Frequently Asked Questions


Help Managing/Supporting Citrix Questions

We have a full IT staff but we do not have anyone on our staff that really understands Citrix, can you fill that gap for us?

Yes.  We have a variety of ways we can help you address this problem from a basic call-us-when-you-need-us support contract to fully managing your Citrix environment for you.

We lost our Citrix guy and need someone to fill in until we can hire another person, can you cover our Citrix needs until we can find a replacement?

Yes.  We begin with a free QuickAssess service that gives us a high level overview of your Citrix/Virtualization environment.  Depending upon your needs, we can manage your environment remotely or provide an onsite resource until you find a replacement.  In the transition we can help you clean up and complete your environment documentation and help you onboard your new hire so they can get up to speed as soon as possible.

We need help managing Citrix, can you help us?

Yes.  Each of our engineers has been in the Citrix / VMware space for 10 plus years.  We can help you get troubled environments back in shape; we can help you with monthly maintenance and patching, or manage your entire Citrix environment for you on your premises or in one of our data centers.

Our existing consulting partner does not have a lot of Citrix experience.  What can we do?

If you like your present consulting partner, we can work with them to fill in the gaps and get you the Citrix expertise you need.  If you feel you need to make a change, we can help you there to if you feel we are a good fit for your organization.

We have Citrix but really don’t understand it and honestly are afraid to touch it.  Can you help us fill that knowledge gap?

Yes.  We can provide onsite training to bring your team up to speed on the basics of Citrix, we can handle the routine maintenance of your Citrix environment for you on a monthly basis or we can manage your entire Citrix environment for you.



Citrix Performance Issues


Why is Citrix slow?

Citrix sits on top of approximately 11 different systems in your network that all have to be working in concert for you to get the best end user experience.  A problem in any one of these systems, from Active Directory to the Web Interface servers, can impact the performance end users experience through Citrix.  In reality, Citrix is responsible for the "slow response" approximately 20% of the time.  Usually the culprit is one of the systems behind Citrix.  

See Figure 1.1 below to get an idea of all of the systems that are working behind the scenes to deliver applications to end users.

Figure 1.1

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Why does it take so long to fix Citrix when there is a problem?

Citrix relys on many different systems in your IT infrastructure to serve up applications and virtual desktops.  Figure 1.1 above is a graphic example of all of the systems working behind the scenes with Citrix.

When a problem presents itself, the Support Desk has to identify which system(s) are ultimately causing the problem.

In large companies this problem can be magnified because each system pictured above is managed by a seperate person or team of people.

If the individual Citrix servers are built even subtly different from one another the number of variables that could be causing the problem becomes astronomical.

There are "best practices" to avoid the variables and tools to help diagnose quickly. 

We bought Citrix/VMware but can’t get it to work.


We can absolutely help you, give us a call and we will help you figure out what to do next.


Our users complain about losing their personalizations, printing, or just the general sluggish response of Citrix, can you help?


Yes.  While all of these are common complaints, there is no reason these problems should exist, let alone persist.  We can absolutely make these issues go away.


We have developed an application that our internal/external customers need to access from the web, but our application is not built for that.  Can we use Citrix to help us deliver our web application over the web?


Yes.  These types of issues are typically profile issues, policy issues or are tied back to Active Directory.  We can help you identify and resolve these issues and give you steps to make sure the issues stay resolved.


Everyone in our company is using Citrix to get their applications but we do not have any good support tools to see what is going on when things go wrong.  Our best solution is to have our Help Desk blow away end user profiles and try to copy some of their personalizations back.  Can you help us fix this?


Often the most expedient way to correct a Citrix issue today for a help desk is to blow away the end users profile and make them create a new one.  In some cases, Support Desk personnel will copy some of their personalizations back to the new profile.


Destroying the end user profile, while expedient, just annoys the end users.  Today we use proactive management tools with correlation engines that pull back the curtain on Citrix and see the symptoms and source of issues that seem to be Citrix related.


Our end users are having problems printing.  We need to stabilize printing in Citrix.  How do we do that?


Make sure your printer drivers are consistent across all of your servers.


Use native drivers where possible.


Use the Citrix Universal Print Driver.


Look at third party tools like triCerat Screwdrivers (which takes printing completely away from Citrix) if all else fails.


Our log-on times are very long and our end users complain about it all the time. Can you help us get our log-on times down to something reasonable?


Yes.  Typically these are profile issues or tied back to log-on scripting.  We have several tools in our arsenal to resolve these issues.


End users lose their personalizations every time they log off.  They have to setup Outlook and all their favorites every day.  Can this be fixed?


Yes.  These types of issues are typically profile issues, policy issues or are tied back to Active Directory.  We can help you identify and resolve these issues and give you steps to make sure the issues stay resolved.


 We have a large ERP application, SAP, large healthcare application that the vendor says requires Citrix, but they are not having much luck getting Citrix setup.  Can you help?


 Yes.  We can provide the Citrix expertise to help you get the Citrix environment right so that your vendor can properly deploy/upgrade your application.


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Questions

We like the idea of having users bring their own devices to work.  How do we manage that and make that work?  How do we protect our data on equipment we do not own?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work as a policy is gaining more traction.  The benefits of getting out of the desktop/laptop hardware business are very attractive for a lot of companies.  The policy is also very attractive to end users that have their own tastes when it comes to the devices they use.

Today we can serve up your applications to any device as a service with a simple client on the end users device.  The users have access to the applications and data you provision, but the data does not leave the confines of your data center.

