Citrix performance testing tools

Discover the reasons to test and control the performance of Citrix virtualized applications and desktops with Citrix performance testing tools.

Why Does Citrix Require Specific Testing Tools?

Citrix Systems, Inc. offers application, server and desktop virtualization to facilitate remote working styles in businesses. The basic components of Citrix testing efforts must therefore include:

  • Multi-user system with remote server access 
  • Central installation of apps on servers
  • Remote execution with emulation of apps on the client computer
  • Testing a visual outcome at scale, e.g. does a window display on a machine within accurate X/Y coordinates

This particular infrastructure requires more complex testing processes that include:

  • Working with several teams, including client-side, database, system and network administrators
  • Configuring test tools to take into account the specific infrastructure
  • Factoring in changes to environments, software apps and app versions
  • Taking into account the different ways of accessing the app, for example, via Citrix Virtual Apps and Citrix Virtual Desktops from various devices: personal computers, mobile devices, etc. 
  • Visual test design is required to ensure the test is accurate as the test is being created and not require several rewrites, this is a major productivity need for Citrix testers.

Given these requirements, not all tools are well suited to carry out tests on Citrix.

Try NeoLoad, the most automated performance testing platform for enterprise organizations continuously testing from APIs to applications.


Why Test a Citrix Environment?

Citrix infrastructure can simplify provisioning work environments for users. However, a Citrix work environment requires powerful server infrastructure in order to host apps.

Every user session requires an isolated version of the app, requiring a significant amount of memory as well as processor resources from servers.

When to Test Citrix?

Load testing is essential when companies virtualize their applications and desktops with Citrix software. Load testing enables you to simulate the scale of virtual users to understand how many concurrent users, at specific performance level objectives, the Citrix environment can support before going online.

Once a solution is already deployed, you might notice that the system is sluggish or even that the app is unavailable. However, because Citrix is a remote virtualized set of technologies, it’s difficult to know whether response times are affected by the app itself, by the Citrix layer or by the network.

One of the objectives of testing is to ensure that the infrastructure can support the expected load, depending on how the app will be used, before it goes live. This makes it important to test the app in different contexts – including with normal and reduced network coverage, as well as both within company networks and externally. By carrying out these tests, it’s possible to identify latency issues caused by the app, the Citrix layer or the network layer to isolate the location of the bottleneck.

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Who Should Test a Citrix Environment?

Citrix can be deployed in any company wishing to promote remote or virtual access to the work environment, and is widely used by companies where IT is not the core line of business. As such, these organizations tend to have an IT or operations department responsible for maintaining Citrix. In smaller companies, testing can be done by an external service provider as well as a designated member of the team.

Depending on the intended use and outcomes, tools should be simple to use and quick to execute in order to conduct the right tests in the right conditions.

How to Perform a Citrix LoadTtest

The objective of a Citrix load test is to ensure that servers have the required capacity to respond to a certain number of simultaneous users. For this, tests must simulate — as close as possible to the real-world user behavior — the use of an app by virtual users.

This requires creating scripts capable of emulating real-life scenarios: logging in, executing a program, saving a document, etc.

As with any load test, it’s essential to be able to create a scenario that simulates the simultaneous connection of a certain number of users with different behaviors over a defined period of time. It’s also important to simulate connection peaks to imitate intense activity – as in the case of a project that requires the delivery of a document at a specific date and time.

The tool used to carry out load testing must therefore enable the creation of realistic scripts and scenarios, relevant to the business, as well as highlight the relevant information to detect app failures.

Start testing with NeoLoad, the fastest, the most realistic, and the most automated continuous performance testing platform.


What Metrics Have Been Tested on Citrix?

The main issue in the Citrix environment is the response time of apps. Test tools monitor and record server performance in terms of reaction times according to the evolution of the scenario. The main metrics recorded for Citrix tests are response times, latency times, bandwidth and rendering times depending on the number of users accessing an app and the actions performed.

In the most advanced cases, during over-load or stress testing, tests can push apps to the breaking point to determine which failures appear first in order to define where system weaknesses are.

What Are the Best Tools for Citrix Load Testing?

There are a number of different load testing tools on the market for Citrix. To choose the right test tool, it’s important to study the characteristics of each tool and make an informed decision. Here are the main features of the most prominent testing tools for Citrix environments.


Supported environments


Citra Test VU Citrix only
  • Is usable for IT professionals only
  • Measures and reports response times at the client’s graphical interface
  • Uses a superior "image recognition" approach
NeoLoad Multiple technologies including :
  • Citrix
  • Oracle
  • AngularJS
  • SAP
  • Java
  • Makes it simple and fast to record test scripts with a visual test case designer
  • Maintains scripts easily with a compact and precise set of Citrix actions
  • Makes it fast to get started, with little training needed
  • Provides testers with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to help reliably identify text within images
  • Doesn’t require agents to be installed on servers, removing a common IT roadblock to testing Citrix
AppLoader Multiple technologies including :
  • Citrix
  • Oracle
  • Java
  • SAP
  • Meditech
    • Makes it simple to record scripts
    • Works in all versions of Citrix
    • Uses advanced image recognition technology

    Test API and application with NeoLoad, the most automated continuous performance testing platform.


    Why Use NeoLoad for Your Citrix Tests?

    NeoLoad is the only performance testing platform that covers all use cases and is easy enough to use for both testing specialists and developers alike. It supports all technologies, from web protocols to technologies such as SAP GUI and Citrix.

    Citrix actions emulated within NeoLoad scripts are precise and consistent. Script design is quick and simple thanks to “on the -fly” text detection. Advanced OCR technology based on neural networks provides excellent text recognition in real time for the most reliable results.

    To avoid encountering problems with Citrix, it’s essential to conduct regular performance tests. NeoLoad is a reliable solution for carrying out load testing on Citrix – and avoiding system overload problems.