Home > Citrix, XenApp, XenDesktop > Session limits + Flash = not such a bad idea.

Session limits + Flash = not such a bad idea.

Normally when you speak about session limits they’re met with hesitance, despised by users and set aggressively to conserve bandwidth. Session limits have a really bad name for themselves and up until recently I avoided them for this very reason.

With the growing demand for web rich content for users, adobe flash in particular has become a real burden to network bandwidth. What I’ve seen recently is flash’s ability to utterly drown wan links to remote sites. Flash videos, no larger than 200 pixels squared eating over 8 megabits of bandwidth per second just performing a simple fade in, fade out job.

This is particularly prevalent in a thin client / XenApp 5 environment.

Five years ago it was perfectly acceptable to disable flash in the farm, business websites didn’t build web rich content and users didn’t feel like they restricted nor did they lose out on anything they should be doing. But the face of the internet has changed and sites like facebook, social networking and even web rich news sites are demanded by users.

To get around this issue, we rolled out a blanket 1.4mbps session limit on users in remote sites. Although 1.4mbps seems quite high, it allows a healthy bursty transaction to occur without drowning the line and should the users burst last longer than a couple of milliseconds, the session limit caps their traffic ensuring they cannot drown the line.
It’s by no means a solution, but with technologies like HDX flash redirection around the corner for Linux clients, we could look to send the hdx traffic from the thinclient in the native port 80 format, allowing us to Quality of service the 2598 and 1494 traffic above the priority of flash traffic, giving the user the advanced performance of flash redirection without destroying their line.

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