App-V package slow first launch

We had serious performance issues with our sequenced Office 2010. First launch could take up to 6 minutes, while Feature Block 1 was only about 100MB!

Because only Office 2010 was having this slow first start (and autoload), we blame our sequence, the App-V infrastructure or the application itself. But neither of these were the cause of the problem.

What got our attention was the Network utilization, it only reaches 2%. While this wasn’t an issue at all with other App-V applications. Streaming other applications goes fast and uses up to 95% of the available network bandwidth. But Office 2010 was sequenced with the 4.6 RTM version of the Application Virtualization Sequencer. Most other applications were sequenced with App-V sequencer 4.5.

Since version 4.6 the blocksize is fixed at 64KB, there is no way to change this with the GUI sequencer.

I managed to change the blocksize with the trail version of SFT Encoder. Once the blocksize was changed from 64 to 32K, Office 2010 launches ten times faster! However this isn’t a permanent solution for the slow launch. We don’t want to convert all newly sequenced packages with SFT Encoder!

So the reason why only Office 2010 suffered form this slow first start was because it was the only large package sequenced with version 4.6. Other packages made with sequencer 4.6 where to small to notice the slow launch.

A colleague of mine changed the network card speed from 1GBit/Full Duplex to 100Mbit/Full Duplex. With this setting changed, packages created with sequencer 4.6 are streaming fast like it should.

Maybe it’s a networking issue (switches?), maybe a network card setting misconfiguration (teaming?) .. to be investigated. But at least our 4.6 sequences are streaming fast again!

Thanks to Madelinde Walraven for the help with this issue!

To be continued!