Recently, I was working with a Goliath customer who is using Goliath Performance Monitor to monitor their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment after upgrading from Citrix XenApp 6.5. This customer is a massive social network with over a billion users and offices in 50 locations across the globe.
In total, they have 50+ VMware vSphere hosts supporting their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment and over 11,000 end users in their environment ( and 1 billion+ users of their product).
Problem: Reduce End User Complaints by Finding Root Cause of Slow Citrix Session Performance
The social network’s IT Operations team needed to reduce end user complaints resulting from application and server issues, specifically with slow Citrix session performance. By configuring Goliath Performance Monitor, the IT team was able to isolate the root cause of slow sessions and be proactively alerted to impending issues so they can react and solve problems before end users complain. This post will speak to how the social network achieved their goal.
Step 1 – Deploy the Goliath Intelligent Agent
So first we brought in their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment through our ‘First Time Run Wizard’ using our APIs for Citrix. Once the Citrix infrastructure was listed in the inventory, we deployed our Intelligent Agent. We named this the ‘Intelligent Agent’ because it is one of a kind:
- Uses less than 0.1% CPU
- 1.5 MB on disk
- About 50 to 80 MB RAM
- No reboot is required
The Intelligent Agent was deployed to the environment within minutes and instantly started to collect Citrix XenDesktop specific data.
Step 2 – Analyze Session Performance & Drill Down into the ICA/HDX Channel
To start analyzing the social network’s session performance and drill down into the ICA/HDX breakdown, the customer went to the XenApp/XenDesktop Session Display in Goliath Performance Monitor.
From this display, you can view current and historical Citrix sessions and see metrics like:
- Logon Duration
- ICA/HDX latency
- Connection Times
- Citrix Client Versions
ICA/HDX latency is a great indicator of session slowness. Because that was the customer’s main concern, we sorted this display by clicking the ‘ICA Latency’ header to bring the sessions with the high ICA latency to the top of the screen.
Our customer was then able to click into the sessions with high ICA Latency and view information in regards to the overall Session performance and ICA Channel performance. In the screenshot below, you can see that for multiple sessions the ICA latency was directly correlating to the Network latency.
Using Goliath Performance Monitor, our customer identified this as being the root cause of the poor performance, as well as being able to provide tangible proof to share with management and the networking team that Citrix was not the problem. They continued to drill into the ICA/HDX Channel, Server and Application Performance as well to provide additional proof that those components were not causing any issues.
Overall, having visibility into the session performance was hugely impactful for this customer. Since implementing our technology, they have been able identify multiple areas that were causing high ICA/HDX Latency. They have also implemented alerting and reporting around ICA/HDX Latency as well.
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