Citrix Users in Last Minute Test

The Citrix XenDesktop 7 environment is a shared environment in which multiple users may connect to a Citrix XenApp server/server farm and access a wide variety of applications. When server resources are shared among multiple users, sudden surges in resource utilization of a single user even for a minute could impact the performance of other users. Therefore, continuous monitoring of the activities of each and every user on the server is critical. To achieve this, administrators can use the Citrix Users in Last Minute test! This test monitors the resources utilization at every minute during each user's session.

Using this test, administrators can quickly check the CPU/memory/disk usage of each user's session as well as the latency experienced by each user. In the process, this test also sheds light on the rate at which the data was read/written during running different processes in each user's session. The detailed diagnosis provided by the test helps administrator to view details on what processes/applications the user is accessing and their individual resource usage. This information can be used to spot any offending processes/ applications.

This test is disabled by default. To enable the test, go to the enable / disable tests page using the menu sequence : Agents -> Tests -> Enable/Disable, pick Citrix XenApp server as the Component type, set Performance as the Test type, choose the test from the disabled tests list, and click on the < button to move the test to the ENABLED TESTS list. Finally, click the Update button.

Note:

This test will report metrics only if the XenApp server being monitored uses the .Net framework v3.0 (or above).

Target of the test : A Citrix XenApp server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each user connected to the Citrix XenApp that is to be monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed. By default, this is set to 60 seconds.
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured.
  3. port The port number at which the specified HOST listens to. By default, this is 1494.
  4. REPORT BY DOMAIN NAME – By default, this flag is set to Yes. This implies that by default, the detailed diagnosis of this test will display the domainname\username of each user who accessed an application on the server. This way, administrators will be able to quickly determine which user logged into the server from which domain. If you want the detailed diagnosis to display only the username of these users, set this flag to No.
  5. DD FREQUENCY – Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time this test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against dd frequency.
  6. 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

CPU usage for user's processes

The CPU utilization for a session is the percentage of time that all of the threads/processes of a user session used the processor to execute instructions. If a user is connected via multiple sessions, the value reported is the sum of all cpu utilizations across all the sessions.

Percent

This value indicates the percentage of Cpu resources that are used by a specific user. Excessive CPU usage by a user can impact performance for other users. Check the detailed diagnosis to view the offending processes/applications.

Memory usage for user's processes

This value represents the ratio of the resident set size of the memory utilized by the user to the physical memory of the host system, expressed as a percentage. If a user is connected via multiple sessions, the value reported is the sum of all memory utilizations across all the sessions. 

Percent

This value indicates the percentage of memory resources that are used up by a specific user. By comparing this value across users, an administrator can identify the most heavy users of the Citrix XenApp server. Check the detailed diagnosis to view the offending processes/applications.

Client network latency

Indicates the latency experienced by this user when transmitting/receiving data over the ICA channel.

Secs

This measure represents the network latency detected between the ICA client and the Citrix XenApp server being monitored.

If both the Screen refresh latency and Client network latency measures report high values, it implies that network slowness is contributing to user-perceived Citrix slowness (i.e., the problem is not due to the Citrix servers, but probably due to the network connection that the user is connecting from - e.g., a wireless WAN).

If Screen refresh latency is high and Client network latency is low, this implies that there is a bottleneck in the Citrix stack that is causing user experience to be poor (e.g., overloaded server or virtual platform, slowness in storage, etc.). Slowness can also occur because of client-side processing delays on the receiver end.

Screen refresh latency - avg

Indicates the average time interval measured at the client between the first step (user action) and the last step (graphical response displayed) of this user's interactions with the server. The value reported is the average of the latencies for all the current sessions of a user.

Secs

This is a measurement of the screen lag that a user experiences while interacting with the XenApp server. In other words, is the latency detected from when the user hits a key until the response is displayed.

Comparing the value of this measure across users will enable administrators to quickly and accurately identify users who are experiencing higher latency when interacting with the XenApp server.

If both the Screen refresh latency and Client network latency measures report high values, it implies that network slowness is contributing to user-perceived Citrix slowness (i.e., the problem is not due to the Citrix servers, but probably due to the network connection that the user is connecting from - e.g., a wireless WAN).

If Screen refresh latency is high and Client network latency is low, this implies that there is a bottleneck in the Citrix stack that is causing user experience to be poor (e.g., overloaded server or virtual platform, slowness in storage, etc.). Slowness can also occur because of client-side processing delays on the receiver end.

I/O reads for user's processes

Indicates the rate of I/O reads done by all processes being run by this user.

KBps

These metrics measure the collective I/O activity (which includes file, network and device I/O's) generated by all the processes being executed by a user. When viewed along with the system I/O metrics reported by the DiskActivityTest, these measures help you determine the network I/O. Comparison across users helps identify the user who is running the most I/O-intensive processes. Check the detailed diagnosis for the offending processes/applications.

I/O writes for user’s processes

Indicates the rate of I/O writes done by all processes being run by this user.

KBps