We are currently running ArcGIS 10 in our company through Citrix as well as installs on user workstation. We always seem to have niggling problems with Citrix hence local installs.

For example:

  • Poor display of smoothed grids in Citrix showing very blurry but then perfect display when exported to a PNG
  • Mapped drives not being able to connect but once the session is closed down and re-opened and it's fine again
  • ArcScene has terrible performance when it has a couple of stacked surfaces to render
  • ArcGIS Extension licenses not always being released when switched off in extension dialog (user has to shut down their session)

There are lots more issues that can be found on the forums of course and I have read the strategy documents too but I'm looking for more detail on how to actually deploy it without these niggling problems!

But obviously as a concept it is great as it saves so much time for IT and managing the application centrally is the way forward, etc. But the users are suffering at the moment.

So my question is what are peoples opinions with deploying ArcGIS through Citrix?

Have people had "strategists"/Citrix experts to come in and show us how to set it up specifically for ArcGIS to get the best performance and display?

Basically the users should not see a difference between ArcGIS on their machines and ArcGIS on Citrix. Otherwise it won't get used.

  • I can see no (good) valid reason you would need to run ArcGIS thougth Citrix. – Nathan W Jul 20 '12 at 15:06
  • Apart from IT reasons! – Rob Jul 24 '12 at 9:18

Personally I hate it with a passion, but IT managers seem to love it. It doesn't show smooth lines because I believe it turns off the anti Aliasing, it's one of the things that is sacrificed to allow transmission over slow networks at least in server 2003 but apparently it is enabled in Windows Server 2008


I have also had the problem with the drive's disconnecting but don't know the reason

I haven't used arcscene but I imagine it would be similar to the first reason ie you are trying to run a graphically intensive program with transparency etc through a program which is trying to minimise the size of the transmission between the two computers

Same problem with it holding licences, IT dept seems to feel it is something we are doing wrong ie not logging off correctly etc. but we would just ring them and get them to reboot the server.

yes the GIS team suffers so life can be easier for IT

sorry that this is more a rant then an answer, yes there are valid reasons to use citrix It is better then trying to log in to a remote database over a large network and it does require a decent server, the current setup where we each get a physical server works a lot better then having 4 people using the one server.

I am guessing that if you have read the forums you have also gone to the ESRI white paper on Citrix and the citrix website

Also it is getting easier and better as it becomes more common, a lot of the problems we experienced are with the older versions of both citrix and ArcGIS.

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  • Yes I had read the white papers but as you know it's doesn't fix the issues! I join in with your rant! Have you ever looked into getting an experienced Citrix expert to review the system? – Rob Jul 19 '12 at 12:50
  • unfortunately no, but it wasn't my decision and the brief to the ESRI people when they installed ArcGIS was to get it working and just that. – Banger Jul 19 '12 at 13:05

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