The Organization:  Large DaaS Provider with Over 1,000 customers

The Organization’s Infrastructure:  VMware vSphere, Citrix XenDesktop, Azure

The Organization’s Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath for Monitoring Azure & XenDesktop

The Business Challenge: Microsoft Azure Monitoring

This DaaS provider has delivered desktop workloads to users via Citrix XenDestkop from their local datacenter for several years. However, the influx of new customers has driven demand to a level that they could not sustain in their existing model. Procuring and provisioning datacenter resources was slow and not able to keep pace with growth. As a result, a strategic decision was made to deliver desktops from the cloud or DaaS using Microsoft Azure as the platform. One of the challenges was that this change would not happen overnight and a hybrid approach was necessary for the foreseeable future.

The new hybrid model presented visibility challenges, specifically due to the distributed nature of the infrastructure. An Azure monitoring technology was required that would allow them to manage on premises datacenter and Azure hosted workloads differently. Understanding resource utilization was necessary on premises to ensure performance was optimal. While in the cloud, resource monitoring needed to be focused on consumption, ensuring that the deployment was consistently “tuned” so the Azure monitoring had to measure metrics that would allow for cost-effective management. Furthermore, it was critical to have deep visibility into XenDesktop and XenApp at the session level metrics to ensure that user experience was not impacted in any way, regardless of where the workloads lived. Finally, the Azure monitoring solution needed to be scalable and dynamic, as workloads would be shifting from on premises to the cloud for the foreseeable future.

The Solution

Fortunately for the DaaS provider, the solution that they needed was already in place. Over a year ago the company selected Goliath Performance Monitor and Goliath Logon Simulator for monitoring Citrix XenApp and the other aspects of their infrastructure. The solution proved to be a robust technology that was a perfect fit for their multi-tenant infrastructure. Trouble tickets have been reduced by 50% in the past year, quantifying the impact of the technology. One of the key attributes of the technology that allows for quick troubleshooting and root cause identification is the ability to see the entire infrastructure at a 50,000 FT view (see image below) and then when alerted, drill down into the layers of the Citrix infrastructure to identify root cause—even to an individual user’s session. 

As a result of the success they had with Goliath, combined the flexible dynamic nature of the platform, they felt that it would be the perfect fit for their hybrid cloud initiative which meant extending the product to monitor Azure. As shown below, Goliath Performance Monitor allows you to manage your entire infrastructure, regardless of platform or location.

Real-Time Alerting on Resource Consumption for Microsoft Azure

When hosting workloads in the cloud, priorities are different. An example of this is resource utilization. When resources are on-premises we want to make sure that they not constrained which would result in poor end user experience. There are also physical limitations on the availability of resources and the business needs to know in advance when a capital investment needs to be made. However, in the cloud, managing resource utilization is more about consumption and managing costs. This is because resources are almost unlimited, but are paid for based on usage. Goliath for Azure monitoring allowed the DaaS provider to dynamically assign policies to workload based on location and use-case in a single click. This means they can assign rules based on need, as resources are relocated from the datacenter to the cloud. An example of this is below.

Managing Dynamic Workloads Out-Of-The-Box 

Another requirement for the service provider was that the Azure monitoring solution needed to provide a fast time to value. Their timeline to move to Azure was aggressive and the need to have visibility was immediate. Goliath delivered by having inbuilt out-of-the-box rules and capabilities for supporting and monitoring Microsoft Azure workloads as showing in the image below.

Real-time Performance Dashboards

Another requirement for the DaaS provider was to have dashboard capabilities that allowed them to see the performance of workloads at a glance. Goliath performance graphs and dashboards allowed them to do that on multiple levels, ranging from their Virtual Desktops up through their Azure infrastructure.

The Summary of Microsoft Azure Monitoring and Microsoft Azure Troubleshooting for Hybrid DaaS

Goliath’s Azure Monitoring allowed the DaaS provider to migrate resources to Microsoft Azure while dynamically implementing policies to cloud-based workloads instantly. In addition, they continued to have complete visibility into the entire hybrid cloud, and Citrix XenDesktop infrastructure. Goliath gave them the ability to anticipate, troubleshoot, resolve and ultimately prevent end user experience issues in the cloud, on premises, and with end-user experience.

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The team members collaborated to bring together this blog post by calling on their past Customer Experiences and Expert Knowledge of Citrix Troubleshooting. Beyond writing technical documents this team supports Goliath Customers and provides product feature/function guidance to development.

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