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 7.6 and NVIDIA GRID vGPU Cards.
“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 College
The Organization: St. Dominic’s Priory College
The Organization’s Infrastructure: Citrix XenDesktop 7.6, VMware vSphere, XenServer & NVIDIA GRID vGPU
Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath Performance Monitor, Goliath Application Availability Monitor for Citrix & Goliath Performance Monitor for NVIDIA GRID vGPU
The Challenge: Maintaining a Positive End User Experience in a Citrix, VMware & NVIDIA vGPU Environment
James Trevaskis, the IT Manager for St. Dominic’s Priory College, decided to use Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop 7.6 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.
James required a solution that was designed specifically for Citrix. He also needed the ability to be able to look back in time without limitations to help him understand what happened and to pinpoint the problem for troubleshooting.
After looking at a few other solutions, it became apparent that three products from Goliath Technologies had the ability to provide the metrics and support he needed to manage his environment.
After taking advantage of a free 30-day trial with support from Goliath’s Tech Team, James selected Goliath Performance Monitor to provide visibility into all key Citrix XenDesktop 7.6, NVIDIA GRID vGPU metrics, as well as the supporting infrastructure metrics.
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.”
Scaling & Automating the Process of Monitoring the End User Experience
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 automate Citrix user logons. With it, he now has screenshots confirming that all systems are online or down and is alerted to issues prior to end user complaints.
James explains why he uses the 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 full logon simulation is critical to ensuring all these components are talking to each other and any problems are detected before users find them.”
Goliath for NetScaler allowed James to immediately see if an issue is a result of an external network connection or in the data center.
“We evaluated a number of products and we decided on the whole Goliath product suite because their operating Citrix knowledge was evident during the course of the evaluation and that came through in their products features and functionality,” said James. He also explained that he made the decision in part because of the Support Team at Goliath. “The response time and knowledge of the support staff was the key to our decision.”
As St. Dominic’s continues to scale their solution, he is now able to rollout Citrix XenDesktop to 150 new users in 2016 with the confidence that he has a monitoring solution purpose-built for Citrix that allows him to Be Proactive.