took for processing group policies for this user during the last measurement period.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user's logon process spent maximum time in client side extension processing.

If this measure reports an unusually high value for any user, then, you may want to check the value of the LDAP bind time to active directory measure for that user to figure out if a delay in connecting to AD is affecting group policy processing. This is because, group policies are built on top of AD, and hence rely on the directory service's infrastructure for their operation. As a consequence, DNS and AD issues may affect Group Policies severely. One could say that if an AD issue does not interfere with authentication, at the very least it will hamper group policy processing.

You can also use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which client side extension was used to process which group policy for a particular user. Detailed diagnostics also reveal the processing time for each client side extension. This way, you can quickly identify the client side extension that took too long to be processed and thus delayed the user logon.

Estimated network bandwidth between VM and Domain Controller

Indicates the estimated network bandwidth between the VM and domain controller for this user during the last measurement period.

Kbps

 

Is bandwidth between VM and Domain Controller slow?

Indicates whether/not the network connection between the VM and domain controller is currently slow for this user.

 

Several components of Group Policy rely on a fast network connection. If a fast connection is unavailable between a VM and the DOC, group policy processing can be delayed. This is why, if the Group policy processing time measure reports an abnormally high value, you may want to check the value of the Is bandwidth between VM and domain controller slow? measure to determine whether the network connection between the VM and domain controller is slow.

If the network connection between the VM and domain controller is slow for a user, then this measure will report the value Yes. If it is fast, then this measure will report the value No (connection is fast).

The numeric values that correspond to the above-mentioned measure values are as follows:

Measure Value Numeric Value
Yes 1
No (connection is fast) 2

Note:

  • By default, this test reports the Measure Values listed in the table above to indicate the quality of the network link between the VM and the domain controller. In the graph of this measure however, the same is indicated using the numeric equivalents only.
  • To determine whether the network link is slow or fast, the Group Policy service compares the result of the estimated bandwidth to the slow link threshold (configured by Group Policy). A value below the threshold results in the Group Policy service flagging the network connection as a slow link. This measure reports the status of this flag only. To know the slow link threshold that the Group Policy has configured for this link, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

Is the user's profile size large?

Indicates whether the profile size of this user exceeds the profile quota size by comparing the current profile size with the configured ProfileSizeLimit parameter.

Boolean

If this measure shows 0, it indicates that the current profile size has not exceeded the quota size. The value 1 indicates that the current profile size has exceeded the quota size.

Current profile size

Indicates the current profile size of this user.

MB

 

Number of files in user’s profile

Indicates the number of files available in this user profile.

Number

 

Large files in user’s profile

The number of files in this user profile, which exceed the allowable FileSizeLimit parameter.

Number

The detailed diagnosis of this measure, if enabled, lists all the files that have exceeded the configured FileSizeLimit.

Group policy applied on

Indicates whether the group policy for this user is applied during foreground processing or background processing.

 

Foreground and background processing are key concepts in Group Policy. Foreground processing only occurs when the machine starts up or when the user logs on. Some policy areas (also called Client Side Extensions (CSEs)) can only run during foreground processing. Examples of these include Folder Redirection, Software Installation and Group Policy Preferences Drive Mapping. In contrast, background processing is that thing that occurs every 90 or so minutes on Windows workstations, where GP refreshes itself periodically. Background processing happens in the background, while the user is working and they generally never notice it. While background processing does not impact performance, foreground processing can extend start and login times.

The values that this measure can report and their corresponding numeric values are listed in the table below:

Measure Value Numeric Value
Background 1
Foreground 2

Note:

By default, this test reports the Measure Values listed in the table above to indicate when the group policy of a user was applied. In the graph of this measure however, the same is indicated using the numeric equivalents only.

Group policy processing mode

Indicates whether the group policies of this user are processed in the synchronous or asynchronous mode.

 

Foreground processing can operate under two different modes - synchronously or asynchronously. Asynchronous GP processing does not prevent the user from using their desktop while GP processing completes. For example, when the computer is starting up, GP asynchronous processing starts to occur for the computer, and in the meantime, the user is presented the Windows logon prompt. Likewise, for asynchronous user processing, the user logs on and is presented with their desktop while GP finishes processing. The user is not delayed getting either their logon prompt or their desktop during asynchronous GP processing. When foreground processing is synchronous, the user is not presented with the logon prompt until computer GP processing has completed after a system boot. Likewise the user will not see their desktop at logon until user GP processing completes. This can have the effect of making the user feel like the system is running slow. In short, synchronous processing can impact startup time, where asynchronous does not. Foreground processing will run synchronously for two reasons:

  • The administrator forces synchronous processing through a policy setting. This can be done by enabling the Computer ConfigurationPoliciesAdministrative TemplatesSystemLogonAlways wait for the network at computer startup and logon policy setting. Enabling this setting will make all foreground processing synchronous. This is commonly used for troubleshooting problems with Group Policy processing, but does not always get turned back off again.
  • A particular CSE requires synchronous foreground processing. There are four CSEs provided by Microsoft that currently require synchronous foreground processing: Software Installation, Folder Redirection, Microsoft Disk Quota and GP Preferences Drive Mapping. If any of these are enabled within one or more GPOs, they will trigger the next foreground processing cycle to run synchronously when they are changed.

It is therefore best to avoid synchronous CSEs and to not force synchronous policy. If usage of synchronous CSEs is necessary, minimize changes to these policy settings.

The values that this measure can report and their corresponding numeric values are listed in the table below:

Measure Value Numeric Value
Synchronous 1
Asynchronous 2

Note:

By default, this test reports the Measure Values listed in the table above to indicate when the group policy of a user was applied. In the graph of this measure however, the same is indicated using the numeric equivalents only.