Citrix XenApp Edgesight Implementation in 7.5

March 28, 2014

This is a re-post of “Citrix XenApp Edgesight Implementation in 7.5″ by Rob Beekmans from his excellent blog vThoughts of IT:

In this blog I will talk about the improvements made to Citrix XenApp 7.5 and specifically to Director for that’s where all the XenApp administrators have to go to to manage the users.

Director instead of Edgesight

Let’s start by pointing out that since XenDesktop 7 Edgesight no longer is a separate product, it’s integrated in XenDesktop and now XenApp. It’s not really integrated, it’s more like a complete rebuild of the product. Just this week I was visiting a customer with Citrix to help them with an Edgesight 5.4 environment and we were surprised by the old console, felt nice but still so 90s to work in it again.

With Xendesktop 7 the rebirth of Edgesight has brought us a few nice features but many still are lost. Edgesight has an awful lot of data that you could use to troubleshoot. The current version of Edgesight in 7.5 has only a fraction of that.

When 7.x came out we had a few nice twitter conversations with Citrix to point out what we were missing. With the release of 7.5 I expected a few more additions but haven’t found them yet. I will show what of Edgesight is integrated or reborn and then you can decide for yourself.

Edgesight

I think it’s fair to say that the screenshots in this blog represent the complete Edgesight implementation. When we take a look at the dashboard you would see when you log on you notice that you see the sessions connected and the average logon duration.

User management

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The sessions connected is an interesting one, I think I wrote about it before but I’m not sure so let’s get into that one for a moment.

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When you click on the number of the sessions connected you are taken to another screen where you will see all session with details, some details. This is the equivalent of the management console you had with XenApp. So an administrator who manages a 1000 concurrent user farm, sorry site, will have this screen open en see the session listed. If however the unlikely event would happen that a session had issues you only could log off this session or disconnect it (now why would you do that).

From this console you can’t do shadow or kill a process or anything you would like to do. This console is there for the overview for them that want overview. My advice is, don’t use it… you only need it when you want to search for sessions etc with the filter. I hoped that they would add the shadow option here that would been very useful to this screen.

When you need to support your users you will stay in the dashboard screen and search for them, like you see in the screen at the top. How you will manage users from there is written here.

Administrative management

Another screen that is of interest is found from the dashboard under trending. There are a number of options that are useful from a management perspective. One of the most useful screens there is the load evaluator option where you can see if you set that up right.

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The other options are connection failures, failed server, failed desktops, logon performance and network. Logon performance is pretty nice but I rather see this from a user perspective, but nice nevertheless.

 

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Session duration details

The most wanted report in Edgesight was the session duration details report where you could see the client and server side of the session and the time all actions took.

With the report shown in the screenshot above and the details at the user level they’ve done a good job. I was afraid this one would be put in Platinum like they do with all nice features (reverse seamless) but thank goodness it’s in all edition available.

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This screen is a good starting point for troubleshooting when users call for slow logons. Profile load should never be higher then 2-3 seconds, anything higher is a roaming profile.

And that’t is.. there are no more Edgesight features in XenDesktop or XenApp 7.5

..ah wait there is one more but somehow it’s never working and I can’t seem to find any info on it either.

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this option is there on a global level and per user but I guess I will need Netscaler HDX insight running to get any data here… would be nice if they add a line that says “you ain’t got no Netscaler son” but it says open the help, which opens a 404.

Conclusion

Edgesight is reborn but still a toddler compared to his successor. The features that are included are nice but management in general compared to what XenApp administrators were used to are minimal. Hopefully in the next versions this will be taken care off.

For now for real monitoring of your environment I would suggest to take a look at eG Innovations and use Edgesight only for troubleshooting.


New Webinar: Performance Assurance for Virtualized Citrix XenApp Environments

May 3, 2012

As companies migrate to Citrix XenApp 6.5 for more efficient application delivery, they are increasingly taking advantage of virtualization platforms (such as Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V) to increase efficiency, enhance flexibility, and reduce hardware cost of XenApp server farms.

