Citrix HDX Gateways Test

To understand the workload of a NetScaler appliance and to assess whether/not the appliance has the adequate bandwidth resources to service the load, administrators should track the ICA sessions, users, and the application/desktop launches handled by that NetScaler appliance, and also measure the bandwidth usage by the appliance. This is what the Citrix HDX Gateways test helps administrators achieve. This test measures the session, user, and application/desktop load handled by the target NetScaler appliance, and also reports the bandwidth consumed by the appliance to process this load. This way, the test reveals potential bandwidth contentions, thus prompting the administrator to resize the appliance commensurate to its load.

Target of the test : An AppFlow-enabled NetScaler Appliance

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the NetScaler appliance configured in the environment

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.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Unique users

Indicates the count of distinct users whose requests were processed by the NetScaler appliance.

Number

This is a good indicator of the user load on the NetScaler appliance.

Avg bandwidth

Indicates the bandwidth used by the NetScaler appliance

Kbps

An abnormally high value for this measure is indicative of excessive bandwdith usage by the appliance. If the value of this measure is consistently high, it could indicate that the appliance requires more processing power to service its workload. You may want to consider resizing the appliance to prevent this problem.

Active sessions:

Indicates the number of application/desktop sessions that are currently active on the appliance.

Number

This is a good indicator of the session load on the appliance.

In the event of a session overload, check the value of the Active application sessions measure to figure out what contributed to the overload - application sessions? or desktop sessions?

New session launches

Indicates the count of sessions launched on XenApp servers and XenDesktop desktops via the appliance during the current measurement period.

Number

 

Session terminates

Indicates the number of sessions that were terminated on XenDesktop desktops via the appliance.

Number

 

Active application sessions

Indicates the number of application sessions currently active on XenApp servers managed by the appliance.

Number

 

New application sessions

Indicates the number of application sessions handled by the NetScaler appliance for XenApp servers, during the current measurement period.

Number

 

Active applications

Indicates the number of applications currently accessed on XenApp servers via this appliance.

Number

In the event of a session overload, check the value of this measure to figure out what contributed to the overload - application sessions? or desktop sessions?

New application launches

Indicates the number of applications that were launched via the appliance, during the current measurement period.

Number

 

Application terminates

Indicates the number of applications that were terminated via the appliance, during the current measurement period.

Number

 

Active desktops :

Indicates the number of desktops into which users have currently logged in via this NetScaler appliance.

Number

In the event of an overload, compare the value of this measure with that of the Active applications measure to know what caused the overload - too many open applications? or open desktops?

New desktop launches

Indicates the number of desktops that were launched via the NetScaler appliance, during the current measurement period.

Number

 

Desktop terminates

Indicates the number of desktops that were terminated via the appliance during the current measurement period.

Number