To ensure a positive end user experience, St. Dominic’s Priory College utilized proactive Citrix XenDesktop and XenServer performance monitoring to aid in rolling out XenDesktop 7.16 and NVIDIA GRID vGPU Cards.

st-dominics-priory-college-goliath-technologies“We evaluated a number of products and we decided on the entire suite of Goliath’s products because their operating knowledge of Citrix was evident during the course of the evaluation and that came through in their products, features, and functionality.”   

-James Trevaskis, IT Manager for St. Dominic’s Priory CollegeFree License Trade Out


The Organization: St. Dominic’s Priory College

The Organization’s Infrastructure: Citrix XenDesktop 7.16, VMware vSphere, XenServer & NVIDIA GRID vGPU

Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath Performance MonitorGoliath Application Availability Monitor for Citrix

The Challenge: Maintaining a positive user experience for students using Citrix XenDesktop

James Trevaskis, the IT Manager for St. Dominic’s Priory College, decided to use Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop 7.16 to deliver applications to 600 end user faculty and students, including AutoDesk products with NVIDIA GRID vGPU. As all users are reliant on the Citrix environment, James required a proactive approach to monitoring the new infrastructure to keep ahead of any reliability or performance issues.

Here’s a list of St. Dominic’s performance monitoring selection criteria & goals:

  • The users access the network both locally and remotely using Citrix to access all applications, including AutoDesk products using NVIDIA GRID vGPU cards
  • The students must have 24/7 access, and, if there is an issue, it could be resolved quickly (the parents purchase their child’s computer and expect them to have uninterrupted access)
  • James needs to have 100% uptime to avoid logon and performance complaints from students
  • The students have their own devices and logon from a variety of locations with varying network quality – this complexity makes performance reporting critical
  • IT needs proactive performance alerts to get ahead of end user issues to avoid angry calls/emails from students and parents

As end users don’t often alert at the time the problem is occurring, it can be difficult to identify the root cause at a later date without the right metrics. In addition, James had no way of knowing if the problem occurred within the datacenter or on the client side.

The Solution

After looking at a few other solutions, it became apparent that the products from Goliath Technologies used embedded intelligence and automation to easily, and without special configuration, provide the metrics and pre-emptive alerting he needed to anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent issues in his environment.

In the image below is what James uses as his NOC view to alert him to issues so he can see quickly what is wrong and where. The Goliath Automated Citrix Discovery and Dependency Map will identify the entire Citrix delivery infrastructure and draw a map of the environment.

At a glance, he could see issues as they occurred in real time and was able to troubleshoot them quickly. James explained, “There are many Citrix monitoring solutions on the market, however, after evaluating a number of products, it’s clear that Goliath offers the most comprehensive solution, hands down.”

Early Warning System to Prevent Remote Logon Issues

Additionally, James incorporated the Goliath Application Availability Monitor to give him advance warning of remote student logon issues.

Goliath’s Application Availability Monitor runs all the time ensuring Citrix delivered applications are accessible. James wanted to automate his job as much as possible, so he began using the Goliath Application Availability Monitor to test and ensure Citrix was always available without manual intervention unless there is an issue he is alerted to.

In the image below you can see he now has screenshot evidence to show that all systems are online or down. If there is an issue, he is alerted to issues in real time so he can troubleshoot prior to end users complaining.

James explains why he uses the Goliath Application Availability Monitor, “Monitoring each individual Citrix component is important, however, with so many components, just knowing each is working independently is not enough. A technology that logs on like a real Citrix user exercises the entire delivery infrastructure, which ensures all these components are talking to each other and any problems are detected before users find them.”

As St. Dominic’s continues to scale their solution, he is now able to roll out Citrix XenDesktop to 1,150 new users in 2019 with the confidence that he has a monitoring and troubleshooting solution that is purpose-built for Citrix that allows him to anticipate, troubleshoot and prevent Citrix end user experience issues from happening. He has now moved from reactive to proactive.

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