Virtualization Management Challenges

However, XenApp virtualization introduces new and dynamic inter-dependencies because multiple applications are running on virtual machines that share the same hardware. This increased complexity makes managing performance and user experience of virtualized XenApp infrastructures more challenging, costly, and time-consuming.

Many companies fly blind without complete performance visibility into the components of their XenApp environment and the dynamic inter-dependencies. Yesterday’s reactive, manual and fragmented approach to performance management severely limits performance visibility and diagnosis of performance issues. It is no longer sufficient for today’s dynamic IT environments.

eG Innovations Performance Assurance

eG Innovations solves this big challenge by radically simplifying XenApp performance management. Only eG delivers pre-emptive, automated and integrated performance assurance for today’s dynamic, mission-critical Citrix XenApp environments. This unique approach enables companies to ensure XenApp virtualization success by delivering on the promise of exceptional performance, flexibility, and ROI.

Having won numerous awards for our Citrix and Virtualization performance management and monitoring solutions, eG Innovations is the clear choice for organizations wanting a best-of-breed solution to manage their combined virtualized infrastructures:

  • Get complete performance visibility and automated performance correlation across all virtual and physical components – network, storage, virtualization, application and database
  • Automate and accelerate discovery, diagnosis and resolution of XenApp service performance issues
  • Pre-emptively detect and resolve performance issues before users notice
  • Identify bottlenecks and right-size your XenApp infrastructure with powerful reporting and analytics for maximum ROI
  • Automatically correlate all performance events from both the physical and virtual tiers of your XenApp Service and auto-diagnose the cause of any performance problem
  • Discover trends and details of user sessions and user/application resource consumption for effective workload planning and infrastructure management to reduce cost

Join our live solution tour to learn more:

Live Demo -
Performance Management in Virtualized Citrix XenApp Environments

Date & Time: May 3, 2012 @ 2:00 pm ET | 11:00 am PT | 7:00 pm UK | 8:00 pm CET

Register Now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/202378672

For additional demo presentations, visit http://www.eginnovations.com/demo

We look forward to seeing you online!


Join the Citrix & eG Webinar: Performance Assurance – A Key to Citrix Desktop Transformation Success and ROI

February 22, 2012

Citrix Performance Assurance - A Key to Citrix Desktop Transformation Success and ROIDesktop transformation initiatives promise significant cost savings and increased agility. Whether you deploy Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop, users expect application delivery to be as fast and reliable as their physical desktop experience.

Join Citrix and eG Innovations to learn about Citrix performance assurance and how to deliver Citrix desktop transformation success and ROI. Learn how to proactively manage service performance so you can make informed IT operations decisions, move from insight to action, and quickly resolve the root cause of service performance issues.

In this webinar you will see and learn how to:

  • Build performance assurance into your desktop transformation architecture from the beginning, rather than as an after-thought, after you have performance issues
  • Dramatically accelerate diagnosis and resolution of user experience issues anywhere in the desktop service environment – before they impact customer satisfaction
  • Right-size the environment for maximum ROI and performance assurance
  • Deliver on the ROI and user experience promise of desktop transformation initiatives


DETAILS

Webinar: Performance Assurance – A Key to Citrix Desktop Transformation Success and ROI

When: February 29th, 2012 @ 1:00pm EST | 10:00 am PST | 7:00 pm CET

Hosted By: Citrix Systems, Inc.

Register Now: http://community.citrix.com/p/citrix-ready-webinar-eginnovations?pcode=eg

Speakers:
Craig Ellrod, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, Citrix Systems
Srinivas Ramanathan, CEO and Founder, eG Innovations (http://www.eginnovations.com)

We look forward to seeing you at the Citrix webinar!


