Wednesday, 22 September 2010

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

As part of a decision on how to present Office 2010 to our XenApp 6 farm we benchmarked Office applications as Streamed and Hosted applications.  When we tried this on XenApp 5 with Office 2007 the difference between the two did not seem very great – this time around the Streaming version seems to put on some considerable load.

With each test we logged on 50 users in 16 minutes (one logon every 20 seconds) and ran them for 10 minutes, typing random text Word.  They then all logged out over a 3 minute period.  They look very pretty when they’re all running:


Word 2010 Hosted

The locally installed on the server version of Word 2010 performed very well.  It easily handled logins every 20 seconds with the CPU (on a medium spec dual processor server) at about 30% in the logon phase, 15% when all the users were logged in and a peak of over 50% during the rather rapid logoff. Memory usage peaked at about 6gb


Word 2010 Streamed To Server

The second test was using the same hardware, users and script as the first – but this time Word was streamed to the server.  The difference was apparent from the first login, which took a lot longer – about 25-30 seconds, almost double the Hosted logon time.  CPU usage was consistently 10-15% higher in the initial logon phase and then built alarmingly as the user count reached 50.  It then dropped off very nicely once the users were logged in.  Memory usage was higher, peaking at about 7gb.



Overall the Hosted version performed very much better than the Streamed to Server version with Word 2010.  As you might expect, most of the difference was in the logon phase, where CPU activity was much lower on the hosted version.  Logon times were also longer using Streaming, by at least 15 seconds.  This makes sense as the Streamed to Server version has a bit more work to do creating the Sandbox environment.  The lower memory footprint of the Hosted install overall might also mean that greater user density would be possible using Word 2010 installed directly on the servers.

However, the Streamed to Server version did have lower CPU usage in the later phases, so this test might be considered more even, depending on the pattern of your logons and logoffs.  It must be said that the test did not make an effort to push Word in this middle phase, it was just some light typing.  A more intensive test might show more difference at this point.

This test was conducted using v6 of the streaming client and profiler and XenApp 6 running on Windows Server 2008 R2 on a single dual core server with 12gb RAM.  The test was performed with EdgeSight for Load Testing v3.7.


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