Citrix Monitoring Tools Guide for EUC Professionals

The definitive guide about popular Citrix Monitoring Tools, Capabilities and Uses

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Many of the world's largest businesses rely on Citrix technologies for providing anytime, anywhere access to key IT applications and desktops for their employees, partners, contractors, etc. Therefore, Citrix digital workspaces are business critical. Slowness or unavailability of these services affects employee productivity and business revenue. Hence, performance monitoring is integral to the success of any Citrix digital workspace deployment. Citrix administrators must monitor their digital workspaces to make sure that logon times are within acceptable limits, that applications launch fast when users launch them, that keystroke latency is good, etc.

Citrix performance monitoring tools are needed across the enterprise

Four Aspects of Citrix Monitoring

Measure all aspects of the Citrix user experience for truly representative performance monitoring

Any organization's Citrix monitoring strategy must focus on four key areas:

  • Citrix admins need to know what experience their users are seeing. Synthetic and real-user monitoring is required for this.
  • When a performance issue is reported, Citrix admins often wonder "Where is the root cause?". To answer this question, it is important to monitor each of the Citrix tiers and the other infrastructure tiers supporting the digital workspace service.
  • Performance metrics from different tiers have to be analyzed and correlated to help pinpoint the root cause of problems. This can help Citrix admins triage problems quickly.
  • Performance metrics from different tiers can be analyzed over time to make intelligent decisions regarding when and where to add capacity, how to optimize the current infrastructure, and how to right-size the Citrix deployment.

Top 10 Popular Citrix Monitoring Tools

There are several Citrix monitoring tools available but not all tools are the same. The pros and cons of these different tools are discussed below:

Citrix Director

Citrix Director is the monitoring tool built into the Citrix architecture. Administrators can use Citrix Director to monitor virtual application and desktop sessions and control them. Citrix Director does not need any additional agents to be deployed as it uses the instrumentation built into the Citrix FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). Data retention for up to a month is free, but higher data retention levels require additional licenses.

Is Citrix Director Sufficient for End-to-End Monitoring? 
Citrix Director is the monitoring tool built into the Citrix architecture.

Citrix NetScaler ADM

Citrix Application Delivery Management (formerly MAS) supports automation, tracking, reporting, and analytics of networking devices, such as Citrix ADC and Citrix SD-WAN.

NetScaler MAS collects monitoring information from the network by using the NetScaler devices as data sources. Hence, the monitoring is 100% agentless - no agents are required on the virtual app servers and desktops VMs.

Is Citrix ADM sufficient for Citrix Monitoring? 
Citrix Application Delivery Management supports automation, tracking, analysis and more

Citrix Analytics

A cloud service offering, Citrix Analytics for Performance enables admins to track, aggregate, and visualize key performance indicators of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops sites. Though Citrix Analytics for Performance is a cloud offering, it can serve on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops sites as well.

It gathers data from different Citrix products and uses built-in Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to quantify the user experience and uncover health issues in your Citrix deployment.

Where does Citrix Analytics fit into
your Citrix Performance Monitoring Strategy? 
Citrix Analytics enables admins to track, aggregate and visualize important KPIs of Citrix Virtual Apps.

Citrix Cloud Monitor

Citrix Cloud Monitor is nothing but Citrix Director on the cloud. If you are using Citrix Cloud services, a hybrid cloud service from Citrix, Citrix Cloud Monitor is the built-in tool you can use. With Citrix Cloud Monitor, you can track brokering performance on the cloud control plane hosted by Citrix. You can also troubleshoot a user's session by analyzing session latency, resource usage, etc. Control of the session is also supported from the same web console. Citrix Cloud Monitor has the same advantages and disadvantages that Citrix Director deployed on-premises has.

Why do you need a Citrix Cloud monitoring tool? 
Citrix Cloud Monitor is simply Citrix Director on the cloud.

Microsoft SCOM Citrix Management Pack

Many Citrix customers have Microsoft SCOM deployed as their enterprise monitoring tool. They require Citrix performance visibility from the Microsoft SCOM console. Recently, Citrix ended support for the Citrix Management Pack for Microsoft SCOM. Organizations looking to monitor Citrix tiers using Microsoft SCOM now need to use third-party management packs.

eG Innovations provides a universal management pack for Microsoft SCOM that enables monitoring of non-Microsoft technologies, such as Citrix, VMware Horizon, SAP, and others from the Microsoft SCOM console itself. This ensures that organizations can continue using Microsoft SCOM as their central management console and yet monitor all of their IT tiers. Furthermore, organizations do not have to deal with multiple management packs from different vendors.

The eG Enterprise Citrix Management pack for Microsoft SCOM 
Microsoft SCOM for Citrix Management Pack

eG Enterprise Citrix Monitoring

eG Enterprise is a purpose-built monitoring solution for Citrix environments. The distinguishing features of this solution include:

Troubleshoot most common Citrix complaints in minutes 
eG Enterprise Citrix Performance Monitoring is purpose built for Citrix environments.

ControlUp

ControlUp is an advanced computer management and monitoring platform for managing a large amount of Windows servers, workstations, and user sessions. The real-time console provides visibility into Citrix server resource usage, sessions, traffic, latency, and so on. Administrators can run script-based actions by using a number of community scripts for additional diagnosis of Citrix problems. Automated actions are also supported to resolve problems. A web-based reporting console, ControlUp Insights, offers historical reports of performance. ControlUp Solve is a web console for real-time performance monitoring and for synthetic monitoring the ControlUp ScoutBees cloud service is required.

What are the key considerations
for a Citrix Performance Monitoring Solution? 
ControlUp Citrix Monitoring Dashboard

SolarWinds Citrix monitoring

SolarWinds is a powerful network, server, and application management solution. As many organizations using Citrix have SolarWinds already deployed, obviously, they are also deploying SolarWinds to monitor their Citrix infrastructure. The tool enables you to track XenApp and XenDesktop CPU load, performance counters, events, and processes. You can get instant alerts on performance, session disconnects, login errors, application slowdowns, etc.

How effective is SolarWinds for Citrix Performance Monitoring? 
SolarWinds Citrix Monitoring dashboard

PRTG Citrix Monitoring

PRTG Network Monitor is an agentless monitoring software from Paessler AG. PRTG is widely deployed as a tool to provide unified visibility into network, server, virtualization, and storage performance. While it supports Citrix Hypervisor out of the box, PRTG's monitoring of Citrix virtual apps and desktops is limited to monitoring resource usage on the Citrix virtual apps servers and virtual desktops.

Find out the 7 myths of Citrix performance monitoring.
Do not make the same mistakes your peers did. 

Nexthink Citrix Monitoring

The Nexthink Solution Pack for Citrix is an end-user focused solution. Using agents on client devices, Nexthink helps IT teams monitor end-user service levels. Nexthink's real-time monitoring ensures improved end-user support, shortens the timeframe of transition projects, and allows for the end-user viewpoint to compare 'before and after' performance and service levels.

Nexthink is complementary to Citrix-specific monitoring tools, such as Citrix Director and EdgeSight. Nexthink monitors all the relevant configurations, activities, events, connections, bandwidth, abnormalities, and errors from the end-user perspective., Its patented self-learning technology helps determine the root cause of complex issues.

How to choose the best approach for Citrix monitoring:
from the network, the server, or the client? 

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  • Suitable for monitoring applications, digital workspaces and IT infrastructures
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