CGH Medical Center Finds Root Cause and Resolves End User Citrix and Cerner Millennium Performance Issues
“I use Goliath daily to quickly troubleshoot and resolve end user complaints around slow logons and poor performance with clinical applications delivered via Citrix. What had previously taken me hours to hunt down root cause, now takes me minutes with Goliath.”
– Greg Beck, System Administrator at CGH Medical Center
Infrastructure: Cerner Millennium, Citrix Virtual Apps (XenApp), VMware vSphere
The Challenge: Troubleshooting Citrix and Cerner Performance Issues Consumes Hours of IT Time
CGH Medical Center is a progressive acute care facility located in Northern Illinois leveraging Citrix to deliver their clinical applications including Cerner Millennium. Greg Beck, System Administrator, routinely fields end user complaints around “Citrix is slow,” the “my system keeps disconnecting” or worse yet “I can’t login.” He shared, “End users have sporadic slow logons or performance issues that can consume hours of hunting down answers as the system works 90% of the time as expected. Our clinicians are often moving floor to floor and using different machines, so hunting down root cause of a sporadic issue can be challenging when you don’t have visibility into their exact behavior when they experienced an issue.”
CGH Medical Center had been using Citrix XenApp 6.5 that included EdgeSight, which was retired in later versions. As Beck and team prepared to upgrade to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7.15, they knew they needed a purpose-built tool that would help them monitor and troubleshoot the end user experience. Part of the expectation with the Citrix upgrade was that performance and logon times would be faster. They needed a solution that would enable them to hit these targets and provide visibility into root cause when problems did occur and then document proof that permanent fixes had been put in place.
Solution: End-to-End Visibility Isolates Root Cause of End User Performance Issues
Goliath Technologies was selected by CGH Medical Center to provide end-to-end visibility from endpoint logon, through the Citrix infrastructure, to the Cerner Millennium environment. Its deep and broad metrics offer visibility into both the infrastructure and end user behavior, empowering the team to quickly troubleshoot performance issues and reduce remediation times.
“We selected Goliath Technologies as it was one of the only solutions that had both a technical and business partnership with Cerner,” shared Beck. “We needed a solution that would last five or more years and have the flexibility to support our infrastructure regardless if we implemented elements and applications on-premises or hosted in the cloud.”
As a result of using Goliath, CGH Medical Center has been able to more quickly troubleshoot and resolve performance issues when medical staff is accessing Cerner Millennium and other applications delivered via Citrix.
Improving End User Complaint Resolution Times
“I use Goliath daily to quickly troubleshoot and resolve end user complaints around slow logons and poor performance with clinical applications delivered via Citrix. What had previously taken me hours to hunt down root cause, now takes me minutes with Goliath,” shares Beck.
Greg Beck said he consistently has Goliath’s Citrix Published Apps and Desktop tab (Image 1) open to not only quickly troubleshoot issues if a user calls in, but also to periodically check that logon times and overall performance looks normal throughout the day. “Goliath gives me and the team real numbers so that I know what the end user experience is. I no longer have to go off gut feelings if things are working or not.”
Image 1: The Citrix Published Apps and Desktop view gives a high-level overview of all end-user sessions’ key performance metrics such as logon times and what apps are in use.
Reducing Logon Times
With the migration of Citrix over to version 7.15 and increased visibility on performance with Goliath, the team has been able to reduce logon times by almost 50%, taking what was typically over a minute to log on down to under 30 seconds consistently.
If issues do arise, the team can quickly troubleshoot those individual issues by drilling into Goliath’s logon tab (Image 2), showing individual user sessions, and drilling into the various logon stages.
Image 2: The logon tab in Goliath breaks down the end-user’s login from start to finish, providing the administrator actionable metrics to reduce troubleshooting times. The example highlights a user experiencing slow logons due to high-profile load times.
Baselining Performance During Citrix Migration
When the team at CGH Medical Center migrated from 6.5 to 7.15, they used Goliath to baseline performance to measure key performance indicators, such as logon times, application launch times, VM resource consumption, and more, before and after the upgrade. This enabled them to confirm that changes in the environment only had positive impact on performance as they moved forward – not negative.
With the migration almost complete, Greg Beck says he can now leverage Goliath’s historical reports to anticipate and prevent future issues and continue to drive collaboration across internal IT teams, vendors, and the end users themselves.
Image 3: The above image is Goliath’s Session Logon report integrated with Power BI showing average logon times broken down over the past week highlighting average time at each stage of the process. It also showcases average logon times per app, session counts by day, and session counts per hour to track overall activity.
Beck summarizes the overall value of Goliath by stating, “Goliath has significantly cut down the amount of time I spend answering questions around performance issues related to Citrix, Cerner, and any applications delivered via Citrix. I also have been able to find and fix issues before end users complain, reducing our overall support tickets.”