“Goliath Technologies is the only truly proactive end-to-end monitoring and management solution for Citrix. Goliath provides deep metrics and analysis necessary for organizations to get ahead of issues in the three key areas that often cause pain for end users: logon initiation, logon duration and session performance.”
-Chris Chrobocinski, VP Managed Services, MTM Technologies
MTM Technologies, Inc., is a Citrix Service Provider and leading national provider of next-generation IT solutions and services to Global 2000, enterprise organizations, and mid-size companies. MTM is a National Platinum Citrix Partner and VMware Premier Partner. MTM, who maintains all four Citrix specializations, works with Citrix to assist companies with the demands of today’s mobile workforce. Whether on premise or in the cloud, by combining Citrix’s product suite with MTM’s branded professional and managed services enterprise, commercial and government organizations are provided a robust solution to serve their mobile workers their applications and data in a highly secure manner.
The Customer’s Infrastructure: Citrix XenServer 6.5, Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop & Citrix NetScaler
The Business Challenge: Current Monitoring Vendor has Performance Visibility Gaps with Citrix XenServer, XenApp, XenDesktop, NetScaler, & End User Experience
As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), MTM Technologies designs SLAs that are unique to each customer but essentially focus on delivering a positive end user experience. MTM’s monitoring backbone to deliver these services had been Nimsoft for infrastructure and SolarWinds for the Network.
These are good tools, and still in use, but neither product offers purpose-built functionality to support a Citrix environment, specifically the ability to proactively determine if there is a problem with Citrix Logon Initiation, Logon Duration or Session Performance.
Goal of Being Proactive
There are products that can tell MTM if something failed after the fact, but they needed something to give them advance warning before end users are impacted. MTM deemed it critical to use proactive technology to ensure that performance based SLAs are met when offering Remote Infrastructure Monitoring (RIM) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
Unsure of Root Cause of End User Experience Issues
MTM wanted absolute visibility and predictability around the End User Experience in situations where they were providing RIM or delivering DaaS. Effectively, MTM needed advance notice and alerts when logon initiation failures or slowness occurred.
Then, if there was a failure or degradation of service, MTM needed the correlated data from the end point through the NetScalers and the backend Citrix delivery architecture to determine the root cause so they could deploy remediation actions. This required logon simulation alerting and logon duration analysis as depicted in the below real-time screen shot of the logon simulator.
Real-time Logon Simulator Dashboard
Many times the logon initiation process was successful but the logon process was sluggish. In this case, MTM used the logon duration drill down which dissects 33 different, though interrelated, steps in the logon process as depicted below. Armed with this logon duration detail MTM was able to pinpoint the true root cause of logon duration slowness and resolve the issue permanently—before end user performance is impacted.
Real-time Citrix Logon Duration Drill Down
“Citrix is Slow!” Alerts
With MTM supporting many customers and SLAs, some running over 2500 VDI sessions, they needed alerts for the ambiguous “Citrix is slow” complaint.
Citrix MSPs, and especially Citrix Administrators, know that Citrix gets the blame when performance issues arise. Often, the true culprit of session performance issues are some element in the supporting infrastructure. So MTM’s other base requirement was to have the visibility into the entire Citrix delivery infrastructure to enable them to drill down into a specific Citrix user’s session and break down the ICA/HDX latency and session performance in real-time.
Real-time Citrix ICA/HDX Channel Drill Down
Real-time Citrix Session Performance Drill Down
Finally, MTM needed to run historical reports and analysis to determine long-term performance trends because if they couldn’t see what happened, it would be impossible to be proactive. The requirement was to have the necessary reports available out-of-the-box. Armed with this data, MTM can customize Goliath’s software to send threshold-based alerts and simultaneous remediation actions before end users are affected.
Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop End User Experience Report
Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop Logon Duration Report
Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop ICA Latency Report
Goliath has 66 of these types of performance and end user experience reports for Citrix and VMware, all of which come out-of-the-box with Goliath Performance Monitor.
The Solution: Choose a Proactive End-to-End Solution
Based on MTM’s criteria to proactively manage end user experience and satisfy their SLAs—ICA Latency, Logon Simulation, Logon Duration, and Session Performance—Goliath was the clear solution.
MTM chose Goliath Technologies to solve visibility gaps, end user experience issues and meet SLAs, but there was more than just deep metrics that factored into their decision, which include:
- Service Level Agreements: Goliath’s suite of proactive IT performance monitoring and management technology allows MTM to meet their SLAs.
- Multi-tenancy: MSPs like MTM can use Goliath to proactively manage environments by criteria such as customer, location, application, infrastructure, etc.
- Master “Intelligent” Agent: This is an ultra-low resource utilization (0.1% CPU) agent to monitor remote locations without maintaining an external connection. The “Intelligent” Agent gathers numerous metrics like the ICA/HDX Channel and the Hypervisor, and it can execute remediation actions on XenApp Servers, XenDesktop VDI, Citrix Role Servers, & End Points.
- MSP Management: Centralized management of the end user experience for MSPs.
- Share Data with other Tools: Can send data to Nimsoft, SolarWinds, etc.
- Custom Reporting: Real-time dashboards and historical reports that are branded with MTM’s logo.
As you can see from the above screenshots, MTM is able to use Goliath Performance Monitor and the Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix to gain complete visibility into the end users’ sessions, XenServer and XenDesktop performance data, and end user experience metrics in a single view.
With Goliath, MTM can trend utilization over time and see exactly what is happening with remote users to troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and proactively deploy remediation actions to ensure a positive end user experience.