Claymark is a timber processing company that specialises in sawmilling, remanufacturing and distributing high quality timber products throughout New Zealand, United States, Australia and Europe. Claymark’s IT operation is located in New Zealand and Citrix XenApp is used to centralize application and desktop access for users worldwide. Timbermart clients run on Citrix XenApp and access a Microsoft SQL database backend. Users also have access to Microsoft Office, IMS Payroll, Microsoft Dynamics, IDT time and attendance and Internet banking applications.
Since Claymark relies on its IT infrastructure for its operations, any non-availability or slowdown of the key applications affects Claymark’s operations. For example, movement of inventory, procuring new raw material, shipping goods to process orders and invoicing clients must all be done at the precise time to maximize operational efficiency and revenue for the company. Any slowdown in IT performance that affects these operations is business critical.
“Once eG Enterprise was deployed, we have been following a simple process. Any critical and major issue reported by eG Enterprise is investigated immediately and the problems resolved. Within weeks of initiating this process, the Citrix XenApp lock up issues have disappeared!” said Martin Savory, Group Systems Manager, Claymark.
Citrix performance and user experience management is a rapidly growing market. At eG Innovations, we provide a best of breed Citrix Ready product suite for unified XenApp, XenMobile, XenDesktop, and XenServer performance management. Many of the largest Citrix deployments in the world rely on eG Innovations solutions for proactive Citrix performance management and universal insight.
Visit us at Citrix Summit in Las Vegas this week (booth #500) to see the Citrix performance management solution in action. Explore partner opportunities to collaborate in the new year and see how we can help you deliver the best Citrix experience to your customers.
We look forward to seeing you at Citrix Summit in Las Vegas!
For years, the biggest complaint of Citrix admins has been that they get blamed for all user experience issues. Over all these years, this situation has not fundamentally changed. 53% of the respondents in our recent Citrix Performance Management Report face this issue regularly.
Two other observations are interesting:
(1) There is now increasing awareness for the need to be proactive. The second biggest challenge that our respondents faced is that users were noticing problems before admins did (49%). This points to an increasing need for better proactive performance management.
(2) Also of interest is the increasing need for a single dashboard across the Citrix tiers (46%). Citrix is no longer a single product company, and with the many products in the Citrix suite, customers are struggling to cope with the different administration and monitoring interfaces for each technology. Today, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, XenServer, Netscaler, XenMobile, ShareFile, VDI in a Box all have different administration and monitoring tool. Our respondents see an increasing need for unifying the monitoring, diagnosis and reporting of these technologies.
If these survey findings resonate with you, you might also enjoy this “It’s Not Citrix” poster – download it here.
eG Innovations today announced a major new release of eG Enterprise for performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting of business-critical IT infrastructures. The v6 release features a sleek new user interface, new customizable dashboards, advanced reports, a mobile application, and broader and deeper monitoring of applications, virtualization platforms and storage.
eG Enterprise v6 introduces new capabilities that make it faster and easier for customers to diagnose problems and manage their IT environment. eG Innovations will be demonstrating eG Enterprise v6 for the first time at VMworld in San Francisco in Booth # 2047 (come to the booth and see us).
“Monitoring IT performance across increasingly complex layers of infrastructure, then gaining visibility of the end-user experience of that performance remains a vexing challenge for enterprise IT,” said Dennis Callaghan, Senior Analyst at 451 Research. “The new features in eG Enterprise V6 are designed to meet this challenge head on.”
“Enterprise customers are looking for intuitive, total performance visibility across every layer and every tier,” adds Bala Vaidhinathan, CTO, eG Innovations. “To achieve this, they often have to use multiple diverse tools to monitor, diagnose and report on the entire infrastructure. eG Enterprise v6 provides different stakeholders customized dashboards and drilldowns that offer deeper and broader visibility end-to-end, across every layer and every tier of the service infrastructure. This allows enterprises to minimize the number of tools they have to use to determine the root-cause of problems. eG Enterprise v6 enables organizations to reduce operations costs, improve IT productivity and enhance end-user productivity and satisfaction.”
New in eG Enterprise v6:
One-View Dashboards: With the one-view dashboards, administrators do not have to traverse across multiple screens or tools. They can now get a simplified, aggregated overview of IT services through a single dashboard. The one view dashboards are fully customizable and provide custom views for the different stakeholders in an organization. Executives can view service demand and popularity, while IT managers can get a quick overview of the key service performance metrics. Service demand, resource consumption and service quality are all presented in the same dashboard so IT managers can make intelligent decisions and pre-empt issues that can impact the user experience.
