Cloud Desktop Best Practices

Preface

The purpose of this document is to help you get the most out of your cloud desktop and optimize your productivity.

Bandwidth WAN Selection

Compute is heavily dependent on quality bandwidth.  If your Cloud desktops or VDI experiences degraded performance, this is highly due to poor network connectivity between your offices and the Cloud.  Subscribing to a quality wide area network is essential for consistent VDI performance, preferably with the use of dedicated private lines.  The Internet can also be used to connect to your cloud.  Here are the bandwidth and network selection recommendations to keep your VDI performance at its best:

  • Knowing the network capabilities and over-subscription levels of the carriers in your local areas is essential for selecting the right carrier and WAN for your connectivity. A2000 can assist you with carrier selection.
  • For smaller offices, home offices (10 users or less) or offices when typically the cost of a private line is prohibitive, subscribe to the largest feasible internet connection possible.  Minimum bandwidth of 10 Mbps for each VDI user for both uploads and downloads.  (Example: To run a 5-user office over the internet you will need 5 X 10 = 50 Mbps of bandwidth for that office).  Note: The internet is a shared medium that is plagued with unpredictable bandwidth congestion that can severely affect performance.
  • For larger offices (10 users or more) we recommend the use of dedicated private line, as it allows full end to end manageability and guarantees consistent performance. With private lines better results are achieved with 5 Mbps for each VDI user. (Example: a 20-user office with a dedicated private line will require 20 X 5 = 100 Mbps).  Lesser bandwidth is acceptable dependent on your user habits. (i.e. not all users are connected simultaneously, software programs that you are running are not graphics heavy)

A2000 buys and manages a large quantity of carrier networks on a daily basis.  With our expertise we can provide you with the best possible network at a lower cost.  If you need help with WAN or LAN, call us at 716-631-5602 or https://www.advance2000.com/contact-us/ and select carrier services.

VDI, LAN and Office Policy settings

  1. Reboot your VDI weekly. VDIs are similar to a physical desktop and require weekly reboots to clear memory leaks that could result from bugs in software applications.
  2. Limit browser toolbars. Installing multiple browser toolbars leads to slow internet browsing and slow VDI performance due to add-wares streaming like weather and radio channels.
  3. Try not to stream video in full screen HD, this type of streaming consumes large amounts of bandwidth (50 Mbps per stream per user or more is typical). This can dramatically slow VDI in your office if there is not enough bandwidth WAN capacity in your office (see earlier Bandwidth WAN Selection). Keep videos streaming in Window Mode and refrain from streaming non-business heavy graphic applications.
  4. Make sure you are using the most updated VMware Horizon client on your desktop. Optimized VDI performance is achieved via the latest VMware Horizon client and further optimization can be achieved with the use of a thin client such as the 10Zig 7817q-4630 or HP t310 G2 Zero Client vs. a local desktop. These devices are optimized for the cloud and are not hindered by software running locally (i.e. Antivirus) that a desktop would require, as these types of software could slow you network connection drastically.
  5. Have your IT department prioritize PCOIP and Blast traffic on your router, firewall and switch. This is done by prioritizing traffic for ports TCP/UDP 4172, TCP/UDP 8443 on any devices with egress and ingress to the Internet. For more information on PCOIP prioritization see Teradici Design Checklist.  A2000 can help you with these prioritizations if needed.
  6. Install the PCOIP Statistics Viewerthis empowers you to see and diagnose LAN or WAN issues that might be affecting your VDI performance and connectivity to the Cloud.
  7. Use wired network connections vs. wireless whenever possible. A wired connection is always faster than any wireless. Wireless networks are shared and are not steady.
  8. Don’t store personal files or load non-business apps locally (i.e. iTunes music). Store your business projects on your server drive. VDI are not backed up and if your VDI corrupts data loss could result if files are stored locally.
  9. Switch Windows to a Basic Theme under Advanced Performance Options. Turn off all Windows animations and use a plain solid colored screen background to save bandwidth.
  10. Incorporate a network usage policy on your LAN where usage of bandwidth is optimized towards production type traffic.

Windows 7.

Windows 10.

  1. Press Windows Key + X combination to see the following menu.
  2. Click System
  3. In the search field type advance system
  4. Click View advanced system settings
  5. Under the advanced tab, under performance click settings
  6. Click adjust for best performance and click ok


    This Section Applies for Users Running AutoDesk Revit – Optimizing Revit Workflows on VDI

