The Goliath Application Availability Monitor is an industry-first software that provides organizations of all sizes with an early warning system, alerting IT administrators of access and performance issues with business-critical applications before their end users ever attempt to logon.
IT professionals everywhere can now receive customizable alert notifications and warnings to exact failure points in the workflow for desktop virtualization platforms like Citrix, VMware or RDS. To proactively monitor the availability of Citrix XenApp & Xen Desktop, VMware Horizon View, and Microsoft RDS effectively, the Application Availability Monitor must confirm that the applications will be available and that the entire delivery infrastructure and workflow are executing properly. This is all made possible by the Goliath Virtual User – a small-footprint technology that automates the process of logging on to Citrix/VMware Horizon/RDS to confirm application availability, and that the workflow is operating properly. The Goliath Virtual User is deployed on-premises or remotely (wherever end users are located), automatically logs on like a real user to confirm applications will launch and is configured exactly like a real user with the same permissions within Active Directory.
Below is a depiction of the Goliath Virtual User in action – automatically initiating a connection to the application and in doing so confirming that the entire application delivery infrastructure and workflow are working properly to launch applications:
When each phase of the logon process for Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View or Microsoft RDS is executed by the Application Availability Monitor, a screenshot is taken to provide visual evidence and objective proof of logon success or logon failure. This allows IT administrators to see the potential impact that typically elusive items like disclaimers, error messages, secondary authentication, and multiple launch sequences may have on the outcomes of the logon process. This provides objective evidence of the root cause of the logon issue that can be shared with management, vendors, and counterparts to end finger pointing and put permanent fix actions in place.
As illustrated below, you can quickly drill down to investigate failures right from the application availability dashboard by clicking on the magnifying glass. In just three steps, you can then see where the logon issues occurred during the logon process and what the issue was:
- In this case, failure occurred at the launch stage (marked by the ‘1’)
- The screenshot (2) proves that the application failed to launch and shows the root cause of the Citrix workflow and application launch failure as being the result of a licensing problem
- By navigating to the “Details” or “Analytics” section (3), we can see that the launch failed at the point of verifying that Internet Explorer launched
Scheduling and Automation
Unlike other technologies, the Goliath Application Availability Monitor has built-in logon scheduling functionality. This provides an easy to use, templated approach to constructing launch sequences. This gets you scheduled in minutes – not hours – without the need for custom scripting or recording sequences. The Application Availability Monitor can be scheduled to run automatically and continuously across multiple applications, determining logon performance across different locations and/or different types of users as needed. For example, it can run throughout the day so your IT staff will know immediately if/where there is a problem and at which stage of the process the problem is occurring. Launches can be scheduled to execute, for example, before Doctors or Nurses start their shift so that healthcare IT can be alerted to issues before these end users feel the impact of an application/desktop performance issue.
Below is an example of the scheduling display showing the ease of setup and the frequency of launches throughout the day:
Alert notifications can be sent immediately if a validation of the workflow fails by email, SNMP, SYSLOG, or to the customer’s ticketing or enterprise monitoring solution. This allows critical uptime and availability information to be delivered prior to end users knowing there is a problem.
Below is an example of the alert notification feature within the scheduling display:
The Application Availability Monitor can be deployed however you desire. You can deploy it on-premises or in the cloud to identify individual, site or geographic application availability issues. Because the logon attempts can be scheduled and remotely deployed, it can be strategically positioned at the location users sign in from to provide visual proof regarding logon success, logon failure or logon slowness from the user’s unique access location. This way, IT admins can diagnose whether issues are location specific or global in nature, providing the help desk with relevant data regarding availability and performance.
This is an illustration of how a deployment is configured for ten remote locations that logon daily to centralized applications hosted in the internal cloud.
There is also an integrated remediation engine within the Goliath Application Availability Monitor. The remediation engine is customizable; however, it comes with a large number of prebuilt rules geared toward quick, automated resolution and prevention of further issues or complications. For example, a XenApp server could be set into maintenance mode to prevent future failed logon attempts, or key dependencies on role servers could be checked to automate the investigation process.
Below is a screenshot of the remediation feature within the scheduling display:
Integration with Goliath Performance Monitoring
The Goliath Application Availability Monitor is also fully integrated into the Goliath Performance Monitor. As a result, IT professionals not only can identify application availability issues but also the root cause. Other technologies called “logon simulators” may be able to simply ‘identify’ a logon failure, but without full integration into an enterprise monitoring product, there is no way of identifying why a performance issue occurred. If applications are being monitored individually, they are being gauged separately and may look fine. It is only when executing the fully integrated launch process by multiple users – including remote access, application/desktop availability and the delivery infrastructure – that you not only trigger issues but see contextual, objective evidence of where the root cause of these issues is actually sourced.
Goliath’s Application Availability Monitor is the only solution available today that proactively gauges logon performance by exercising the entire delivery infrastructure in concert exactly as an end user does. The Goliath Virtual User can do this over the same network using the same profile permissions/setup as the actual end user. The result is an advanced warning system that accurately reports issues, empowering administrators to identify and resolve end user experience issues related to logon initiation and logon duration before productivity is hindered.
The technology can deliver these capabilities through proactive, real-time threshold-based alerts, the live dashboard, detailed drill-downs/screenshots for logon process analysis and rich historical reporting.
Those features, combined with a fast and simple process for deployment, configuration and operation allow organizations to preemptively identify issues before users are impacted. It also enables them to identify where the issue is occurring, pinpoint the root cause and collaborate toward resolution faster than ever before.
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