* Originally published in 2018, reposted as COVID-19 drives increase need for tracking remote worker activity and performance. 

A major government agency enacted a new policy allowing employees to work from home using Citrix during times of inclement weather. This policy introduced a new visibility challenge for the organization. Read on to discover how they fixed the visibility gaps with the Citrix End-User Activity Report from Goliath.

The Organization: US Government Department

The Organization’s Infrastructure: Citrix XenApp 6.5, Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 & VMware

Their Products: Goliath Performance Monitor

The Business Challenge: Measuring Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop Usage for Remote Users

Browse Citrix WebinarsWhen employees worked in the office, it was relatively easy for management to measure Citrix usage, but it became much more difficult when they worked from home. In an attempt to resolve this issue, the Citrix support team was tasked with finding a solution for obtaining the Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop end-user activity or usage of the application.

The Citrix team knew that simply auditing end-user session time was going to be insufficient. They needed a solution to validate that employees were actually productive during the hours that they were connected to the environment, and active within their sessions.

The Solution: Track User Sessions within Citrix Published Apps, Shared Hosted Desktops, or Virtual Desktop Sessions

The government agency had been utilizing Goliath Performance Monitor (GPM) for monitoring and troubleshooting the Citrix environment for a few years. Knowing that GPM had rich out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, the support team looked to Goliath first for a solution.

Goliath has over dozens of out-of-the-box reports pre-configured within the products and the information required for user auditing of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop was already in place and available in these reports.  The End-User Activity Report tracks user sessions within Citrix published applications, shared hosted desktops, or virtual desktop sessions.

In addition, not only does it track the number of user sessions for a particular user, it also tracks if the user is actually active within a session. This unique capability provides data points that reflect when a user is being productive within their active session.

As shown in the report image below, events such as logon, logoff, and session idle time are omitted in the overall end-user activity metric ‘active hours.’ Therefore, even though the total session time was eight hours long, during that session not all time was actively used, and the report was able to accurately reflect that fact.

Figure 1: Run reports for management to see by day, week, or month activity of their teams enabling managers to quickly identify those who are not working as expected. 

The Results: Closed Visibility Gaps Using Citrix End-User Activity Report

This customer now runs the End-User Activity Report at management’s request to gain insight into the user session activity. As a result, they are able to analyze Citrix usage and use the information to truly understand how productive their remote workforce truly is.

The End-User Activity Report can be scheduled to run on an hourly/weekly/monthly basis, or on-demand. The End-User Activity Report is exportable to many formats including PDF, CSV, and other integrated data analysis tools which allows for easy access by management.

Figure 2: Graphical representation of how Goliath’s Citrix End-User Activity report looks like breaking down end-user activity by dates and actual active time spent working.

Click below to discover how our software helps fill the gaps left behind by free monitoring tools.

Goliath vs. Citrix Comparison