In the event you have employees that need access to key company data while away from the office and disconnected for the network or internet, there will have to be a copy of that data on their machine.  We can extend policies to protect that data and give you the ability to erase/destroy that data in the event the device is lost or if you feel the security of your company assets may be in question.

We are too small to hire a dedicated Citrix admin let alone any dedicated IT staff at all but we obviously need technology.  We would like to explore outsourcing our entire IT infrastructure and just paying a bill for the service.  Is this something you can help us with?

Yes.  We can provide you with key Citrix expertise exclusively or manage your entire environment on your premise or from one of our datacenters.


iPad, Android, Mobile Device Management Questions

We want to let our end users use iPads or Android tablets to access their applications, can Citrix help us do that?

Yes.  You can publish a single application or an entire desktop depending upon how your end users prefer to work and what makes the most sense for your applications.  We can setup a pilot environment for you and let you experience how your applications will perform on any device you choose.

We need a mobile strategy that makes sense for managing our information on the devices and making sure the applications are performing.  Can you help us figure that out?

Yes.  Managing mobile devices can be a challenge.  In simple terms, you will need to have the ability to configure, provision, secure, support, monitor and decommission devices and/or data on these devices for both company owned and employee owned devices.  We can help you with the full lifecycle of mobile device management (MDM.)

If mobile devices are critical to your business, you may also want a way to measure the performance of these mobile devices and the applications installed on them.  We can help you proactively manage the end user experience on these devices and establish metrics for employee productivity.  


Virtual Desktop (VDI) Questions

We are interested in looking at VDI as a way to cut costs and improve the delivery of the desktop to end users, can you help us identify what will work/won’t work in our environment and help us determine what is best for our organization?

VDI is a simple enough concept, but the deployment of a VDI solution takes a fair amount of planning to make sure the end results are both what you want and worth paying for.  We can do an Assessment of your environment and run some environment diagnostic tools that will give you a clear picture of how well suited your environment is for VDI today, where your challenges are, and what those changes will likely cost to get the performance you are looking for.

We also have the ability to demonstrate live side by side comparisons of your desktops delivered via VDI vs. physical PCs so you can experience the performance first hand before you do your rollout.

Also note that all VDI deployments are not created equal.  We have three different VDI solutions based on your size, budget and your environment complexity.   


Citrix Upgrades/Managed Services/Hosting Questions

What is the major difference between version 4.5 and 6.5?

Review this Citrix XenApp Comparative Feature Matrix to see all of the differences between Presentation Server 4.5, XenApp 5.0, XenApp 6.0 and XenApp 6.5

How many users can we get on a Citrix XenApp Server?

We get this question all the time but the reality is there is no single answer.  Your applications will determine how many users you can ultimately get on a single XenApp server (physical or virtual.)  We have customers that are able to get 30 XenApp users per VM, with 15 VMs in a single dual processor, hex core 2U pizza box server.  We have users happy to get 5 users per VM.

We use sizing tools from Citrix and third parties to answer this question definitively.  Often we can tweak the applications to improve performance or add third party products to improve user density by as much as 30%.  Ultimately there is a balance that is unique for each customer between third party tools that improve user density vs. additional host hardware vs. the ultimate achieveable improvement in end user counts per server. 

We have applications we deliver with Citrix that we know will not work in a 64 bit, Windows 2008R2 environment yet, what can we do?

As a best practice we build a 2008R2 farm and move your applications that ARE 64 bit aware and leave your legacy 32 bit applications in a Citrix 4.5/5.0 environment.  We can serve up these applications in a single pane to end users so they do not have to be bothered about determining which farm to access to get to their applications.

We have Presentation Server 4.5 and need to upgrade because it is past its End of Life date of 3.31.2013 but do not have the resources to buy all new hardware and storage, is there a way we can upgrade without having to buy all new hardware?

Yes.  We can build, host and manage your Citrix environment in one of our data centers and serve up your applications as a service to your users.

We are a small company, we want to allow our users to use any device, work from home, or even use VDI but we do not have the IT expertise to make that happen and we cannot justify hiring a person just for that, can you help?

Yes.  If you are in the planning stages, your first step should be an Assessment to evaluate your existing environment to get a handle on the cost and feasibility of getting your existing environment in shape for these initiatives so you do not get any surprises.

We can help you assess, design, pilot and deploy these types of environments, provide patching and basic incident support or manage the environment entirely for you.  We can do whatever makes the most sense for your organization.  

Great Citrix resources are hard to find and expensive when we do, can you help us find a more cost effective way to manage our Citrix environment?

Yes.  Whitehat provides Citrix Managed Services for customers that do not find it practical to staff their own Citrix resources. 


 Citrix EdgeSight Questions

We have EdgeSight to manage Citrix, but it is not an effective tool for us, can you help us make it a functional tool for our IT department?

Yes.  EdgeSight is currently scheduled for End-of-Life on June 17, 2015 for XenDesktop and February 24, 2016 for XenApp but is still the primary management tool Citrix provides.  We prefer proactive monitoring tools to reactive tools like EdgeSight in general, but EdgeSight can become an effective tool for you a simple engagement with Whitehat.

We will certainly stand up EdgeSight if it is not setup or working today and teach you how to manage it, but the real value in EdgeSight comes in having the reporting templates customized to your business.  There is an enormous amount of data that can be captured by EdgeSight that we will help you shape into meaningful data and reports.