Users get frustrated and productivity drops when their desktops and applications run slow. We had searched a long time for a tool that would give us visibility into individual Citrix user sessions, including application-specific details. Finally, we found what we needed in eG Enterprise.Patrick VanderbauwedeICT Manager, RSVZ | Download Case Study
Key Benefits to RSVZ
- Their Citrix user base has grown by 40% - from 640 to over 900 - but they have not had to grow their IT support team, thereby keeping IT costs under control.
- Now projects are being completed on time because Citrix administrators are not spending several hours trying to find the root cause of problems.
- Even with client and employees working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, RSVZ's IT team has been quickly able to resolve "Citrix is slow" complaints, by highlighting that the slowness is often due to users' ISP connections.
- Being a government organization, any slowness with their services get negative publicity. Now, since the deployment of eG Enterprise, employees are able to respond to clients faster and there are very few complaints about high response times.
Why eG Enterprise?
- It gives the RSVZ's IT team true end-to-end visibility of every layer and every tier of the infrastructure supporting Citrix service delivery.
- A few months ago, one of their Citrix servers had a caching issue. The eG Enterprise console provided a single unified view of the infrastructure, enabling the RSVZ IT team to easily identify the cause of the issue. Prior to the eG Enterprise deployment, it was very difficult to isolate the problem and would have taken them hours or even days to solve. With eG Enterprise, they isolated and fixed the issue in just 10 minutes.
- For long, RSVZ's IT team suspected that their storage systems were causing user experience issues, but they had no way to prove this. eG Enterprise dashboards allowed them to track the latencies of all their disk drives, correlate these metrics with user experience data, and prove that the storage tier was causing many of their performance issues.
- Each RSVZ system administrator was able to create his/her own personalized and customized dashboards and see just the metrics that mattered to them, and thereby monitor and manage the Citrix service with ease.
- Alerts via email and dashboards on a mobile device enable IT administrators to keep track of their Citrix infrastructure from anywhere. They have been able to proactively fix issues before users complain. As a result, the number of service desk tickets has significantly reduced.
Belgium's National Institute for Social Security for the Self-Employed helps support entrepreneurs from start-up to retirement. Known in Dutch as Rijksinstituut voor de Sociale Verzekeringen der Zelfstandigen-or RSVZ in short-the government organization works with independent entrepreneurs on multiple fronts, including health and accident insurance, pensions, and bankruptcy assistance.
The Need: End to End Citrix Performance Monitoring & Other Different Services and Components
Prior to 2016, RSVZ had used other performance monitoring tools, such as HP OpenView. These tools gave their IT team an overview of the infrastructure but did not provide any ability to correlate the metrics and find the root cause. HP OpenView was very difficult to deploy and maintain, as it took a lot of resources and was not intuitive to use.
Specifically, for Citrix, they had also used the Citrix Director that is bundled with the Citrix stack. While Citrix Director was useful in controlling a user session - e.g., to shadow a session or to take screenshots, its monitoring capabilities were very basic. It provided some visibility into the Citrix tiers, and no had visibility into the performance of other tiers such as SQL, Active Directory, VMware, etc.
Their Major Challenges
- RSVZ's major problem was that apart from the Citrix infrastructure, they were depending on many different servers and services, such as the SQL server, Active Directory, the virtual infrastructure, storage devices, the file server, etc.
- If there was a problem in one of the non-Citrix tiers (e.g., in the SQL server database), it was very difficult to see what the root cause of the problem was. They needed a tool that could monitor all the tiers and provide a single-pane-of-glass view, highlighting the relationship between all of the different tiers supporting service delivery.
- When a Citrix user complained about a slow connection, they did not have an end-to-end monitoring tool to check latencies between all the components and see the full picture.
The Solution: Intelligent End-to-End Monitoring with eG Enterprise
By 2016, Sergio Checchi, the System Administrator, and Patrick Vanderbauwede, the ICT Manager, were convinced that they needed an end-to-end monitoring tool.
Even with industry recommendations, it still took an extensive and comprehensive Proof of Concept (POC) from eG Innovations before Patrick was convinced that eG Enterprise lived up to its reputation.
RSVZ's Future Plans
So far RSVZ has been using eG Enterprise mainly to monitor Citrix Virtual App servers. They have recently deployed Citrix virtual desktops as well and eG Enterprise will be used for monitoring the virtual desktop service as well. RSVZ's virtual infrastructure is growing - they have between 600-800 VMware servers and eG Enterprise can help here as well.
There is also a plan to integrate eG Enterprise with their ServiceNow deployment so that incident management can be fully automated.
Another IT goal is to overhaul the Citrix environment - to upgrade the Windows OS and to make collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting available to users. eG Enterprise gives them the confidence to go ahead with the upgrade of the Citrix environment without worrying about performance monitoring.
You don't need consultants in-house to maintain the product like we had to with HP OpenView. Not only is this convenient but saves a lot of money as well. Also, eG Innovations' direct support is excellent. Sergio Checchi System Administrator, RSVZ