The Goliath Application Availability Monitor (GAAM) received significant interest from many industries and clients when it was launched in October 2017, but Managed Service Providers such as MTM, HCL, CSC, CDK Global, CloudShape, Dizzion, and others embraced this new technology quickly and enthusiastically.  This technology is purpose-built to help ensure SLA’s are achieved by reducing end user experience issues when Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon are part of the service offering. In addition, most service providers use the application availability monitor functionality as the basis for a new recurring revenue offering “daily application availability testing service”; an automatic daily confirmation that applications and infrastructure are ready and available before end users get to work.

John Byrne, MTM Technologies Director of NOC Technologies, shares why:

“At MTM, we deploy the Goliath Application Availability Monitor as an advanced troubleshooting tool,” Byrne explained.  “GAAM’s automatic screenshots allow us to see a picture of the exact point at which the application launch failed, then ID and resolve the underlying problem that caused the application or infrastructure to be unavailable quickly, and we can share the images directly with customers, so they can see exactly what issue occurred and where.”

Figure 1: The Goliath Application Availability Monitor automatically logs in from any end point; providing information on where an issue occurred, a screenshot documenting the specific error, and details in the failure point in the logon process.

Managed Service Providers use the Goliath Application Availability Monitor to meet strict SLA’s when delivering Desktop as a Services (DaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) and other services. Pre- empting issues and solving them before end users are impacted is the “holy grail” for service providers, but if issues do occur, quick resolution is a close second in terms of priority.

The key to this new technology is the Goliath Virtual User which can be installed at any location or endpoint to provide an automated early warning system for any application issues. This monitoring can be scheduled according to the specific needs of either, the MSP or the end customer — such as time or shift based monitoring, maintenance/patched based monitoring, or constant monitoring throughout the working day. The below reference architecture shows how an MSP can deploy the Goliath Virtual User to monitor multiple end points – though specific use cases may use a different model.

 msp application availability monitor

The monitoring provides a valuable early warning system, but Goliath’s automatic screenshot feature provides an additional immediate impact for MSPs. The Goliath Application Availability Monitor allows companies to schedule an automated logon from any system endpoint and exactly mirrors the logon sequence users use to access the system, while capturing screenshots to document the success, or failure, and specific error messages at each step of the process. These screenshots capture the specific root cause of a problem, whether it’s a network, infrastructure, or an application issue, and provides administrators with objective evidence detailing the error and failure point.

“We use this technology as part of our client demonstrations and offer the screenshots as an option in our customer portal,” Byrne continued. “The new user interface is tremendous – and well-designed for proactive management and troubleshooting of end user experience issues.”
In addition to troubleshooting, MSPs see another significant benefit – meeting and exceeding their Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Providers automatically schedule the logons to occur at critical times, such as before a major shift change. Then, they either document system availability, or proactively fix issues – before customers are impacted. The screenshots then allow them to clearly and automatically document the resolved problems, even if they are resolved before clients see them directly.

“The screenshot feature is a real value-add for us,” concluded Byrne.

Some MSP’s now offer this “daily test” of application and infrastructure availability to customers as a high margin recurring revenue service. In many cases this serves as easy entry to acquire new customers because the prospective customer doesn’t need the same level of commitment required for other full-service offerings such as DaaS, MaaS, IaaS, etc. This early warning system offers a way to both generate revenue and build an initial relationship with a new customer that can be expanded over time.

MSPs are unique in that they have SLAs to provide availability for external customers, but any IT administrator can use the same tool to automatically document system status or troubleshoot issues for internal clients and stakeholders – all before end users even know the problem exists. The application can be deployed for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, VMWare Horizon, AWS, Azure, as well as EMR/EHR applications like Epic, Cerner, Meditech, AllScripts  

To learn more about the Goliath Application Availability Monitor or to request a personalized demonstration of how this technology can help you proactively solve issues before your customers or end users are impacted, please contact us at techinfo@goliathtechnologies.com or visit us at www.goliathtechnologies.com.

About 

The team members collaborated to bring together this blog post by calling on their past Customer Experiences and Expert Knowledge of Citrix Troubleshooting. Beyond writing technical documents this team supports Goliath Customers and provides product feature/function guidance to development.

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