Configuring Geo Locations

In multi-user environments - eg., environments hosting business-critical web applications, application delivery platforms, VDI environments etc. - it is important for administrators to ensure that user experience with the target environment is above par at all times. This is because, poor user experience not just impacts the productivity of users, but also disrupts key business operations, and consequently, revenues. By proactively identifying users with a sub-par experience and accurately diagnosing the reason for the same, such disasters can be averted.

Knowing where a user comes from can greatly help in understanding and diagnosing the cause of poor user experience with such environments. This is why, eG Monitors that focus on multi-user environments, namely - the eG Real User Monitor (RUM), the eG Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI Monitor, and the eG VMware Horizon VDI Monitor - have the built-in ability to automatically discover and report the geography of the users to target web sites/applications/desktops (as the case may be).

To perform automatic location discovery, these eG Monitors use the Maxmind GEO IP2 City by default. The key limitation of Maxmind is that it can be used to determine the geographic location of only those users who access a monitored environment via the internet. For capturing the geography of intranet users on the other hand, the eG Monitors require a Geo Location Mapper file. This is typically an XML file, where the intranet IP ranges and the geography they represent need to be manually specified. To help administrators easily and quickly create such geo location mapper files and associate them with the relevant eG Monitors, eG Enterprise provides the GEO LOCATIONS interface.

To access this interface, follow the Agents->Geo Locations menu sequence in the eG admin interface.

Doing so will invoke Figure 4.

Figure 4 : A message indicating that no network locations have been configured

With the help of Figure 4, you can do the following:

  1. Configure a new geographic location by creating a geo location mapper XML file, and upload it to the eG manager;

  2. Associate the location so configured with an eG Monitor, so the said Monitor can download the XML file that corresponds to that locations and uses it to compute the location of intranet users

The sub-sections that follow will discuss each of the above-mentioned steps elaborately.

Configuring New Network Locations

Follow the steps below to configure geo locations using Figure 4:

  1. If one/more network/geographic locations have already been configured for intranet users, then Figure 4 will display these locations. If not, then a message to that effect will be displayed (as shown by Figure 4). To configure a new location, click on the Configure Network Location button in Figure 4.

  2. Figure 5 will then appear. To add a new network location, click on the Add New Network Location button in Figure 5.

    Figure 5 : Clicking on the Add New Network Location button

  3. Figure 6 then pops up. Let us use an example to help you understand how to configure a new geographic location. Assume that your enterprise has offices in the East Coast of USA, with a branch in Boston. The Boston branch spans three different buildings, namely - North Building, South Building, and East Building. Each building is in a different network. Users from these buildings communicate with your web site over the intranet. To configure a geo location mapper XML file for the East Coast, first specify the Name of the new location you are creating (see Figure 6) - say, EastCoast.

    Figure 6 : Configuring a new network location

  4. Then, proceed to specify the location of the mapper file, where the IP ranges of every building in the East Coast are specified. In the case of our example however, this mapper file is yet to be created. Therefore, first click on the Download sample XML link in Figure 6. A geolocation-sample.xml file will then get downloaded to the local host. Open this XML file in a text/XML editor. You need to configure the IP ranges in your geography in this XML file only. This can be performed in one of the following ways:

    • By configuring the starting IP and ending IP address of each range, OR;

    • By configuring the starting IP address and the sub-net mask of each range.

  5. If you know the starting and ending IP addresses of every network, then go with the first option - i.e., configure the starting and ending IP addresses of every network in the geolocation-sample.xml file to indicate the geographic location. In this case, do the following:

    • Scroll down the geolocation-sample.xml file until the following sample code block comes into view:

      <location start-ip-address="192.168.8.1" end-ip-address="192.168.8.150">

      <country>India</country>

      <region>Tamil Nadu</region>

      <city>Chennai</city>

      <country-code>IN</country-code>

      <latitude>13.0827</latitude>

      <longitude>80.2707</longitude>

      </location>

    • Edit this code block to suit your needs. For instance, assume that the starting and ending IP addresses of every building in our example is as follows:

