Running Well: IT Problems in the News


IT-problems-in-the-news-performance-managementLast week’s news put a bright spotlight on how much impact IT professionals have on our world. Unfortunately, it’s the bad news that gets the headlines, from a configuration error at NYSE down to a single router “glitch” for United Airlines, but there is a positive side to the unfortunate delays and lost productivity from the past few days. These outages, whose negative impact was thankfully limited, have given many outside of the IT world a brief, visceral understanding of all the work that goes into the interdependent, global technology ecosystem we live in. Inside companies around the globe, executives may have taken an extra moment last week to appreciate the solid IT pros THEY have on the job, keeping their business running, and running well.

Here at eG Innovations, we live and breathe IT performance, because this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, for our clients. The driving goal behind our unified performance solution, with specific emphasis on Citrix monitoring, Java application monitoring, SAP monitoring and others, is to provide you with immediately actionable information about slow-downs and outages throughout your network, beyond just data and metrics. While most of our customers focus on preventative and proactive performance management, we’d like to throw in a mention that our Correlative Intelligence engine is a time-tested technology for dramatically reducing MTTR when outages do occur.

To learn more, below is a link to what our customers say about how our eG Enterprise technology helps them keep their IT engines running, and running well: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/usersurvey.htm

Citrix XenDesktop Performance Management – Optimizing VDI User Experience While Enhancing IT Productivity and ROI


eG-EnterpriseWe would like to invite you to join the upcoming eG Innovations live demonstration Citrix XenDesktop Performance Management – Optimizing VDI User Experience While Enhancing IT Productivity and ROI on August 21, 2014 at 2pm ET | 1pm CT | 11am PT | 7pm UK | 8pm CET.

See first-hand how to address performance-related challenges in your business-critical VDI environment. Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/916239343

Desktop virtualization expert Bala Vaidhinathan (CTO, eG Innovations) will demonstrate how eG Enterprise helps you manage your virtual desktop environment to:

  • Proactively identify and diagnose the root cause of issues and resolve them before users notice
  • Rapidly resolve user complaints such as “my desktop is slow” with automated identification of bottlenecks and their root cause
  • Achieve real-time oversight and performance management to meet SLA and performance objectives
  • Gain a holistic end-to-end view of the virtual desktop infrastructure, understand usage trends and bottlenecks and plan effectively for growth
  • Customize real-time dashboards and create targeted reports to deliver timely, concise information that is relevant and valuable to each technical and management team member

Register Now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/916239343

Title:  Citrix XenDesktop Performance Management – Optimizing VDI User Experience While Enhancing IT Productivity and ROI

Date:  August 21, 2014 at 2pm ET | 1pm CT | 11am PT | 7pm UK | 8pm CET

Presenters: Bala Vaidhinathan (CTO, eG Innovations), Holger Schulze (VP Marketing, eG Innovations)

 

We look forward to seeing you online!

Monitoring Anything Citrix


The Citrix Journey – From Access to Mobility 

eG Innovations has been a Citrix partner since 2003. Those were the days when Citrix’s messaging was around “access”. Thin client computing and then server-based computing were the hot topics. Discussions around the efficiency of RDP and ICA ruled and Citrix Resource Manager was the best way to monitor a Citrix server. What was then Citrix MetaFrame soon became Citrix Presentation Server and is now Citrix XenApp.

Citrix in the early days
Citrix in the early days

Citrix and the industry have come a long way since then. No longer is Citrix a single product company. We have hosted virtual desktops provisioned through Citrix XenDesktop. Citrix StoreFront provides a customizable web front-end to access applications. Rather than dealing with individual server instances, one can now rely on Citrix Provisioning Services to stream the operating system. Licensing is now centrally handled by a Citrix License server. And virtualization has become the norm with Citrix XenServer being one of the hypervisor choices. To optimize remote access, Citrix Netscaler now plays a key role. All security, load balancing, tunneling and other networking features are centralized in Netscaler.

To provide access through mobile devices, Citrix XenMobile Mobile Device Manager (MDM) plays an important role. Enterprise storage can now be managed using Citrix Sharefile, with the data being stored entirely in the cloud, or on premise on storage zones. And with the latest release Citrix XenApp 7.5, customers can even spin up XenApp instances in the cloud, on demand. The Citrix CloudPlatform allows customers to provision applications and desktops in the cloud.

