The Organization: Top 10 Airline Worldwide
The Organization’s Infrastructure: Citrix XenDesktop 7.x
The Organization’s Monitoring Products: Goliath Application Availability Testing Service for Citrix
The Business Challenge: Summary of the problem
The Goliath team received an inquiry from the Citrix engineering group at one of the top airlines in the world. The Citrix engineers were in dire need of a tool which would allow them to continually check remote connectivity and availability of their Citrix VDI infrastructure and reservation system.
They also required the ability to be alerted and aware of issues before being caught flat footed by business units who were calling them well after a problem was impacting reservation specialists. They wanted to be able to avoid these calls, and if they did happen, have the ability to say, “we know of the issue and we’re on it.”
At approximately 2,000+ users who take reservations and VIP support calls, the airline’s remote workforce is rather large. This team depends on Citrix for delivery of key applications in order to perform their daily duties, and availability of those resources needs to be 24/7/365.
Beyond not having insight into availability issues, there was a second challenge that the airline faced. In no way could any solution be deployed on premise within their IT infrastructure; a cloud solution was required.
Understanding the requirements, the Citrix engineers were introduced to the Goliath Application Availability Testing Service, which is cloud delivered, and doesn’t require any software on premise. The onboarding process was easy. A configuration link was sent to them where they entered the following information:
- URL to connect to the Citrix environment
- The Citrix account credentials
- Application or desktop name to be tested
- Email address for receiving real-time alerts from the Application Availability Service
Upon saving the information, the service was fully configured and ready to start the testing process.
As depicted below, the service is configured to test application availability from four different egress points in the United States, and one in Europe. Each was selected based on time zone and the largest clusters of remote employees. The logon tests were effective because they are more than simple scripts and emulators, they are actual test user accounts fully exercising the entire delivery infrastructure the same way that real end users do. From the gateway through to the application and/or desktop launch, the application availability service tests each component of the delivery infrastructure, in concert, identical to an actual end-user.
Immediately after deploying the service, the Citrix team started getting results in real time. For the first time, they had visibility into where availability issues were occurring around the globe.
As issues were uncovered, alerts were sent to the to appropriate personnel. In addition to alerting, Citrix administrators were able to view the health of their environment from a live dashboard, as depicted below, and address any issues before calls came in to the help desk.
Beyond a real-time view into the health of the delivery infrastructure, there was also a need for the Citrix team to be able to report on it. Management required that the delivery infrastructure meet SLA requirements. Because the availability tests were real logons, they also served as validation that uptime requirements were being met.
As depicted in the Simulation Success and Failure Analysis Report below, every detail captured during an application availability test is presented in the output of the report, providing empirical evidence required to validate environment uptime and availability.
The reports also played an important part in the workflow of addressing issues as well. In the following example, the airline’s Citrix engineer used the data to confirm that a StoreFront server went down.
The detail provided in the reports also helped to quickly identify patterns and trend over time where availability issues were occurring, thereby allowing technical teams to better collaborate across the organization and get issues resolved.
Goliath Application and Desktop Availability Service satisfied the needs and requirements of the major airline. The team was empowered with a service that could access and exercise every component of the delivery infrastructure in various locations around the world, and validate application availability. It provided them with a live real-time dashboard and threshold based alerts so they could be aware of issues before their users were. The service also enabled them to provide historic reports to management to substantiate that SLA’s were being met, and to pinpoint and resolve issues discovered over time.
Now when an end user calls regarding an issue, the Citrix team is truly able to say they are addressing issues before the end users are aware.