Citrix Web Operating Systems Test

When measuring user experience with web applications, it would also help administrators to know which client operating systems are widely used for accessing the applications and whether bandwidth usage and page rendering is impacted by the operating system in use. This way, administrators will be able to identify bandwidth-intensive operating systems and those that are inherently slow in rendering web pages. Users may then be discouraged to use such operating systems. The Citrix Web Operating Systems test enables administrators make such recommendations. This test auto-discovers the operating systems used by clients and reports the requests received, bandwidth consumed, and page rendering time per operating system. In the process, the test points to the most popular, the most bandwidth-intensive, and the slowest (in terms of page rendering) operating systems.

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 every client operating system

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>\webappflow\actual_csv folder on the eG agent host. These CSV files provide administrators with granular insights into the web 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

Hits

Indicates the number of requests received from clients running this operating system.

Number

Compare the value of this measure across operating systems to identify the most popular operating system.

Bandwidth

Indicates the total amount of data received from clients running this operating system.

KB

Compare the value of this measure across operating systems to know which operating system has been consistently consuming more bandwidth than the rest.

Avg render time

Indicates the elapsed time, from when clients running this operating system start to receive the first byte of a response until either all page content has been rendered or the page load action has timed out.

Msecs

Compare the value of this measure across operating systems to know which operating system is taking too much time to render web pages.