      Starting IP address

      Ending IP address

      Building

      192.168.8.1

      192.168.8.250

      North Building

      192.168.9.1

      192.168.9.250

      South Building

      192.168.10.1

      192.168.10.250

      East Building

    • Now, alter the sample code block to configure the location of the North Building. For this, you need the change the values contained within the <location>, <country>, <region>, <city>, <country-code>, <lattitude>, and <longitude> XML tags, as indicated below:

      Tag

      Description

      Value

      <location start-ip-address=

      The IP address with which the IP range of the North Building begins

      192.168.8.1

      end-ip-address=

      The IP address with which the IP range of the North Building ends

      192.168.8.250

      <country>

      The country to which the North Building belongs

      USA

      <region>

      The region in which the North Building is situated

      East Coast

      <city>

      The city in which the North Building stands

      Boston

      <country-code>

      The custom code using which you want to represent the North Building - in the case of our example, let us use the code 'NB'

      NB

      <lattitude>, <longitude>

      The co-ordinates that at least approximately indicate the location of the North Building. The RUM, VDI, and User Experience dashboards in the eG monitoring console include Geo Maps, where the user locations are visually indicated. These co-ordinates help compute and indicate the locations for intranet users in the Geo Maps. You can use any Lattitude/Longitude finder (eg., https://www.latlong.net/) to determine the co-ordinates for any location.

      lattitude=42.360081

      longitude=-71.058884

      The edited code block will be as shown below:

      <location start-ip-address="192.168.8.1" end-ip-address="192.168.8.250">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>NB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360081</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058884</longitude>

      </location>

    • Similarly, you need to configure a code block for the South Building, and another for the East Building. For this, you need to insert two other <location> code blocks below the one that you have just configured for the North Building. The code blocks for the South and East Buildings will look like this:

      <location start-ip-address="192.168.9.1" end-ip-address="192.168.9.250">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>SB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360085</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058890</longitude>

      </location>

       

      <location start-ip-address="192.168.10.1" end-ip-address="192.168.10.250">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>EB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360090</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058895</longitude>

      </location>

       

      From the <country-code> tag highlighted in the code blocks above, it is clear that the custom codes 'SB' and 'EB' have been assigned to the South and East Buildings, respectively. Also, note that the values of the <country>, <region>, and <city> XML tags in both the code blocks above are the same as that of the code block for the North Building. This is because, all 3 buildings are in the same city, region, and country. However, you will find that there is a marginal change in the values of the <lattitude> and <longitude> tags in the 3 code blocks.

    • Now that the locations we need have been configured, save the sample file, but in a different name, anywhere in the local host.

  6. On the other hand, if you do not know the ending IP addresses, then you can have the eG Enterprise system automatically compute the IP address range of each of your networks. For this, you need to go with the second option - i.e., configure the starting IP address and sub-net mask of each of your networks. In this case, follow the steps below:

    • Assume that the starting IP address and subnet-mask of each building in our example is as follows:

      Network IP Range

      Subnet-mask

      Building

      192.168.8.0

      255.255.254.0

      North Building

      192.168.9.0

      255.255.254.0

      South Building

      192.168.10.0

      255.255.254.0

      East Building

    • Next, open the geolocation-sample.xml file that you downloaded at step 4 above in a text/XML editor. Search the file for the text, 'Option 2'. Once you find it, scroll down further, so the following code block comes into view:

      <!--

      <location network="192.168.10.1" subnet-mask="255.255.254.0">

      <country>United States</country>

      <region>California</region>

      <city>Los Angeles</city>

      <country-code>US</country-code>

      <latitude>34.0522</latitude>

      <longitude>118.2437</longitude>

      </location>

      -->

    • To use this code block, first 'uncomment' it by removing the <!-- and -->, within which the code block is contained. Then, proceed to edit the block, to configure it with the location of the North Building in our example. For this, you need the change the values contained within the different tags in the sample code block, as indicated below:

      Tag

      Description

      Value

      <location network=

      The IP address with which the IP range of the North Building begins

      192.168.8.1

      subnet-mask=

      The subnet mask of the new location

      255.255.254.0

      <country>

      The country to which the North Building belongs

      USA

      <region>

      The region in which the North Building is situated

      East Coast

      <city>

      The city in which the North Building stands

      Boston

      <country-code>

      The custom code using which you want to represent the North Building - in the case of our example, let us use the code 'NB'