Use cases of Citrix solutions
Use cases of Citrix solutions

The use cases of Citrix technologies are also many. Bring your own device (BYOD), Flexwork, remote partner access to sensitive data in a secure manner, call center transformation to lower costs, corporate access from anywhere at any time, desktop replacement initiatives, etc., are some of the popular initiatives where organizations are using Citrix technologies.

Performance Management a Key to Citrix Success

For these initiatives, performance is the key success factor. Users of virtual desktops or virtual applications expect the same performance as they had with physical desktops or applications. As you had seen earlier, the Citrix part of the IT infrastructure itself has many many components, not to mention the other third party dependencies (e.g., profile management, Active Directory, storage, etc.). For Citrix deployment success, every piece of the infrastructure has to work fine. This is where the need for a total Citrix performance management solution comes in.

eG Enterprise monitors anything Citrix
eG Enterprise monitors anything Citrix

The eG Enterprise performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting solution from eG Innovations has the broadest coverage in the industry for Citrix technologies. From a web browser, you can monitor and manage every tier of the Citrix infrastructure from a single dashboard. To learn more, please visit our web site – http://www.eginnovations.com.

If you are going to be at Citrix Synergy in a couple of weeks’ time, please visit us at Booth 412. At the show, we will be demonstrating our technologies for monitoring anything Citrix!

New Webinar: Performance Monitoring Best Practices for Citrix XenDesktop 7


XenDesktop7We would like to invite you to the upcoming live webinar “Performance Monitoring Best Practices for Citrix XenDesktop 7 – How to Complement Citrix Director & EdgeSight to Achieve Desktop Virtualization Success” on February 13 at 2 pm ET | 1 pm CT | 11 am PT | 7 pm UK and 8 pm CET Netherlands.

Register now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/909323151

Citrix XenDesktop 7 represents a radical change in the desktop virtualization space, providing a unified solution for delivery of virtual desktops and applications on demand. But is the best virtual desktop platform alone sufficient to guarantee desktop virtualization success? Attend this webinar to learn about next-gen performance monitoring best practices that you need to put in place to get the most out of your XenDesktop 7 investments and reliably deliver virtual desktops to more users and without glitches or cost/time overruns.

Join desktop virtualization expert Srinivas Ramanathan (CEO, eG Innovations) and learn how to:

  • Deliver superior end-user experience, simplify management, and reduce total cost of ownership of Citrix XenDesktop 7 virtual desktop environments
  • Utilize next-gen management solutions that complement Citrix Director/EdgeSight to accelerate troubleshooting
  • Boost user productivity by means of powerful analytics and reporting, deep performance visibility, and auto-correlated diagnosis – across every layer, every tier of the XenDesktop 7 infrastructure
  • Assure virtual desktop user satisfaction by pre-emptively detecting and resolving performance issues – before users notice
  • Ensure maximum ROI by right-sizing your XenDesktop 7 infrastructure using powerful reporting & analytics

WEBINAR DETAILS

Webinar Title: “Performance Monitoring Best Practices for Citrix XenDesktop 7 – How to Complement Citrix Director & EdgeSight to Achieve Desktop Virtualization Success”

Registration: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/909323151   (hurry, seats are limited)

Date & Time: February 13 at 2 pm ET | 1 pm CT | 11 am PT | 7 pm UK | 8 pm CET Netherlands
(Can’t join the live webinar? Register anyway and we will send you the webinar slides and recording after the live webinar.)

Presenter: Srinivas Ramanathan (CEO, eG Innovations Inc.)

Target Audience: Citrix architects, IT Operations managers (network, database, application and desktop teams), Helpdesk/Support personnel, CIOs.

We look forward to seeing you online!

eG Enterprise Performance Monitoring, Diagnosis and Reporting Solution Verified as Citrix Ready for XenDesktop 7


Citrix Ready BadgeeG Innovations today announced that its flagship performance monitoring solution eG Enterprise has been verified by Citrix as Citrix Ready® for XenDesktop® 7. eG Enterprise makes it easy for enterprises and service providers to deliver superior end-user experience, simplify management and reduce total cost of ownership of Citrix XenDesktop 7 virtual desktop environments.

Bala Vaidhinathan, CTO, eG Innovations said, “Citrix XenDesktop 7 is a new, award winning, unified solution for virtual desktop delivery and apps on demand. For desktop transformation success, customers need to augment the best virtual desktop platform with management solutions and processes that will enable them to deliver on the promise of desktop virtualization. eG Enterprise for Citrix XenDesktop 7 provides a total management solution that addresses the performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting needs of enterprises deploying virtual desktops and applications.”

