Learn about the top Citrix monitoring tools, capabilities and uses. Get expert inputs to compare the features and limitations of Citrix Director, eG Enterprise, ControlUp, Goliath IT Monitor, Nexthink and others.Start Your Trial
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.
Any organization's Citrix monitoring strategy must focus on four key areas:
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 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 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?
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
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?
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
eG Enterprise is a purpose-built monitoring solution for Citrix environments. The distinguishing features of this solution include:
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
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?
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
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
Customers have to choose between whether to use their existing monitoring tool for Citrix, or to deploy a specialized monitoring tool.
If the ultimate goal is to monitor all of your applications and infrastructure with one tool, you may have to use your enterprise monitoring tool for Citrix as well.
However, if your goal is to be able to monitor Citrix proactively, to detect and resolve issues quickly, you should look for a specialized Citrix monitoring tool like eG Enterprise or ControlUp.
This depends on the monitoring tool you decide to use. Many tools can monitor the session hosts (XenApp servers and VDIs) but not the supporting infrastructure like StoreFront, PVS, WEM Broker, AppLayering, etc.
If you choose a tool like eG Enterprise, you can get complete end-to-end visibility of the Citrix session hosts, the supporting Citrix tiers and also the non-Citrix tiers involved in the digital workspace service.
You do not need multiple monitoring tools in this case.
The licensing policy varies from one monitoring tool to another. Some tools like ControlUp license by concurrent Citrix sessions - so if the same user has multiple sessions, you need to have monitoring licenses for each session.
Monitoring of supporting Citrix tiers may need additional licenses. eG Enterprise is licensed by concurrent users/VMs - so if a single user logs in multiple times, only one license is required for each user.
This again varies from one tool to another. Citrix Analytics is available only as a cloud service. Tools like eG Enterprise provide an option for you to deploy completely on-prem, or you can subscribe to our SaaS service and not have to bother about the management layer which we maintain for you.
Yes, this is a feature that some tools have. Citrix Director has a capability called Application probing that can be used. However, this capability is not as comprehensive as what Citrix EdgeSight used to have. ControlUp offers ScoutBees, a cloud-hosted synthetic monitoring service. eG Enterprise provides a number of options for synthetic monitoring to track Citrix availability. There is a logon simulator to check Citrix logon availability, and a full session simulator that includes launching and accessing applications within Citrix sessions.