Supercharge EUX with Login Enterprise and Citrix Analytics
September 5, 2023
“You can’t improve what you can’t measure,” said Peter Drucker, world-renowned management consultant. Data and analytics have seen an increasing emphasis for many organizations across industries.
Yet, data is not inherently valuable—a hard lesson many are learning due to information overload. Rather than the data itself, it is the actionable insights found within the data that are critical to success.
This holds for every industry and every organization, including end-user computing. The traditional approach has been to monitor system health and performance indicators, an invaluable lens into the end-user experience. However, when users face issues, they do not mention processor interrupts or IOPS. Users are less concerned with why and more concerned with what.
A user is more likely to tell the help desk that they can’t log in or “everything I do is taking twice as long as it did yesterday” than they are to cite Windows performance counters.
The Power of Combining Login Enterprise and Citrix Analytics
There are inherent differences between the two platforms: Login Enterprise is a synthetics-based platform used throughout the lifecycle of images from pre-production validation to production performance baselining. Citrix Analytics for Performance is primarily used in production to surface and trend insights into the user experience, infrastructure health, and protocol performance. Despite the overlap, potent outcomes can be generated when the two solutions are used together.
What Does it Mean to Have Full Visibility of VDI Environments?
An inherent flaw in monitoring is its reactive nature. In the best case, the monitoring platform observes an issue occur, IT takes notice and acts to investigate and remediate. Depending on the level of the issue, reactivity implies that when the resolution time arrived, productivity had been compromised for all affected users, or in the event of a service outage, productivity came to a standstill as the disruption transitioned from an internal issue to one that likely impacted customers as well.
Such issues and others were the catalysts for developing Login Enterprise Proactive Monitoring. Unlike actual employees, Login Enterprises Virtual Users work 24/7 for 365 days, providing early detection that allows IT to notice when Virtual Users are impacted, saving real end-users from disruption.
Using Virtual Users to Simulate User Experience in Citrix Environments
In this dynamic, the Virtual Users’ predictable, consistent workloads feed objective baselines into Citrix Analytics. Newly added metrics like baselines on latency and session disconnects become more precise with Virtual Users feeding in data.
Conversely, they can also be used as exonerative evidence; when a user requests support from the help desk, Virtual User data can be referenced to determine whether an issue is genuinely service-related or if someone’s home Wi-Fi or ISP is behind the problems. Unlike real users, you can count on your Virtual Users not to have 30 Chrome tabs open.
To address a long-standing concern that has troubled administrators for years, Citrix introduced the Black Hole Machines Alert. This alert is activated when there are four consecutive failed session requests on a Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA). To prevent actual employees from being the initial four failures, many of our customers have used Virtual Users to perform “Morning Availability Checks,” a task previously done manually.
Critical Pre-Production Steps for Strong End-User Experience
While Citrix Analytics is a great platform, alerts from Citrix Analytics mean something is wrong. To prevent those scenarios, Login Enterprise can validate routine and significant changes to your infrastructure, image, applications, and more.
Virtual Users can effectively determine your infrastructure’s single server scalability. By performing this due diligence in production, you can ensure no change will deviate end-user experience from your baseline.
For significant changes, Login VSI has commonly seen our customers’ capacity and performance be impacted. Usually, this is because of an increase in resource consumption by a newer application, operating system, or agent. On top of increasing resource consumption, these types of changes can have significant impacts on budgets.
On-premises, such a change could require unbudgeted capital expenditures that were not expected. In the Cloud, these scenarios necessitate redesigning and selecting a new VM instance for Session Hosting. The VSImax was designed to measure the scalability based on end-user experience, and using the VSImax, there is simple math using the available and total machine counts tracked by Citrix Analytics’ Infrastructure Dashboard.
To this end, Citrix recently published research jointly with Microsoft and AMD. In conclusion, they “recommend you do your own performance testing with workloads specific to your business.” In their Session Host recommendations, Microsoft similarly notes that “you should use simulation tools to test your deployment with both stress tests and real-life usage simulations.”
Simply put, Citrix’s recommendations serve as guidance, not requirements. The only way to prevent production environment availability, performance, and user experience issues is to avoid poorly validated changes from being introduced altogether.
Ready to make the most of your Citrix environment? Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about how Login Enterprise help Citrix users guarantee optimal performance and happy end-users.