Client Service Test

This test monitors performance as seen by the user of a client desktop from a service perspective. Depending on what servers/ports are configured for monitoring, this test can monitor the performance for user access to Citrix, web, mail and other services. Since this test monitors real user activity from a desktop, rather than simulated activity, the measures of this test are a true reflection of the end user experience. This test can be executed on Windows boxes only.

Target of the test : A Client Desktop component

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of outputs for every specification against the RemoteServers parameter; if the DynamicServers specification is uncommented, then one set of results will be reported for every IP address that is being accessed by the client desktop via each of the configured ports

Configurable parameters for this test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Adapter Device Selection

By default, the eG agent automatically discovers the interface that is to be used for packet capture. This is why, the Adapter Device Selection flag is set to Automatic by default. However, if you want to manually override this discovery process, then, you can do either of the following:

  • Set the Adapter Device Selection flag to Manual, (OR)
  • Edit the eg_desktop.ini file (in the <EG_AGENT_INSTALL_DIR>\agent\config directory) to manually configure the adapter you want the test to use.

Both these options have been discussed below:

Setting the Adapter Device Selection flag to Manual

If this is done, then two new parameters, namely - device name and device id – will automatically appear in the test configuration page. Click on the Discover button next to the device name parameter to trigger the discovery of the adapters supported by the monitored host. Once discovery is complete, all discovered adapters will populate the device name drop-down. From this drop-down, select the adapter that you want test to use. As soon as the device name is selected, the ID of the chosen adapter will automatically appear against the device id box. Finally, click the Update button to register the changes.

Editing the eg_desktop.ini file to manually specify the adapter name

The eg_desktop.ini file on the agent side drives how the eG agent monitors packets transmissions to and from the client desktop. The example below shows a sample eg_desktop.ini file that can be found in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\agent\config directory.

[EG_CONFIG]

Interface=

Ports=80,1494,7077,53,3389,2598

CacheTime=1

RemoteServers=Web:*:80:C,Dns:*:53:C,Citrix1494:*:1494:C,Citrix2598:*:2598:C,TerminalService:*:3389:C

;DynamicServers=80:C,1494:C,2598:C

Then, save the file and restart the eG agent.

Note:

If you have picked a device name from the admin interface and also manually specified a different device name against the Interface parameter  in the eg_desktop.ini file, the device name specification will override the Interface specification.

In addition to specifying the Interface to use, you can also specify the Ports, Cache time, RemoteServers, and DynamicServers for the test using the eg_desktop.ini file. The Ports specification specifies the ports that the packet capture is set to process. Packets transmitted to other ports are not considered in the traffic analysis done by the eG agent. Note also that the eG agent currently only monitors TCP protocol traffic (i.e., UDP traffic is not analyzed).

The eG agent can be configured to monitor all traffic on a specific port, or just traffic to specific servers. This configuration is provided in the RemoteServers specification. The right hand side setting for this configuration is a comma-separated list. Entries in the list are in the format name:ip address patterns:portNumber:C, where the name is the display name indicated in the eG monitor interface, and the ip address patterns is a pattern specifying the IP addresses for which traffic is to be monitored (e.g., 192.168.10.7 specifies a specific server to monitor, while 192.168.10.* represents all servers whose IP addresses match the specified pattern). The port number is the specific port number to be monitored. Multiple entries corresponding to the same name are allowed and for such entries, performance statistics are aggregated while reporting (i.e., Web:192.168.10.7:80:C,web:203.197.*:80:C is allowed and traffic to all servers matching the IP address pattern will be reported as traffic for the Web descriptor).

If you are not aware of the exact IP addresses or IP address patterns of the servers with which the client desktop communicates, then, you can configure the eG agent to monitor all traffic from the client desktop to a specific set of server ports. To achieve this, simply uncomment the DynamicServers specification by removing the ';' that precedes this specification. The server ports that the eG  agent will be monitoring are specified on the right hand side of this entry in the format, portnumber:C.

To enable the eG agent to monitor more number of ports, you can append to the comma-separated list of ports available on the right hand side of the DynamicServers specification. Then, save the file and restart the eG agent.

Measurements of the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Avg response time

Indicates the average time from when a data request is sent by the client to when the server returns a response.

Secs

Comparing this value with the response/connection time at the TCP layer provides an indicator of where the bottleneck is. For example, if the service response time is high but network response is low, this implies that there is a slowdown at the application layers and not in the network.

Max response time

Indicates the maximum response time for requests from the client during the last measurement period.

Secs

 

Data packets with no response

Indicates the number of times during the last measurement period when a data request was sent by the client but a corresponding response was not received from the server.

Number

Ideally, this value should be low.

No responses percent

Indicates the ratio of the number of data requests for which no response was received to the total number of data requests sent during the last measurement period.

Percent

Depending on the nature of the service being accessed, this value should be near zero. A high value indicates potentially that the client is not receiving responses from the servers it is connecting to.

Data transmitted

Indicates data transmissions from the client desktop during the last measurement period.

KB/Sec

 

Data received

Indicates the data receptions by the client desktop during the last measurement period.

KB/Sec

 

Note:

For the ClientTcp Test and ClientService Test to function smoothly, the eG agent on Windows requires the WinPcap library. WinPcap is the industry-standard tool for link-layer network access in Windows environments: it allows applications to capture and transmit network packets bypassing the protocol stack, and has additional useful features, including kernel-level packet filtering, a network statistics engine and support for remote packet capture. WinPcap consists of a driver, that extends the operating system to provide low-level network access, and a library that is used to easily access the low-level network layers.

To enable the eG agent on Windows to use the WinPcap library, you first need to download the library from the URL: http://www.winpcap.org and then install it on the target Windows host.