Best Practice for delivering Microsoft Office Communicator with XenApp 6

Best Practice whitepaper on how to Configure XenApp 6 for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2

There are many customers who deployed Microsoft Office Communicator on XenApp for instant messaging, presence info & audio conferencing. With the XenApp 6 , Citrix has introduced a new HDX RealTime feature that enables customers to host Microsoft Office Communicator on XenApp servers and enable end users to use their web cams for video conferencing.

Citrix XenApp 6 with HDX RealTime allows users to communicate using Microsoft Office Communicator voice and video chat features.

There are three scenarios where HDX RealTime is used with Office Communicator:

  • Voice chat using Voice-over-IP. This feature of Office Communicator is much like using a telephone; it enables users to chat in real-time using a headset connected to their computer or thin client.
  • Video conferencing as an observer (voice-only participant). A user may choose to join in a video conference as a voice-only participant. The user can view the video conference and participate in the conversation but does not use a Webcam.
  • Video chat using a Webcam.

This document describes how to get the best results for all these scenarios. It is split into three sections; the first deals with XenApp 6 configuration, the second looks at Microsoft Office Communicator while the third details advanced configuration settings that can help fine-tune and improve performance or troubleshoot specific problems.

Though they have targeted Office Communicator video conferencing with XenApp 6 release, this feature leverages DirectShow technology that is part of the Windows OS and hence any video conferencing application that is built using DirectShow (e.g. Skype) should just work. This feature does require the latest 12.0 online plug-in/client. Regarding bandwidth usage, our internal testing has shown around 300Kbps-600Kbps upstream traffic and around 800Kbps-1Mbps downstream traffic. And we have seen good performance even with 200ms round trip latency connections! Regarding scalability, doing video conferencing does have a scalability impact on CPU and we have seen good performance with up to 10 active video conferencing users on a dual quad core server.

For details download the KB article on best practice and fine tuning/troubleshooting OCS on XenApp 6.

For more information check out Citrix Blog post about OCS 2007 R2 on XenApp 6