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How to Proactively Monitor Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

JimmyAugustine ‎09-20-2012 01:46 PM - edited ‎06-09-2015 03:28 PM

This blog was authored by Rotem Steuer, my esteemed colleague from HP Research & Development.



XenApp & XenDesktop Application Performance Monitoring

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop allow – via the usage of the Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol - remote activation of the application. This activation may be considered as an advanced form of the known windows remote desktop without the known windows remote desktop limitations and with the ability to activate only a single application in a remote manner (though the Remote Application may also be the entire “Desktop”).


The Following Diagram Illustrates a typical Citrix XenApp deployment:




As we can see – real users interact directly with the XenApp and XenDesktop Servers with the remote application activation. The use of HP RUM allows organizations to monitor those sessions and even view the monitoring in aggregation groups of Application and User names.


The Following Screen shot illustrates:




With the use of HP RUM we can identify Application Activation problems related to the XenApp Servers, specifically:

-       Remote Application latency

-       Specific users (and users groups) response time issues

-       Availability which relate to remote application or to specific user / user group


Monitoring a Web Application on top of XenApp & XenDesktop Solutions

A common use case scenario is accessing a web application via the use of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Remote Browser (or a Browser) Application.

This scenario is popular since it provides IT with a single point of management in the aspects of Security, customization of browser plug ins (.net  / jvm / active versions) – and web application configuration (proxy, url etc).


The Following diagram illustrates adding a Web Application to Citrix XenApp:




However, since the XenServer performs the actual access to the Web Server  we cannot distinguish which web application action was performed by which real user.

For example, according to the above diagram if user 1 (with client ip performs actions on the web application and if at the same time user 2 (with client ip perform actions on the same web application naive monitoring of the web application will discover a single user (with client ip
which perform several actions on the same web server.


Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop  now introduces challenges to Web Monitoring that must be addressed in application performance monitoring.  For example  we can no longer identify a problem which relate to an end user group like  bad performance to specific geographic location and/or lack of permission to specific end user group.


HP RUM  Citrix monitoring solutions enable organizations  to track down real user login name and Client IP even if the actual monitored application is a web application activated by XenApp / XenDesktop.


The Following screen shot illustrates how HP RUM can help monitor Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop web applications:



About the Author


Jimmy Augustine is Director of Product Marketing within HP Software and leads the HP Application Performance Management and Configuration Management System product marketing teams. JImmy has been with HP for over a year. Prior to HP, Jimmy was VP of Marketing for ASG Software Solutions. Prior to joining ASG, Jimmy was at IBM for ten years. He was a marketing manager for IBM's Outsourcing business, the market leader, and helped launch IBM's market leading web hosting business. Jimmy holds an M.S. in industrial engineering and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida. Jimmy resides in Naples, FL with his wife and two children.

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