Citrix EdgeSight for Monitoring is End of Life – How to Monitor XenApp and XenDesktop
As you might know Citrix discontinued their Citrix EdgeSight for Load Testing (ESLT) solution back in 2013. Citrix recently also announced that the monitoring solution EdgeSight for XenApp, XenDesktop or Endpoints will no longer be maintained and that end of life is approaching soon (see this page for the specific dates). Many of our customers use Citrix EdgeSight to monitor and receive performance metrics of their XenApp or XenDesktop environment. If you take your performance seriously, you should definitely continue to monitor your Citrix environment and that is why many of our customers are looking for a good alternative.
In recent versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, Citrix offers an alternative for EdgeSight, named Citrix Director. While Citrix Director 7 for XenDesktop offers a great real-time web tool for the Help Desk or Level 1 Call Center Agent, there will be limited data available for the lower versioned VDAs (XenDesktop 5.6 and below).
|Citrix EdgeSight||Citrix Director||Login PI|
|XenApp/XenDesktop 6 Support||Y||N||Y|
|XenApp/XenDesktop 7 Support||N||Y||Y|
Another big downside of Citrix Director is its licensing. To be able to use this functionality comfortably a Citrix Platinum license is required (or you lose your data after 7 days), this could potentially be very expensive if you have to justify the extra expense only for monitoring purposes.
Other monitoring solutions for Citrix that might be a good fit for your organization include eG Innovations, Lakeside Software, ControlUp, Liquidware Labs, Aternity and many more.
Login PI – not yet another monitoring tool
In 2013, Citrix already recommended Login VSI as the alternative for the load-testing component of Citrix EdgeSight. For those of you that are now also looking for an alternative to Citrix EdgeSight for Monitoring, we have some good news! In April 2015 we introduced Login PI, a pro-active monitoring solution for VDI and XenApp / Microsoft RDS environments.
The exciting thing about Login PI is that it is not yet another monitoring solution that just collects metrics like CPU and memory, but instead it simulates virtual users that constantly open apps and performs tasks to report on application response times from and end-user point of view (in a nutshell). If something goes wrong in your environment, you will receive an alert from Login PI before your real users start complaining.
So how do Login VSI and Login PI work together in your Citrix environment? Let me introduce you to the VDI Citrix Lifecycle to deliver the best user experience in six easy steps:
Step 1: Test and Validate
Every new update in your Citrix environment can have a big impact on your performance. That’s why every change is first tested by simulating virtual users with Login VSI to determine the impact on performance and capacity (also known as VSImax).
Step 2: Compare to Current Situation
Based on these objective test results, you can compare the impact of the change to the current situation. Can I support the same amount of users, less or even more?
Step 3: Deploy with Confidence
This allows you to make the right decisions and avoid Citrix performance issues. Do I deploy this change to production now or do I need to tune something first? Maybe I should add more hardware capacity?
Step 4: Monitor
In production, you will use Login PI. As mentioned, Login PI is not your average monitoring solution but simulates real users that perform real tasks to continuously report on application response times. This will allow you to monitor your Citrix environment from the end user’s perspective.
Step 5: Identify
If something goes wrong in your XenApp or XenDesktop environment and the response times reach a certain threshold, Login PI will immediately send an alert to the system administrator (even before your real end-users start noticing that there is an issue).
Step 6: Report
Based on historical data collected by Login PI you can determine if this degrade in performance is a one-time occurrence or a recurring issue. Do you have to worry or is this just because of a login storm that happens every day after lunch?
Back to step 1
After verifying with Login PI that something is wrong, you will need to make changes to fix issues in your Citrix environment. This is where you will move back to step one again to test and validate the impact of this specific change. This continuous process of combining load testing and monitoring enables you to manage the impact of every change and to make sure that your Citrix users continue to have a good user experience.