It’s amazing to see just how far we’ve come in terms of connectivity and how we leverage digital resources. As standalone analog devices give way to connected digital devices, the latter will generate vast amounts of data that will, in turn, allow us the chance to refine and improve our systems and processes in previously unimagined ways. A recent IDC report pointed out that Big Data and metadata (data about data) will eventually touch nearly every aspect of our lives — with profound consequences. By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day — basically one interaction every 18 seconds.
In the business world – this couldn’t be truer. So many workers are no longer bound by a ‘desk’ and can be classified as mobile employees working well outside of the traditional ‘9-5’ parameters. This means that end users need to have Citrix or VMware Horizon VDI access no matter where they are working. I know I certainly fall into that category. I also know that I interact with digital devices every single day and I generate vast amounts of data around my interaction with those devices. Through it all, it’s the data that I create around my experience that’s truly most valuable.
Real-World VDI Access Example
Let’s drill down this experience into some real-world situations. Here’s a portal I use to access some key desktops and apps:
I love launching my desktop (from pretty much any device) and having all of my resources readily available. However, in a world where ‘slow is the new down,’ it can get pretty frustrating when something isn’t working. Specifically, VDI connection issues and VDI problems can cause serious hang-ups and experience issues.
So, what do you do if you have hundreds, or even thousands of users accessing VDI instances? How do you quickly capture VDI connection issues? Sure, Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon have great tools built-in. but what if you need a tool that proactively confirms the availability of any application that is accessed using desktop virtualization, regardless of the location of the applications or users? Remember, you don’t just want to solve a problem quickly, you need to find the root cause to prevent this type of issue from recurring.
How to Fix VDI Connection Issues
If there is a VDI connection issue or a problem with a virtual application, it’s critical to have the ability to monitor, report, and alert in detail around the issue root cause areas. Further, IT professionals need an end-to-end look at the entire virtual infrastructure, not just part of it. The Goliath Application Availability Monitor (GAAM) is a great example of this as it acts as an early warning system for IT managers and administrators; the key word here being EARLY warning. GAAM will tell you if there is a logon failure, network problems, or application enumeration issues. Again, the really cool part here is the proactive nature of this alert and monitoring system. For example, it can let you know that your Citrix or VMware Horizon could experience a serious bottleneck before a group of users log on by showing exact screenshots of the environment and the issue.
This tool accurately confirms the availability of any application that is accessed using desktop virtualization, regardless of the location of the applications themselves or the users. The other important point is that virtualization environments can be very different which is why GAAM doesn’t only focus on one architecture. It integrates to proactively monitor the availability of ANY application or desktop delivered over Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, or Microsoft RDS.
With all of this in mind, we need to actually understand what it looks at. Specifically:
- Connectivity (i.e. network speeds, latency)
- Application/desktop availability
- Configuration or availability problems with the delivery infrastructure, including Citrix NetScaler, web interface/storefront, delivery controllers, active directory, licensing servers, SQL databases, and much more
- Licensing issues
- Client-side errors (i.e. a message box error presented at the endpoint level, captured by Goliath’s screenshotting technology)
One of my biggest pet peeves really does revolve around VDI connection issues and slowness. This is why working with connectivity is one of the most important elements to test and validate. Let me point you to the ‘value of the millisecond.’ Research from TABB Group estimates that if a broker’s electronic trading platform is 5 milliseconds behind the competition, it could lose at least 1% of its flow; that’s $4 million in revenues per millisecond. Up to 10 milliseconds of latency could result in a 10% drop in revenues. From there it gets worse. If a broker is 100 milliseconds slower than the fastest broker, it may as well shut down its FIX engine and become a floor broker. In this case, latency is literally worth $4 million per millisecond. But what if you’re working with healthcare VDI? The value of a millisecond could now revolve around someone’s life.
In our persistently connected society, making sure that we have the best experience possible doesn’t just mean being able to access a simple resource. User experience and performance translates to productivity, happier employees, and IT staff providing value back to the business. Tools like Goliath Application Availability Monitor help diagnose root cause issues and quickly resolve VDI connection issues before they become major problems. The final key point is ease-of-use. You don’t have to be a script expert to deploy this type of tool. GAAM gives you the ability to leverage an easy-to-use, centrally managed tool when configuring synthetic launch sequences regardless of endpoint.
Your users are constantly on the move. This is why it’s so important to leverage good monitoring and performance tools within your virtualization infrastructure. Remember, these are the types of products that help you proactively troubleshoot an issue and even prevent it in the future. This keeps your end users online and able to access mission-critical applications, no matter where they are working from that day.
About the Author
Bill Kleyman is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in a variety of industries. This includes data center, cloud, virtualization, security, AI, mobility, edge solutions, and much more. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as focusing on overcoming emerging business challenges. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the Director of Technology Solutions at EPAM where he works with AI, machine learning, blockchain solutions, DevOps, cloud, and advanced technologies to help engineer the digital future. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on WindowsITPro, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. As an active member of the technology industry, Bill was ranked #16 globally in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape; and #4 in a different Onalytica study reviewing the industry’s top Data Security Experts.