EdgeSight 5 for both XenApp and Endpoints was released last week with many changes, but for those of you who are already familiar with EdgeSight from it’s 4.x days – you’re probably wondering what those changes mean to you.  Today I’m going to cover what’s changed; what’s new; and give you a taste of some of the cool things you can now do with EdgeSight.

The first thing that will hit you when you access EdgeSight 5 are the UI changes.  Citrix has spent some serious time making their XenApp UI have a modern crisp feel, and EdgeSight is no different, but while dramatic, the new style is just the tip of the iceberg here.  EdgeSight 5 has thrown out the old navigation model in favor of a tab based approach which places the information you need right at your finger tips.  This navigation model is centered around common tasks such as monitoring performance, troubleshooting user problems and capacity planning.  While in EdgeSight 4.x you had the ability to access the detailed real-time information stored in the EdgeSight agent, doing so involved opening an Excel spreadsheet and working with the raw data.  While the Excel sheets remain for EdgeSight 5, most users will opt for the highly interactive Farm Monitor, User Troubleshooter and Device Troubleshooter. 

XenApp admins will find the Farm Monitor and User Troubleshooters particularly interesting.  The Farm Monitor provides a clear and concise view of all servers in the farm, follows the farm server hierarchy defined for the farm, and permits deep dives into exactly what is happening on the farm – in real-time.  Multiple farms are also no problem for the Farm Monitor as it seamlessly integrates all monitored farms into a single view.  The Farm Monitor is also where the EdgeSight 5 integration with the XenApp Health Check Agent occurs.  In contrast to previous EdgeSight versions, EdgeSight 5 ships with preconfigured alerts, and those alerts are tailored to the XenApp health check function.

Moving on to the User Troubleshooter, EdgeSight provides a simple report which provides access to every users’ session; both for active and inactive sessions.  Working with this report couldn’t be easier.  All that is required is the user name, the approximate time the session was created and optionally the application the user was accessing.  You enter the user name, and the report shows all the sessions for that user – independent of the server they are on, or their active status.  Simply select the session corresponding to when the session was created and begin your diagnosis.  In the event that multiple sessions were created at about the same time, the published application name is also shown.  From there you can access a wealth of information about the session including the ICA channel usage, startup experience and application performance.

Endpoint users should not feel left out with this release as they too gain a troubleshooter with the Device Troubleshooter.  In order to use the device troubleshooter you need only the name of the device.  Once the device is selected, detailed real-time information about the device, the applications running on the device and the network experience are returned.  Endpoint users also see all real-time functionality present in EdgeSight 4.x moved front and center with both the Trace Route and Process List moved to peers of the troubleshooters.

Moving past real-time functionality and into the realm of trending and capacity planning, EdgeSight 5 sees what is likely to be the biggest change.  Gone is the list of over 300 reports, a list that many customers found daunting.  In its place is a report list found under the Browse tab which contains just over 120 reports.  While it may appear on the surface that there has been a reduction in reporting, nothing could be further from the truth.  The new EdgeSight 5 reports allow users to do much more than the equivalent EdgeSight 4 report.  There are new grouping options and a third layer of data analysis with many reports now containing optional parameters.  When combined, these new features yield historical reports which are both richer and more interactive.  In addition to the new report structure, new reports have also been introduced exposing the new ICA data collected in EdgeSight 5.

Lastly, if you have ever wanted more than just the passive monitoring EdgeSight provided, look no further than Active Application Monitoring.  Built on the EdgeSight for Load Test functionality, this new feature permits you to define a series of synthetic actions and perform them on a pre-defined schedule.  If the desired SLA isn’t met, alerts can be fired.  Deploying Active Application Monitoring script launchers in key departments and branch offices permits visibility into performance degradations before users experience outages.

Want to get your hands on EdgeSight 5 today?  As always your solution advisor is a fantastic resource, but you can also take the EdgeSight 4.5 EVA and upgrade it in place to EdgeSight 5.  There is an EdgeSight 5 EVA in the works, so stay tuned.  If you’re attending Interop New York, or are in the New York area and can attend Interop, I will be showing EdgeSight 5 at the Citrix booth.  Please stop by and check it out.