      NB

      <lattitude>, <longitude>

      The co-ordinates that at least approximately indicate the location of the North Building. The RUM, VDI, and User Experience dashboards in the eG monitoring console include Geo Maps, where the user locations are visually indicated. These co-ordinates help compute and indicate the locations for intranet users in the Geo Maps. You can use any Lattitude/Longitude finder (eg., https://www.latlong.net/) to determine the co-ordinates for any location.

      lattitude=42.360081

      longitude=-71.058884

      The edited code block will be as shown below:

      <location network="192.168.8.0" subnet-mask="255.255.254.0">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>NB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360081</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058884</longitude>

      </location>

    • Similarly, you need to configure a code block for the South Building, and another for the East Building. For this, you need to insert two other <location> code blocks below the one that you have just configured for the North Building. The code blocks for the South and East Buildings will look like this:

      <location network="192.168.9.0" subnet-mask="255.255.254.0">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>SB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360085</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058890</longitude>

      </location>

       

      <location network="192.168.10.0" subnet-mask="255.255.254.0">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>EB</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360090</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058895</longitude>

      </location>

       

      From the <country-code> tag highlighted in the code blocks above, it is clear that the custom codes 'SB' and 'EB' have been assigned to the South and East Buildings, respectively. Also, note that the values <country>, <region>, and <city> XML tags in both the code blocks above are the same as that of the code block for the North Building. This is because, all 3 buildings are in the same city, region, and country. However, you will find that there is a marginal change in the values of the <lattitude> and <longitude> tags in the 3 code blocks.

    • Now that the locations we need have been configured, save the sample file, but with a different name, anywhere in the local host.

  7. If you choose not to configure any specific geographic location for your intranet users, then you can make sure that the default location specification contained within the following code block automatically applies to all intranet users:

    <!--

    <location is-default="true">

    <country>United States</country>

    <region>California</region>

    <city>San Francisco</city>

    <country-code>US</country-code>

    <latitude>37.7749</latitude>

    <longitude>122.4194</longitude>

    </location>

    -->

     

    You will find this code block at the end of the geolocation-sample.xml file that you downloaded at step 4 above. To use this 'default location' code block, do the following:

    • The "default location' code block will be commented by default. To enable this code block, you should first uncomment it by removing the <!-- and -->, within which the code block is contained.

    • Then, proceed to edit the code block by configuring the 'default' <country>, <region>, <city>, <country-code>, <lattitude>, and <longitude> for all your intranet users. In the case of our example, let us go with the following 'default' specification.

      Tag

      Description

      Value

      <country>

      The country to which your intranet users belong

      USA

      <region>

      The region to which your intranet users belong

      East Coast

      <city>

      The city where your intranet users reside

      Boston

      <country-code>

      The country code that represents the country to which your intranet users belong

      US

      <lattitude>, <longitude>

      The co-ordinates that at least approximately indicate the location of your users. The RUM, VDI, and User Experience dashboards in the eG monitoring console include Geo Maps, where the user locations are visually indicated. These co-ordinates help compute and indicate the locations for intranet users in the Geo Maps. You can use any Lattitude/Longitude finder (eg., https://www.latlong.net/) to determine the co-ordinates for any location.

      lattitude=42.360081

      longitude=-71.058884

    • The edited code block will be as shown below:

      <location is-default="true">

      <country>USA</country>

      <region>East Coast</region>

      <city>Boston</city>

      <country-code>US</country-code>

      <latitude>42.360081</latitude>

      <longitude>-71.058884</longitude

      </location>

       

      Note:

      Note that the 'default' configuration will also apply to those users whose client IP addresses do not fall within the IP ranges configured/computed using options 1 and 2.

    • Finally, save the file, but with a different name, anywhere in the local host.

  8. Now that the locations have been configured in the XML file, go back to Figure 6 Click the Browse button in Figure 6 to search for the XML file containing your location configurations. Once it is found, select it, so that your selection is reflected in the Geo location file text box, as depicted by Figure 7.

    Figure 7 : Browsing and specifying the Geo location file

  9. Finally, click the Add button in Figure 7 to add the new network location and upload the corresponding XML file to the eG manager. Figure 8 will then appear displaying the new location that you added.