Key eG Enterprise capabilities for Citrix XenDesktop 7 include:

  • Complete, 360-degree performance visibility into the Citrix stack, enabling Citrix administrators to monitor the different Citrix tiers from a single pane of glass. This includes in-depth performance monitoring for XenDesktop, Citrix Netscaler®, Citrix XenServer® and Citrix CloudBridge®.
  • Deep diagnosis and drill down views inside the virtual desktops allow Citrix administrators to identify the exact cause of a performance slowdown and to initiate remedial action.
  • Easy to analyze Citrix XenDesktop service topology views allow helpdesk staff to quickly identify which tier of the infrastructure could be affecting the user experience (e.g., network? database? application? virtualization platform? storage?).
  • Automated, virtualization-aware problem diagnosis allows desktop service managers to accelerate the discovery, diagnosis and resolution of bottlenecks that impact user experience.
  • Powerful historical and trend reporting and forecasting enable Citrix architects to identify how to right-size and optimize the Citrix infrastructure to get more out of their investments in XenDesktop 7 technology and ensure maximum ROI.

“eG Enterprise has achieved Citrix Ready for XenDesktop 7, confirming that eG Innovations’ product is compatible and trusted to work with Citrix technologies,” said Greg Fox, Director of Citrix Ready, Citrix. “eG Innovations provides Citrix users with the power they need to better understand, measure and monitor their environment, thereby enhancing end-user productivity and maximizing the ROI of their Citrix infrastructure and providing customers with the added confidence in the compatibility of their product.”

“eG Innovations certification on XenDesktop 7 will dramatically enhance the value of the virtualization and cloud solutions we deliver. We consider eG Innovations solutions a critical component to our XenDesktop 7 deployments. eG Innovations certification on XenDesktop 7 enables our clients to achieve visibility across their entire IT environment (not just Citrix), achieve faster desktop transformations, and attain a superior user experience,” said Paul Kunze, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, IntraSystems, Inc., a leading Citrix Platinum Solution Advisor based in Boston, MA.

“eG Enterprise continues to support prior versions of Citrix XenApp® and XenDesktop, so customers can use eG Enterprise as a common monitoring, reporting and diagnosis platform for both their next generation and their current Citrix infrastructures,” said Vaidhinathan. Licensed per XenDesktop instance, or based on the number of users, eG Enterprise scales equally well for large as well as small Citrix enterprise customers. Citrix service providers too can benefit from eG Enterprise’s multi-tenant capabilities to offer performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting as a pay-per-use service to their clients.

For more information visit: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/xendesktop7-performance-monitoring.htm

VDI Performance Assurance: How to Deliver Virtual Desktop Success


Desktop virtualization is a hot topic. In fact, a recent IDC study showed that 45 percent of CIOs polled indicated that virtualization of the desktop is their number one concern and interest in 2012. But despite the interest and many attempts at deployment, many VDI rollouts fail due to performance and user experience issues. Why?

As organizations move from VDI test and pilot stages to production, they are realizing that the “traditional” approach of treating performance as an afterthought and addressing it in a reactive fashion does not scale. Too often, performance issues surprise VDI project owners during and after rollout, when everything worked just fine during the (often over-provisioned and less complex) pilot.

Focus on the Desktop Often Neglects Backend Infrastructure
Very often, when an enterprise starts on the virtual desktop journey, the focus is on the user desktop. This is only natural; after all, it is the desktop that is moving ‒ from being on a physical system to a virtual machine. Therefore, once a decision to try out VDI is made, the primary focus is to benchmark the performance of physical desktops, model their usage, predict the virtualized user experience and, based on the results, determine which desktops can be virtualized and which can’t. This is what many people refer to as VDI assessment.

One of the fundamental changes with VDI is that the desktops no longer have dedicated resources. They share the resources of the physical machine on which they are hosted and they may even be using a common storage subsystem. While resource sharing provides several benefits, it also introduces new complications. A single malfunctioning desktop can drain resources to the point that it impacts the performance of all the other desktops.

Whereas in the physical world, the impact of a failure or a slowdown was minimal (if a physical desktop failed, it would impact only one user), the impact of failure or slowdown in the virtual world is much more severe (one failure can impact hundreds of desktops). Therefore, even in the VDI assessment phase, it is important to take performance considerations into account and to assess and optimize the entire backend infrastructure supporting virtual desktops.

