Citrix XenApp and Desktop 7.16 Browser Content Redirection

Citrix XenApp and Desktop 7.16 Browser Content Redirection

I have created 2 small videos to demonstrate how the new Browser Content Redirection works. The Browser Content Redirection is among some of the new features in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16 and it really looks promising.

Citrix have had an HTML5 video redirection feature for a while now, however for it to work properly it relied on a code snippet to be a part og the code on the destination website. We cannot expect all websites in the world to have this code snippet, so to be able to actually make use of the HTML5 video redirection isn’t easy.

However this new Browser Content Redirection does not rely on code snippets, instead it uses an Internet Explorer 11 add-on called Citrix HDXJsInjector:

This add on is installed with the Citrix VDA 7.16, so this is in the Session Host or VDI machine and obviously this feature only works in IE11.

On the endpoint nothing other than a Citrix Receiver 4.10 is needed.

This first test is done on a Citrix VDA 7.14 Session Host on Windows Server 2016.

Here we see a perfectly normal CPU usage caused by Internet Explorer, when watching an HTML5 YouTube video:

Running an HTML5 YouTube video in 1080p really puts a strain on the CPU, and when a user runs this kind of HTML5 content, it is usually something that is noticable by other users on a Session Host server.

The second test is done on a Citrix VDA 7.16 Session Host on Windows Server 2016.

Here we see the CPU usage caused by Internet Explorer, is barely noticable, running the same HTML5 YouTube video in 1080p:

On the endpoint, in this case Windows 10 v1709 with Citrix Receiver 4.10, we see the HDX Overlay Browser process is responsible for around 15-20% CPU usage, a great deal of CPU usage is offloaded to the endpoint. (The obs64.exe process is my screen recording software)

To activate the Browser Content Redirection you need to upgrade your Delivery Controller and Studio to 7.16 and enable this Citrix computer policy:

UPDATE – december 4th 2017:

I have been made aware, by Citrix PM Fernando Klurfan, that I originally used a screenshot referencing the HTML5 Video Redirection feature. As Fernando Klurfan has correctly stated, there is a difference between these two features as the HTML5 Video Redirection feature has been available since XenApp and XenDesktop 7.12 and works together with the Multimedia Redirection Feature, the Browser Content Redirection is the correct policy to reference. A huge thanks to Fernando Klurfan for making me aware of my mistake!

Fernando Klurfan provided me with some additional information on how to enable the Browser Content Redirection feature to make use of the client side GPU. To enable the use of client side GPU create these two registry values:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_GPU_RENDERING (Create if not present)
HdxBrowser.exe = (DWORD) 00000001

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_GPU_RENDERING (Create if not present)
HdxBrowser.exe = (DWORD) 00000001

Make sure to check out Rasmus Raun-Nielsens article about Browser Content Redirection.

To conclude – The BrowserContent Redirection feature is impressive, as it reduces a great deal of CPU usage on the Session Host or VDI when running HTML5 content in Internet Explorer 11, be sure to enable this feature when your Delivery Controllers have been upgraded, however keep in mind that this will require a fairly strong CPU in the endpoint device. If you are using thin clients or older computers, be sure to do some testing, before enabling this feature.

 

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