Citrix HDX Applications Test

How much time an application takes to be launched via ICA affects not just the user experience with that application, but also user productivity, as key business transactions may be delayed if business-critical applications launch slowly. It is hence good practice to periodically run the Citrix HDX Applications test and check on the launch time of individual applications. This test auto-discovers applications that are deployed on XenApp, reports the number of instances of each application that have been launched currently, and the time every application took to launch; this way, the test sheds light on applications that are experiencing delays when launching. Using the detailed diagnosis of this test, you can also figure out which user sessions have been impacted by such applications.

Target of the test : An AppFlow-enabled Citrix NetScaler appliance

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every application running on XenApp

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed. It is recommended that you set the test period to 5 minutes. This is because, the eG AppFlow Collector is capable of capturing and aggregating AppFlow data related to the last 5 minutes only.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Cluster IPs

This parameter applies only if the NetScaler appliance being monitored is part of a NetScaler cluster. In this case, configure this parameter with a comma-separated list of IP addresses of all other nodes in that cluster.

If the monitored NetScaler appliance is down/unreachable, then the eG AppFlow Collector uses the Cluster IPs configuration to figure out which other node in the cluster it should connect to for pulling AppFlow statistics. Typically, the collector attempts to connect to every IP address that is configured against Cluster IPs, in the same sequence in which they are specified. Metrics are pulled from the first cluster node that the collector successfully establishes a connection with.

Enable Logs

This flag is set to No by default. This means that, by default, the eG agent does not create AppFlow logs. You can set this flag to Yes to enable AppFlow logging. If this is done, then the eG agent automatically writes the raw AppFlow records it reads from the collector into individual CSV files. These CSV files are stored in the <EG_AGENT_INSTALL_DIR>\NetFlow\data\<IP_of_Monitored_NetScaler>\hdxappflow\actual_csv folder on the eG agent host. These CSV files provide administrators with granular insights into the HDX appflows, thereby enabling effective troubleshooting.

Note:

By default, the eG agent creates a maximum of 10 CSV files in the actual_csv folder. Beyond this point, the older CSV files will be automatically deleted by the eG agent to accommodate new files with current data. Likewise, a single CSV file can by default contain a maximum of 99999 records only. If the records to be written exceed this default value, then the eG agent automatically creates another CSV file to write the data.

If required, you can overwrite these default settings . For this, do the following:

  1. Login to the eG agent host.
  2. Edit the Netflow.Properties file in the <EG_AGENT_INSTALL_DIR>\NetFlow\config directory.
  3. In the file, look for the parameter, csv_file_retention_count.
  4. This is the parameter that governs the maximum number of CSV files that can be created in the auto_csv folder. By default, this parameter is set to 10. If you want to retain more number of CSV files at any given point in time, you can increase the value of this parameter. If you want to retain only a few CSV files, then decrease the value of this parameter.
  5. Next, look for the parameter, csv_max_flow_record_per_file.
  6. This is the parameter that governs the number of flow records that can be written to a single CSV. By default, this parameter is set to 99999. If you want a single file to accommodate more records, so that the creation of new CSVs is delayed, then increase the value of this parameter. On the other hand, if you want to reduce the capacity of a CSV file, so that new CSVs are quickly created, then decrease the value of this parameter.
  7. Finally, save the file.

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.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite 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

Active applications

Indicates the number of instances of this application that users are currently accessing on XenApp.

Number

 

Application launches

Indicates the number of instances of this application that are currently launched by all XenApp users.

Number

Compare the value of this measure across applications to identify the most popular application.

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know in which sessions this application has been launched. 

Session launches

Indicates the number of sessions in which this application was launched.

Number

The detailed diagnosis of the Session launches measure lists the users launching the application currently, and the sessions in which the application is launched.

With the help of this information, you can identify the exact user session that is impacted by the slow application launch (if any).

Average launch duration

Indicates the average time it took to launch this application.

Msecs

A high value for this measure indicates that the application is slow in launching.

You may want to compare the value of this measure across applications to isolate the slowest application. 

Use the detailed diagnosis of the Application launches measure to know which users launched the application and in which sessions. The details of each session such as the client from which the session was launched, the client version, and the server on which the application was launched are also reported. The start time and uptime of the application are also revealed so that you can promptly detect unsheduled application reboots.

Figure 8 : The detailed diagnosis of the Application launches measure of the HDX Applications test

The detailed diagnosis of the Session launches measure lists the users launching the application currently, and the sessions in which the application is launched.

Figure 9 : The detailed diagnosis of the Session launches measure