Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Load Testing Outlook 2010 on XenApp – Hosted vs. Streamed to Server

After this initial test comparing the performance of Word 2010 Hosted against Streamed to Server on XenApp 6 showed some considerable advantages to using locally installed Office 2010 instead of Streaming it, I stepped up my testing and included Outlook 2010 instead.  The test was more intensive, moving between the different screens of Outlook (Inbox, Tasks, Contacts, etc) and creating and deleting items. 

Again, I set up EdgeSight for Load Testing to run 50 users on a single server – logging in at the rate of one every 20 seconds, staying logged in and “working” for 10 minutes and then all logging out in 3 minutes.  They once again looked nice when they were all logged in…


Outlook 2010 Hosted

Outlook 2010 performed very well on XenApp 6 when installed locally.  CPU time was quite acceptable throughout the test, being quite close to the performance of Word 2010 at the same load.  Memory usage was slightly higher than Word 2010, being about 7gb. 


Outlook 2010 Streamed to Server

Streaming added a couple of issues to the performance of Outlook 2010.  Firstly, the logon phase involved far more CPU activity, being flat at 100% for about the last three minutes.  CPU usage then remained very high through the phase of the test where Outlook was looping through simulated user activity, before dropping off nicely at the end of the test as the users logged off.  Memory usage was more worrying.  Its not that it was much higher than hosted – it was higher, though not substantially so.  The worrying part was that it increased through the 10 minutes after logons stopped as each OUTLOOK.EXE process slowly ate more RAM.  The Hosted Outlook processes did not behave in this way.  We tried this again over a much longer period with more users and this continued, Outlook using ever more memory until being logged off



This test was more conclusive than the Word 2010 test, with far more gap between Outlook 2010 when Hosted and when Streamed to Server.  Performance of the application when open did appear to be roughly the same, but with logon time more than double for the streamed application, this is not enough to justify streaming.  The higher CPU usage after logons stopped would indicate using Streaming to Server would reduce the number of active user sessions the server could support quite substantially and on this hardware could not be recommended.


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