“Last week the Logon Simulator caught a companywide issue with our XenApp environment. Our team was informed that one of the main applications that 40,000 users use on a daily basis was not available as an option. With the alert from Goliath, we were able to work on the issue before any users reported the problem to the helpdesk. Several members of leadership were impressed with the proactive monitoring, and there’s now real interest in expanding the Logon Simulator to other applications like EPIC, Cerner and AllScripts”.
– Senior Citrix Escalation Engineer
The Organization: Top 5 U.S. Health System with Over 100 Hospitals and Millions of Patients Nationwide
Infrastructure: VMware, Citrix XenApp 6.5
Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath Performance Monitor for Citrix XenApp, Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix, Goliath MEDITECH Module
The Citrix Team often received complaints related to Citrix XenApp availability from their end users. Specifically, physicians and nurses who were connecting from remote hospitals and facilities could not launch their MEDITECH application. The Citrix IT Team deployed the Goliath Logon Simulator to give advance warning if MEDITECH and Citrix would not launch before doctors and other healthcare workers logged in for the day. The advance warning, via real-time alerts, gave the IT team time to troubleshoot and resolve the issue before users were impacted. They used the reports and analysis to document and provide objective evidence of root cause, and put fix actions in place so the issue could be permanently resolved.
In one recent instance, the team was able to save 40,000 users from a major outage that would have significantly impacted the delivery of healthcare to patients. This wouldn’t have been possible if the Citrix IT Team didn’t know, in advance, that a key application would not display on the web interface page when users arrived to the hospital.
Averting an Outage for 40,000 Users
One of the healthcare organizations’ primary MEDITECH applications had recently been upgraded. When the upgrade was complete, the app was tested and made available for consumption by end users. However, during the upgrade there was a misconfiguration of the application that Citrix admins were not aware of.
The Citrix team had configured the technology to alert them if there was an issue with a Citrix-delivered application, as part of the early warning system. The Goliath Logon Simulator was scheduled to run and test all critical applications daily, including the EMR application that was just upgraded. These tests are conducted before regular users logon for the day to validate they will have access to the resources and applications they require. If there is any issue related to application availability, an alert is sent in real time which allows the IT team to anticipate the problem before end users are impacted.
On this day, the Citrix team was sent an alert by the Goliath Logon Simulator that a major application was not available. From the real-time dashboard, it was apparent that failures were occurring from all sites with multiple different test accounts. This allowed them to know in an instant that there was a global outage of the EMR application that was just updated. From the application availability detail of each failed simulation, the failure point was identified. In every failed instance, an enumeration issue was discovered as the root cause. As a result, the application icon was not displayed on the web interface page.
The early warning via real-time alerts allowed them to anticipate the outage. The data from the Goliath Logon Simulator pinpointed the exact stage in the logon process where there was a failure, allowing them to troubleshoot the issue more quickly. Armed with this information, the Citrix team promptly identified the issue as a configuration problem with the delivery group hosting the application. If the Goliath Logon Simulator did not catch this in advance, all the users would have been down and unable to work. Instead, the simulations allowed them to be aware of the issue, troubleshoot it, and resolve it before any of the users were aware, preventing an enterprise-wide outage.
By deploying the Goliath Performance Monitor and Goliath Logon Simulator, the health system could be proactive by monitoring and testing their environment continuously. This capability gave them the ability to identify, troubleshoot and resolve an application availability issue that ultimately saved over 40,000 users from a major outage – and most importantly, ensured the delivery of quality care to millions of patients around the United States.