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Citrix Administrator – “Thanks to Goliath Performance Monitor, and its EventLog Management, we were able to isolate the root cause of an issue that was random but persistent, causing downtime for our developers in India. It was painful to get calls almost daily. Without Goliath’s deep Citrix analytics, we may have never permanently resolved the issue and been able to prevent it from happening again.”


The Organization: One of the World’s Leading Entertainment Companies

The Organization’s Infrastructure:  VMware, Citrix XenDesktop 7.9, Citrix XenApp 6.5

The Organization’s Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath Performance Monitor & Goliath Application Availability Monitor


The Business Challenge: Remote Developers in India Reporting Slowness

Several developers from India were reporting Citrix XenDesktop 7.9 session slowness and disconnects. The pain was especially felt by this user group because they were users that had recently been on-boarded to the Citrix environment. The reports of the slowness and disconnects were seemingly random but persistent. The real difficulty for the Citrix Administrators was that, from the network and infrastructure perspective, the environment looked healthy with no visible issues.

Adding to the difficulty, the users were not passing through the NetScaler so the free Citrix utility, Insight, which is sometimes used for troubleshooting and Director which relies on data from Insight were rendered useless because there is a NetScaler requirement for those utilities to work.

Goliath-Technologies-blog-remote-users

The Solution

As mentioned above, NetScaler was a requirement for the Citrix utilities to work, but upon further analysis – even if the Citrix NetScaler was being utilized the combination of Insight and Director might be able to show that there was something wrong, which the Citrix Administrators already knew, but these free utilities are not enterprise monitoring products. As such, they couldn’t identify root cause. The Citrix administrators turned to Goliath to troubleshoot and resolve this Citrix end user experience issue.

Troubleshooting Process: Real-Time Data & EventLog Management

The team used the Session Display of Goliath Performance Monitor to pinpoint the exact users that were reporting the slowness issue. In the product, you can drill into each user’s session to see Citrix ICA/HDX latency, RTT, Network latency, connection speed and channel breakdown (i.e. what type of data is passing through the ICA/HDX channel).  As depicted in the image below, the administrator simply selected the Connection Performance tab located within each session and identified that connection speeds for all the sessions reporting trouble were very low. They also could see that Network and ICA latency was spiking at times, but it did not appear to be an issue.

Using the data points gathered from Connection Performance, the Citrix admins correlated the session times to specific events from the EventLog Management viewer in Goliath Performance Monitor, as depicted below. The event log functionality will collect, filter, analyze, alert, report and archive from all Citrix session hosts. Their analysis proved that the disconnected sessions located in the event logs correlated directly to the slow connection speeds reported in the sessions. It also proved that ICA/HDX latency, server resources, and network latency were not the root cause of the disconnects.

Goliath EventLog Management Dashboard

Root Cause Found & Problem Resolved

Using the information from the Session Display and the EventLog Management in Goliath, the technical team narrowed the root cause down to connection speed. They did this specifically by looking at the event logs to see when the disconnects took place and then going to the user sessions and realized that every time there was a disconnect, the connection speed dropped. Using this information, the focus shifted to the user/endpoint and the network. It was identified that the users were on the Wi-Fi network at the times that they reported the performance issues. After examination by the network team, performance issues were discovered with the Wi-Fi access points. The users were promptly switched over to reliable wired connections, and the issue was resolved.

The Summary

Goliath Performance Monitor provided one of the leading entertainment companies the visibility and data that they required to troubleshoot & resolve the root cause of a critical user experience challenge that was resulting in downtime and lost productivity for developers in India as well as a persistent and painful headache for our admins in Chicago. Without the combination of detailed, real-time Citrix metrics the individual user Citrix session drilldown and the powerful Goliath EventLog Management & Troubleshooting engine the isolation of this root cause and its resolution would not have been possible.

Goliath-Technologies-blog-be-proactive

 

Having Citrix End User Experience Issues? 

Goliath’s Tech Team has the experience, knowledge and most importantly the technology to help you anticipate, troubleshoot, resolve & prevent end user experience issues. 

 

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About 

Heather Hanlon is a Senior Technical Analyst with Goliath Technologies and as such, works with customers daily to help them move from reactive to proactive in IT. Heather is an author on IT Insights from the Front Line where she shares her experiences working with customers to solve the formidable challenge of Being Proactive.

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