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 slowness and disconnects were seemingly random but persistent. The main difficulty for the Citrix Administrators was that, from the network and infrastructure perspective, the environment looked healthy with no visible issues.

Troubleshooting the issue became additionally challenging due to the fact that the users were not passing through NetScaler. Both the free Citrix utilities, Insight, and Director, which uses data from Insight for troubleshooting, were rendered useless because they require NetScaler to work.

Goliath-Technologies-blog-remote-users

The Solution

As the administrators dug more deeply into the issue, they realized that even if the Citrix NetScaler were being utilized the combination of Insight and Director might be able to show that there was something wrong, but these tools aren’t enterprise monitoring products. This unfortunately meant they could not assist the administrators in identifying the root cause. The Citrix administrators decided to turn 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. Within the Performance Monitor, 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 the Connection Performance screen, 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 the Goliath Performance Monitor, 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. They found that the users were on the Wi-Fi network at the times they reported the performance issues. With this information, the network team discovered performance issues with the Wi-Fi access points, and the users were promptly switched over to reliable wired connections, and the issue was resolved.

The Summary

Goliath Performance Monitor successfully provided one of the world’s leading entertainment companies with the tools, visibility and data they required to troubleshoot and resolve the root cause of a critical user experience challenge. This was a challenge that was resulting in downtime and lost productivity for developers in India as well as a persistent and painful headache for our administrators in Chicago. Without the combination of detailed, real-time Citrix metrics the individual user Citrix session drill down 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. 

 

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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