Next-Gen User Interface: eG Enterprise v6 delivers a modern Web 2.0 interface providing enhanced ease-of-use, accessibility and personalization of the management console. This seamless interface allows administrators to manage their entire IT environment, whether it utilizes physical or virtual servers and private, hybrid or public clouds.
eG Mobile App: eG Enterprise v6 introduces a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Administrators can now track the performance of their key IT services from anywhere, at any time using their mobile and tablet.
AnyCloud Technology: eG Enterprise now delivers a consolidated way to manage the entire IT infrastructure, applications and users irrespective of the means and location of the delivery. The universal agent architecture and one-view dashboard provide a unified platform to manage a myriad set of cloud based services and technologies. Administrators have a clear way to demarcate between services delivered to the customer/user and the different types of infrastructure used to deliver it. They can easily keep track of the performance of their dynamically changing environments and the impact on service delivery, SLAs and user experience.
VDI Console for End-User Self-Service: With eG Enterprise v6, VDI administrators can configure and publish a console with virtual desktop session usage and performance metrics. This console empowers end-users, providing them the ability to perform basic diagnosis to determine what may be causing a slowdown during virtual desktop access – e.g., their network connectivity, bandwidth usage within their session, system resources used by the session, etc. This self-service console helps reduce user complaints to the help desk and thereby reduces support costs and enhances IT productivity.
Enhanced Desktop and Server Virtualization Monitoring: eG Enterprise includes enhanced Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V monitoring capabilities. V6 also extends eG Enterprise’s patented In-N-Out monitoring technology for servers using the Linux KVM hypervisor. For application virtualization and virtual desktop environments, eG Enterprise now includes powerful, new browser monitoring capabilities. Deeper visibility into user logons release to allow administrators to quickly identify and solve slow login issues is also part of the enhancements in this release.
The performance of virtual desktops depend on many factors – the connection broker that manages user sessions, the virtualization platform on which the desktops are hosted, the storage tier supporting the virtual desktops, the provisioning servers that stream the desktop operating system, the enterprise applications being accessed by users, the virtual desktops themselves and the user’s terminals and their connections to the data center where the virtual desktops are hosted. Virtual desktop administrators have complete control over the connection brokers, virtualization platform, provisioning servers, and storage, but they do not often have visibility into or control over the network connectivity from a user’s terminal to the virtual desktop or the applications running inside the virtual desktop.
Virtual Desktop Performance is Not Always Controlled by the VDI Administrator
The below two factors can have a significant impact on user experience and user confidence in the virtual desktop service.
Impact of poor network connectivity on virtual desktop performance: Many virtual desktop deployment scenarios involve users being in remote locations than the virtual desktops they access. For instance, many companies outsource key business processes offshore. In such cases, knowledge workers in countries like India and Philippines connect to virtual desktops over wide area networks. Congested WAN links can result in virtual desktop slowness being perceived by users. Even in flexwork situations, users working from home can be connecting over low bandwidth lines to their virtual desktops. In such situations, virtual desktop administrators cannot be held responsible for poor virtual desktop performance
Impact of virtual desktop applications on the user experience: Applications run by the user on a virtual desktop can also cause slowness. Many a times, the user is not even aware of such a situation. For instance, one of the applications launched on the desktop could have a memory leak, causing the desktop to become slower and slower over time. Another common occurrence is when users access non-corporate web sites from their browser. These web sites can trigger the execution of client-side scripts on the browser, taking up key CPU resources on the desktop.
Unfortunately, irrespective of whether the slowness is caused by the virtual desktop, the network tier, or within the virtual desktop infrastructure, the user complaint is that “the virtual desktop service is slow”. In such situations, administrators end up spending a lot of time and effort troubleshooting performance issues that are not within their control. Long problem diagnosis cycles also result in frustrated users.
eG’s End-User Performance Dashboard: Performance Visibility for End Users
eG Enterprise’s end-user performance dashboard provides end-users with key insights into the performance of their virtual desktops. From the dashboard, users can see the performance of the network connecting their terminal to the virtual desktop. They can also see the resource utilization within the virtual desktop and see what applications executing in the desktop are taking up resources.
The key benefit of the end user dashboard is that it empowers end-users to quickly diagnose if a performance problem is being caused in areas of the infrastructure that are within their control. If a performance problem is in the interconnecting network or in one of the applications the user has launched, the user can initiate corrective action (e.g., kill the offending process, contact the local network team, etc.) to alleviate the issue. This results in fewer complaints and trouble calls to the virtual desktop helpdesk and administrators. As a result, support costs are lower, users less frustrated and they have more confidence in the virtual desktop technology.