    1. For optimal performance, user profiles should be as small as possible. Ensure enough free disk space is on your VDI proportionate to the size of your central model(s) you are creating a copy of locally.  Periodically clear temp files (%temp%), Autodesk temp install directory (C:\Autodesk\), Downloads, and local copies of central models (in ‘My Documents’ usually) including _backup folders correlating with the rvt files.
    2. Rendering uses a lot of system resources and works best when run on a dedicated client computer or utilizing a back-end distributed rendering system such as v-ray swarm.  Rendering and other CPU intensive tasks: Renderings or running benchmarks can easily monopolized your entire local Compute (Your local Desktop) resources, it is highly recommended to utilize alternate Compute sources (Rendering Compute) separate of your local Compute.  By utilizing a dedicated Rendering Compute for products such as V-Ray Swarm and alike will vastly speedup renderings tasks and maintains the integrity of your local Compute. This practice will facilitate the use of such products to their fullest potential as jobs are divided into smaller chunks and spreading simultaneously across several Compute resources.   This best strategy to allowing users to continually send render jobs to at any time without a performance impact to their local desktop.  V-Ray has plugins for Rhino, Revit, Sketchup, 3dsMax and other common design software.
    3. Upgrading Revit models consumes a lot of memory and can have an adverse effect on other users working on the same server. If you are going to be doing a lot of it, you may consider upgrade models on a separate computer running Revit before opening these models in the VDI environment.
    4. Turn off shadows for all printed views if not absolutely necessary.
    5. Use section boxes or crop regions to limit working area.
    6. Set detail level to Coarse or Medium.
    7. Set the following in Revit Options:
      • Set Tooltip Assistance to “none.”
      • Turn off the ViewCube.
      • Turn off 3 options for SteeringWheel Text Visibility.
    8. In general, the following characteristics of a building model can affect performance:
      • Complex geometry
      • Multiple parametric relationships
      • Multiple constraints
      • Linked files

    Inside Revit Models

    1. Open the model at least once a day creating a new local copy by browsing to the central and not using the recent files list.
    2. Address warnings regularly and correct them. The more warnings will lead to slower performance.  The continual tracking of these warnings by Revit will increase the file size and drastically affect the model performance if left unmanaged.  Warnings that should have priority to be addressed are those involving calculations… such as areas, rooms, spaces, joined elements, analytical elements, and MEP systems.
    3. Purge regularly and avoid loading too many families in the model that you don’t need because this increases file size. Purge out what you don’t need.  You can always add something if you need it from your family library.  If there are families in your project that you don’t have in the library, but don’t need in the current project, you can export them out and save them to your library freeing up space in your model.
    4. Avoid locking / constraining too many elements
    5. Put revit links on their own worksets so that they can be unloaded completely from memory when opening a project rather than just using the unload link feature which removes it from sight, but it is still in system memory.
    6. Link CAD files rather than inserting directly into your Revit project. When links are no longer needed, remove them rather than just unload.
    7. If you must have elements directly imported from CAD rather than redraw it natively in Revit, import the CAD detail in a separate revit file (NOT the main project file) to clean it up first such as removing CAD symbols, hatches, layers, and linestyles. Then copy/past or insert view.
    8. Remove old design options that are no longer needed. Revit has to consider each design option (even if turned off from view) and that can lead to slow model performance.
    9. Perform regular audits/compact the model when opening it. Daily or at least once a week.
    10. Reduce image sizes before importing
    11. Restart Revit to reset memory cache because Revit uses a lot of system RAM
    12. If possible, turn off Volume Calculations or set to calculate areas until needed.
    13. Don’t abuse groups. If something is very repetitive, consider creating families instead of grouping because they use less resources
    14. Don’t over-model families. If you need a highly detailed family, put the complex geometry on the highest detail level so it’s not normally seen, but can be turned on when you need it.
    15. Create a new central file occasionally if need be. Have all users exit out during this process and have users open up new central and obtain local copies of it when finished with the process.  Caution:  This destroys all backups of the central model.

    Consider the following best practices for managing views in your project.

    1. To improve performance when opening the project, set a drafting view with few if any elements as the starting view. See Specify the Starting View for a Model.
    2. Minimize view depth where possible in elevation, plan, and section views so that geometry hidden by other elements in the view does not affect the view drawing performance. See About the View Range.
    3. Consider back-clipping views to reduce the quantity of geometry maintained in a view. Often the overhead associated with additional object cutting due to back clipping is more than offset by the resulting reduced geometry maintenance. See Cut a Plan View at a Clip Plane.
    4. Use section boxes to limit visible geometry when working in a 3D view. See Change the Extents of a 3D View.
    5. Minimize the number of views in a project to reduce model size. Likewise, consider deleting as many views as possible from static models linked into the model.
    6. Use Wireframe or Shading display styles when working in a linked file environment. See Visual Styles.
    7. Avoid hiding large quantities of individual elements in views.
    8. Turn off unnecessary categories in Visibility/Graphics and templates. See About the Visibility and Graphic Display Dialog.
    9. When you use the Paste Aligned tool to closed views, target views will open and close. When repeating this several times, you can improve performance by opening all the target views before beginning the sequence of paste operations. Paste Aligned Elements.
    10. Zoom in to speed up drawing and snapping.
    11. If you have a dense view and snap lines appear to be shooting off in all directions, deselect the Snap to Remote Objects setting in the snap dialog. See Snaps Dialog.
    12. Close unnecessary views.
      • When working in a 3D view, most of the file is placed into RAM. These views should be closed when saving to central, because Revit will update this complex view as part of the save process.
      • Although Revit is optimized to update only views that are visible or become visible to the user, you can close hidden views to recover memory allocated to those views.
    13. Assign the proper level of visual detail to a given view. In a 1/8″ plan view, assigning a Fine level of display detail may be unnecessary. Plan views with fine and medium detail level are slow to open if there are many wall join layers to route. Use a Coarse view setting unless you need to show greater detail. See Specify the Detail Level for a View.
    14. Unless necessary, turn off shadows in views and before printing. See Display Sun and Shadows.
    15. Use the Draw visible elements only graphics setting to reduce the amount of information drawn during view navigation. This will also optimize the speed when panning, zooming, and orbiting the model. See Options Dialog: Graphics Tab.