Consider Performance Assurance Early
In fact, performance has to be considered at every stage of the VDI lifecycle because it is fundamental to the success or failure of the VDI rollout. The new types of inter-desktop dependencies that exist in VDI have to be accounted for at every stage. For example, in many of the early VDI deployments, administrators found that when they just migrated the physical desktops to VDI, backups or antivirus software became a problem. These software components were scheduled to run at the same time on all the desktops. When the desktops were physical, it didn’t matter, because each desktop had dedicated hardware. With VDI, the synchronized demand for resources from all the desktops severely impacted the performance of the virtual desktops. This was not something that was anticipated because the focus of most designs and plans was on the individual desktops.

Understanding the performance requirements of desktops may also help plan the virtual desktop infrastructure more efficiently. For example, known heavy CPU-using desktop users can be load balanced across servers. Likewise, by planning to assign a good mix of CPU intensive and memory intensive user desktops to a physical server, it is possible to get optimal usage of the existing hardware resources.

Lessons from Server Virtualization
Taking this discussion one step further, it is interesting to draw a parallel with how server virtualization evolved and to see what lessons we can learn as far as VDI is concerned. A lot of the emphasis in the early days was on determining which applications could be virtualized and which ones could not. Today, server virtualization technology has evolved to a point where there are more virtual machines being deployed in a year than physical machines, and almost every application server (except very old legacy ones) are virtualized fairly well. You no longer hear anyone asking whether an application server can be virtualized or not. From focusing on the hypervisor, virtualization vendors have realized that performance and manageability are key to the success of server virtualization deployments.

Table above: Lessons that enterprises deploying VDI can learn from the server virtualization experience of the past

VDI deployments could be done more rapidly and more successfully if we learn our lessons from how server virtualization evolved. VDI assessment needs to expand its focus from the desktop alone to the entire infrastructure. Attention during VDI rollouts has to be paid to performance management and assurance. To avoid a lot of rework and problem remediation down the line, performance assurance must be considered early on in the process and at every stage. This is key to getting VDI deployed on a bigger scale and faster, with great return on investment (ROI).

Managing VDI Performance Issues – Best Practices
When VDI performance issues show up, how do you solve them without just throwing more hardware at the problem, killing budgets as well as return on investment (ROI)? When a user calls IT about slow applications, how do you pinpoint the true service performance bottleneck? Is it the network? The profile server? The web? The desktop virtualization platform? Storage?

Some of these issues can be addressed if we look at the lessons learned from server virtualization. Below are some best practices, insight and predictions for VDI deployment success:

Avoid costly issues and remediation downstream – Performance assurance processes affecting the VDI infrastructure need to be built in early in order to avoid costly issues and re-mediation downstream, and to mitigate the risk of VDI failure during deployment. When deploying VDI on a large scale, it is key to avoid slow, manual ad-hoc processes that impact performance. It is imperative that IT considers inter-desktop dependencies from the very beginning.

Move beyond the silo – Today, service delivery is more demanding than ever. Companies require 360-degree VDI service visibility with virtualization-aware performance correlation across every layer and every tier ‒ from desktops to applications and from network to storage. Administrators need deep insights into the causes of VDI service performance issues in order to detect and fix root-cause problems. It is no longer useful to monitor individual silos because of the complexity of today’s infrastructures. There are just too many opportunities for problems.

Engage in Best Practices – Monitor VDI performance, not silos; right-size for ROI; engage in preemptive detection and alerting; monitor users, not only VMs; and have deep visibility into sessions. It is best to approach VDI from this perspective in order to get more return out of VDI investments.

The key to a successful VDI deployment is the ability to automate monitoring and management of the entire VDI service across every tier of the infrastructure stack – from the underlying hardware, network and storage, to the virtualization platform and self service front-end applications. If that end-to-end automated approach is taken, user performance issues can be diagnosed and fixed more rapidly with fewer resources – and even proactively, before users notice.

For more information on how to ensure VDI performance, visit http://www.eginnovations.com

Performance Management Challenges in Virtual Desktop Infrastructures – Webinar


Join eG Innovations, The 451 Group, and Computer Sciences Corporation for this webinar next week – Nov 4th 2010, 12 noon to 1pm ET. Details of the webinar are available here >>> If you have deployed or are deploying VDI, be sure to sign up!