The Changing Requirements for Monitoring in Citrix Infrastructures

June 23, 2011

The increasing focus on VDI has meant that organizations are comparing XenDesktop and XenApp as alternatives for remote access and finding that depending on their requirements, XenApp is actually not a bad alternative! At the Gartner IOM summit last week, we were repeatedly asked what eG could do to help monitor and report on Citrix server farms. Clearly, lack of visibility and understanding of Citrix infrastructures is still a pain area for many.

The latest issue of Virtualization Review has an interesting article by Elias Khnaser on the changing needs for monitoring Citrix server farms. Read the article “Does Citrix Need to Change EdgeSight?” here>>>

Of particular interest is Elias’ mention of the changing needs for monitoring Citrix farms. These include:

  • “The ability to have a more comprehensive monitoring solution (for Citrix) is imperative.
  • We would also expect that this monitoring platform is now hypervisor-aware such that the monitoring understands the hypervisor layer and can also report any performance degradation or bottleneck at every junction.
  • And any enterprise customer can benefit from being able to see the different hops that the packets travel through and where a potential bottleneck exists.”

Sounds like a description of exactly what eG Enterprise does!

Related Links:


The Re-emergence of Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Terminal Services

December 11, 2010

Brian Madden just blogged about the re-emergence of Terminal Servers and Server-Based Computing (SBC) and I tend to agree with his views. See Brian’s article titled “The inverse bell curve of Terminal Server / SBC: This stuff is going to be huge again!” here.
The term Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been widely used to refer to Hosted Virtual Desktops – i.e., desktop VMs on a virtualization platform, with the desktops being assigned to users as needed. Over the last couple of years, VDI have attracted a lot of attention – almost to the point where solution architects feel that VDI is the answer for any remote access requirement.
Real-world experience with VDI has been different though:
  • VDI has proven to be more expensive compared to more conventional remote access mechanisms such as XenApp and Terminal Services. With VDI, each user has his/her own desktop, their own operating system and applications running in the OS. Not only does this increase the resources (CPU, memory, etc.) required per user, it also has a higher licensing cost because of the need for one operating system per user.
  • While many pilots and early deployments have proven that VDI works, achieving the degree of scaling that is necessary to make VDI commercially attractive has been a huge challenge and an inhibitor for wide-spread adoption of the technology. As enterprises try to squeeze more users per physical server, they have to deal with unhappy users who are experiencing performance problems and slowdowns. A lot of time is spent in figuring out where the bottleneck is. Often, knowing where the bottleneck is may not be sufficient. This analysis may reveal that the initial sizing of the infrastructure was not done right and a far more significant investment may be required on the storage or the virtualization front, which in turn adversely affects the financial viability of the project.
  • In contrast, XenApp and Terminal services are very mature technologies that are only getting better with time. With a smaller per-user footprint, these technologies have proven to deliver a far greater number of users per physical server than what the VDI deployments have delivered

  • VDI has turned out to be harder to manage than XenApp and Terminal Services. Firstly, there are more infrastructure tiers and more software and hardware components involved (the connection broker, virtualization platform, storage devices, web front-ends, individual virtual desktops, software agents for the connection broker on each desktop, etc.), and these technologies are far less mature than the equivalent technologies for XenApp and Microsoft Terminal Services.  Early VDI adopters have been finding issues with these technologies as they try to stretch the usage of these technologies. Further, for managing VDI, most enterprises have tried to use the same tools they have been using for virtual server management. Refer to this discussion on why a virtual server management solution cannot be directly applied to manage VDI.

Clearly, the growth of VDI has not quite matched what industry analysts had predicted earlier this year. One of the major reasons for this is while VDI is an ideal solution for environments where separate operating systems are required for each user (e.g., because different users are accessing legacy applications that cannot work together in the same operating system, or because the users require access to modify the operating system for their specific needs), VDI is often an overkill if all that is required is remote access to applications hosted on a remote server. XenApp and Terminal Services are proven technologies for such applications.

Many enterprises are learning this mid-way through their efforts at moving to desktop virtualization!

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