    Figure 8 : The newly created network location displayed

  10. At any given point in time, you can make changes to the XML file mapped to a network location, save the updated file in a different name, and reupload the new file to the eG manager. For this, all you need to do is click on the icon corresponding to the network location displayed in Figure 8. Figure 9 will then appear, where you can specify the new XML file that should replace the old one.

    Figure 9 : Replacing an old XML file with an updated one

  11. You can delete a location configuration, by clicking on the icon corresponding to it in Figure 8. Note that deleting a network location will not delete the XML file mapped to it.

Associating Network Locations with Infrastructure Elements

For the network locations and their configuration to take effect, you need to associate them with the eG Monitors that will need them for determining user locations. Currently, geo location discovery is only supported by the eG Real User Monitor (RUM), eG Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI Monitor, and the eG VMware Horizon Monitor. This means that geo location mapper XML files can be assigned to such eG Monitors alone.

If one/more of these eG Monitors are operational in your environment, then you need to associate the geo location mapper XML files created previously with those eG Monitors. Once this is done, then the eG Monitor to which the XML file is assigned will perform the following:

  • The eG Monitor will first check every incoming client IP for a match against the MaxMind database.

  • If a match is found, then the eG Monitor deems it to be a public IP address.

  • If a matching IP address is not found in the MaxMind database, then the eG Monitor checks the private IP address ranges present in the geo location mapper XML file for a match. If a match is found, then the IP address is deemed to be a private IP address, and the location configuration defined for that IP address in the XML file is applied.

  • If the IP address does not find a match in the IP ranges (with or without subnet masks) configured in the XML file as well, then the eG Monitor will use the configuration defined within the 'default location' code block (step 7 in the previous section).

To assign the XML file to an eG Monitor, do the following:

  1. Click on the Back button in Figure 8 to return to Figure 4. Then, click on the Assign Elements To Network Location button in Figure 4 to proceed. Figure 10 will then appear.

    Figure 10 : Assigning the geo location mapper XML file to a remote agent

  2. From Figure 8, first select the Network location that you want to assign. Then, pick a filter criteria from the View by drop-down. The options are as follows:

    • Remote agent: You can assign the XML file to the remote agent that monitors a Real User Monitor component, a Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI component, and/or a VMware Horizon VDI component. This remote agent will then download the assigned XML file from the eG manager and use it to determine the geography of users logging into the managed components. To assign the file to a remote agent, first select the Remote agent option from the View by drop-down. The Available Elements list will then be populated with all remote agents that are monitoring Real User Monitor components, Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI components, and/or VMware Horizon VDI components in your environment.

    • Zone: You can assign the XML file to a zone containing one/more Real User Monitor components, Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI components, and/or VMware HorizonVDI components. The eG agents monitoring these components will automatically download the assigned XML file from the eG manager and use it to determine user locations. To assign the file to a zone, first select the Zone option from the View by drop-down. The Available Elements list will then be populated with zones containing components of one/more of the types mentioned above.

    • Segment: You can assign the XML file to a segment containing one/more Real User Monitor components, Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI components, and/or VMware Horizon VDI components. The eG agents monitoring these components will automatically download the assigned XML file from the eG manager and use it to determine user location. To assign the file to a segment, first select the Segment option from the View by drop-down. The Available Elements list will then be populated with segments containing components of one/more of the types mentioned above.

    • Component:: You can assign the XML file to one/more Real User Monitor components, Citrix Virtual Apps/VDI components, and/or VMware Horizon VDI components managed by eG Enterprise. The eG agents monitoring these components will automatically download the assigned XML file from the eG manager and use it to determine user location. To assign the file to a component, first select the Component option from the View by drop-down. A Component type drop-down will then appear (see Figure 11), which will be populated with all components of the types discussed above. Select a component type from this drop-down to proceed.

      Figure 11 : Selecting a component type to associate with the geo location mapper XML file

      The Available Elements list will then be populated with all components of the chosen Component type.

  3. From the Available Elements list, pick the elements you want to assign the XML file to, and click the < button. This will transfer the selection to the Associated Elements list.

  4. Finally, click the Update button.