Some of the key questions that users can answer with the end-user dashboard and the corresponding actions they can take are indicated in the table below:
Questions a User can Answer with the End-User Virtual Desktop Dashboard
Action the User can Initiate
Is the network connectivity from the user’s terminal to the virtual desktop the cause of virtual desktop slowness?
Raise a complaint with the user’s local network team to resolve the issue. Try connecting from an alternative network if that is possible.
Is any application consuming excessive resources on the desktop (high CPU, high memory, lot of disk I/O) and thereby slowing performance for other applications?
Kill the offending application process or stop the application
Is there a memory/handle leak in one of the applications running in the desktop that could be causing slowness of the desktop?
Kill the offending application process or stop the application
Is there excessive traffic from the desktop – printer, audio, video, USB – that could be causing slowness during remote desktop access?
Stop all bandwidth-intensive operations (eg. Audio/video players) on the desktop.
With eG’s end-user dashboard, users do not have to have login access to the performance management system. Administrators can publish the dashboard for access to virtual desktop users. By entering his/her domain user name, a user can get to see the performance of his / her virtual desktop session. Historical performance can also be observed for all key metrics.
Real-World Experience: User self-service lowers Virtual Desktop Support Costs
Our customers have observed that with basic training, end users are able to learn how to do a first level triage to see if the problem is in their network or in their virtual desktop. They can contact the virtual desktop team only if the problem is neither in their network nor in their virtual desktop. This way, the end user dashboard allows enterprises deploying virtual desktops to:
Reduce the volume of helpdesk calls;
Have their key VDI experts spend time troubleshooting issues that lie in domains that they control;
Resolve virtual desktop performance issues at the earliest (since problems are directed to the right domains);
Build confidence in the user community about the technology.
Join hundreds of Citrix professionals like you who have already registered for the eG Innovations live demonstration “Citrix XenApp Performance Monitoring Made Fast & Easy” (on Tuesday, June 10th at 11am ET | 8am PT | 4pm UK | 5pm CET) to learn how to accelerate and simplify performance monitoring for their Citrix environment.
End users expect virtualized Citrix XenApp application delivery to be as fast and reliable as their physical desktop experience. When performance slowdowns occur, users expect IT operations to fix the problem – immediately. But in reality, most IT administrators are challenged to identify and then repair the root cause of a slowdown in a timely manner: Is it Citrix? Is it the application? Is it the VMware/Hyper-V virtualization layer? Is it the network or the storage? Where to begin, and what metrics can you trust?
Join virtualization expert Bala Vaidhinathan (CTO, eG Innovations) and watch a live solution demonstration of eG Enterprise and see how to:
Get the most powerful analytics, reporting and auto-diagnosis for intelligent performance management
Dramatically accelerate the discovery, diagnosis, and resolution of Citrix service performance issues
Achieve 360-degree visibility of the entire service infrastructure even beyond the Citrix tiers
Pinpoint and repair performance abnormalities even before users notice
Ensure maximum ROI by right-sizing your XenApp infrastructure using powerful reporting & analytics
Date & Time: Tuesday, June 10th at 11am ET | 8am PT | 4pm UK | 5pm CET
We asked the webinar attendees about their most pressing performance challenges regarding migration of Citrix and Desktop environments, and here are the results:
With over 80 percent of responses, user experience is by far the number one concern. And whether you are migrating from Citrix XenApp 4.5 to 6.5 or from 6.5 to 7.5, or you are virtualizing your desktops as part of your Windows XP to Windows 7/8 migration project, performance is obviously a key priority. Users will expect the same or better performance after the migration as they had before the migration. When performance problems occur, the migration project is always blamed first.
Watch the webinar now to learn about the latest best practices for making your Citrix and desktop migrations successful:
Transform your Citrix and desktop environments successfully without project delays or cost overruns
Deliver superior end-user experience, simplify management, and reduce cost – before, during and after migration
Assure user satisfaction by pre-emptively detecting and resolving performance issues – before users are impacted
Utilize next-gen management solutions to accelerate troubleshooting and identify the true root-cause of problems (is it the Network? Database? Application? Citrix? Virtual platform? Storage?)
Ensure maximum ROI by right-sizing IT infrastructure using powerful analytics & reporting
You can also download the webinar presentation on SlideShare.