Connectors - AL Test

The Citrix App Layering appliance integrates with hypervisors and provisioning systems using connectors that are stored set of configuration values for connecting to a specific environment. There are two types of connectors - hypervisor and provisioning:

Hypervisor connectors provide the mechanism to interface with a hypervisor. Hypervisor connectors are used when creating layers or importing a Gold Image to create the OS layer. Hypervisor connectors when packaging dynamically creates a packaging machine on the storage and host defined by the connector configuration. A hypervisor connection can also be used to create a virtual machine in the hypervisor. Currently, hypervisor connectors are available for Citrix Hypervisor, vSphere, Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV, Azure, and Azure Gov.

Provisioning System connectors allow administrators to publish an image to the provisioning system. Citrix Provisioning connector integrates with an App Layering Agent on a Citrix Provisioning server to publish an image directly to the Provisioning server as a virtual disk. Currently, Provisioning System connectors are available for Citrix Provisioning, Citrix Machine Creation Services on each hypervisor and Horizon View.

Administrators can configure multiple connectors to connect a single App Layering appliance to multiple hypervisors or provisioning systems. Connector configurations define the settings required to integrate with the hypervisor or provisioning system. A configuration typically includes credentials for authentication, a storage location, a VM template, packaging cache and any other information required to interface with the environment where the administrators are creating layers or publish images. In connector configuration, Packaging Cache option is enabled by default to offer the best layering performance. In environments where administrators need to create huge number of App Layers, Packaging cache should be right-sized on the hypervisor to support App Layer creation operations at high speed. If the Packaging cache is not sized right while configuring a connector, App Layer creation operations performed via that connector will be slow. This in turn will delay delivery of the App Layers to sessions/desktops that are offering mission-critical services to end users. Also, productivity and user experience will be seriously degraded. To avoid such anomalies, administrators should continuously monitor size, utilization and performance of the Packaging cache of the connector. This can be easily achieved using the Connectors - AL test.

This test closely monitors the connectors, tracks the cache hit ratio, and alerts administrators if the ratio dips below acceptable limits. In addition, the test also monitors how the cache is utilized, thus pointing administrators to sizing deficiencies that could be contributing to the high rate of cache misses (if any). Using the metrics reported by this test, administrators can right size the cache to achieve high layering performance and improve overall usage efficiency.

Target of the test : Citrix App Layering Manager

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test :One set of results for each connector configured on the target Citrix App Layering Manager.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The IP address of the host for which the test is being configured.

Port

The port at which the host listens. By default, this is 443.

Username and Password

To pull out metrics, this test needs to be configured with credentials of a user with Read-only permissions to the target appliance. Specify the Username and Password of such a user in the Username and Password text boxes.

Confirm Password

Confirm the Password by retyping it here.

Domain

Specify the name of the domain to which the specified user belongs to. For instance, eginnovations\mpriya.

SSL

Indicate whether/not Citrix App Layering Manager is SSL-enabled. By default, this flag is set to No.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total cache

Indicates the total size allocated for the Packaging cache of this connector.

GB

 

Used cache

Indicates the amount of cache memory utilized on the Packaging cache of this connector.

GB

A low value is desired for this measure.

Free cache

Indicates the amount of cache memory available for use on the Packaging cache of this connector.

GB

Ideally, the value of this measure should be high.

Cache usage

Indicates the percentage of cache memory utilized on the Packaging cache of this connector.

Percent

 

Total hits

Indicates the total number of requests made to the Packaging cache of this connector.

Number

 

Hits

Indicates the number of times that the target appliance has found required disk in the Packaging cache of this connector.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be high.

Misses

Indicates the number of times that the target appliance has not found disk in the Packaging cache of this connector.

Number

A high value of this measure is indicative of the ineffectiveness and memory insufficiency of the Packaging cache.

Hit ratio

Indicates the percentage of times that the target appliance has found disk in the Packaging cache of this connector.

Percent

A low value of this measure indicates that the Packaging cache is not providing adequate disk to the target appliance during App Layer creation operations. In such cases, administrators should increase the Packaging cache size to accommodate more unique layers. Increasing the cache size will also increases the chances of finding a disk for packaging in the cache, which will result a higher hit rate value.