The Organization: Social Network with over 2 Billion Users and 50 Global Offices
The Infrastructure: Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, VMware vSphere
The Business Challenge: Isolate Root Cause and Reduce End User Complaints
The social network’s IT operations team needed to reduce Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop end user complaints resulting from slow Citrix session performance. The problems stemmed from their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment after upgrading from Ctirix XenApp 6.5. For context, they have 50+ VMware vSphere hosts supporting their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment and over 15,000 end users in their Citrix XenApp and new XenDesktop environment. Having such a large client base and geographically dispersed offices made Citrix monitoring and Citrix troubleshooting extremely important.
Solution: Embedded Intelligence and Automation
Utlizing Goliath’s Citrix troubleshooting tools that have the intelligence to automatically look for over 250 conditions, events and failure points, the IT team was able to isolate the root cause and troubleshoot Citrix sessions that were slow. In addition, with the Citrix monitoring functionality they were able to be proactively alerted to impending issues so they can react and solve problems before end users complain.
The IT team was able to accomplish this by following a few simple steps while also working together with the Goliath Technical Team.
Step 1: Deploy the Goliath Intelligent Agent
First they brought their new Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 environment through Goliath’s ‘First Time Run Wizard’ using Goliath’s API’s for Citrix. Once the Citrix infrastructure was listed in the inventory, they deployed the Goliath Intelligent Agent.
This started the process of proactive Citrix monitoring and the first step in Citrix troubleshooting. The ‘Intelligent Agent’ gets its name because of some of its unique features:
- 1.5 MB on disk
- No reboot is required
- Uses less that 0.1% CPU
- About 50 to 80 MB RAM
Step 2: Analyze Session Performance & Drill Down into the Citrix HDX Channel
To start analyzing the social network’s Citrix session performance and drill down into the Citrix ICA/HDX breakdown, the organization went to the XenApp/XenDesktop Session Display in Goliath Performance Monitor.
From this display, you can view current and historical Citrix sessions and see metrics like:
- Citrix Logon Duration
- Citrix Connection Times
- Citrix HDX Latency
- Citrix Client Versions
Citrix ICA/HDX latency is a great indicator of session slowness. Because that was the organization’s main concern, they sorted this display by clicking the ‘HDX Latency’ header to bring the sessions with the high ICA/HDX latency to the top of the screen, as depicted in the screen shot below.
From here, the IT team was then able to troubleshoot Citrix quickly by clicking into the Citrix sessions with high Citrix HDX Latency and view information in regards to the overall Citrix Session performance and Citrix HDX Channel performance. In the screenshot below, you can see that for multiple sessions the Citrix HDX latency was directly correlating to the Network latency.
The team identified this as being the root cause of the poor performance, as well as being able to provide tangible proof to share with management and the networking team that Citrix was not the problem. They continued to drill into the Citrix HDX Channel, Server and Application Performance as well to provide additional proof that those components were not causing any issues as seen below.
Overall, having visibility into the Citrix session performance was hugely impactful in the course of troubleshooting Citrix. Since implementing Goliath’s technology, they have been able to identify multiple areas that were causing high Citrix HDX Latency. They have also implemented alerting and reporting around Citrix HDX Latency.
The Summary: Utilizing Goliath’s Citrix Troubleshooting Tools to Isolate the Root Cause of High HDX Latency
The social network’s IT Operations team needed to reduce Citrix end user complaints resulting from application and server issues, specifically with slow Citrix session performance. Utilizing Goliath’s Citrix Troubleshooting tools, the IT team was able to isolate the root cause and troubleshoot Citrix sessions that were slow. They did this through Goliath’s XenApp/XenDesktop Session Display and filtered for high HDX latency numbers. From there, they implemented alerting and reporting around Citrix HDX Latency so that the same problems would be prevented in the future or were caught by the team before their end users ever knew.
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