As part of the Citrix Technical Support Escalation team that focuses on Debugging/Code analysis, Kapildev Ramlal is constantly learning new technologies and thinking of ways to help improve the support process at Citrix. Kapildev will be presenting the following sessions at Citrix TechEdge during Citrix Summit and Citrix Synergy 2009: End-to-end virtualization with Citrix Delivery Center, with a focus on Citrix XenApp, and then his in-depth session will cover Troubleshooting tools and methodology for Citrix XenApp 5 environments.
Q. How has XenApp improved from a support perspective over the past year?

Kapildev: Over the past year XenApp has improved significantly from a performance standpoint. With the release of hotfix rollup pack 3 for XenApp 4.5 and the release of XenApp 5.0, there has been some tremendous IMA improvements. As we know, IMA is the backbone of XenApp, and is considered the most critical component of the Farm. From our internal stress testing, we have found that IMA is now more stable than it has ever been in the past, so I expect to see less support cases opened regarding performance issues.

Q. What XenApp and Citrix Delivery Center tips will attendees learn at your session this year?

Kapildev: I hope that attendees would pick up several troubleshooting tips and techniques that they can readily use in their own environments. For my session, I’ve updated several tools and techniques as things have evolved a bit with the release of Windows Vista and Server 2008. For example, I include tips on how to enable local debugging on Windows Server 2008, which can be extremely useful for live debugging and analysis. It is becoming more common to see servers with 16+GB of RAM, so learning how to debug and analyze complex server related issues live, can save precious time on a trip to Citrix or Microsoft.

Q. What new tools or techniques are you using to troubleshoot XenApp?

Kapildev: We have had some improvements with our internal tool development process, and because of them, we now have a lot more public Citrix tools available for use on our Citrix Knowledge Center. These tools not only help automate time consuming tasks, but they also help expedite the time it takes to resolve problems.

Q. What types of cases have you worked on this past year? Why?

Kapildev: I have covered several synchronization and memory related cases over the past year. I believe this is mainly due to the wide variety of applications that can be run on a XenApp server. Because of this, the chances for a rogue application or driver causing problems on a system will be increased. Surprisingly not all of these cases were Citrix problems. In most of these cases, which I have worked on, the problem usually turned out to be a problem with a 3rd party application, and usually that 3rd party vendor already had a fix for the problem.

About Kapildev Ramlal
Kapildev has been with Citrix Technical Support for about five years. He started as a technical support engineer, and had a strong motivation for learning programming, C/C+, and Windows internals. One year later, he transitioned into the Global Escalation team as an Escalation Engineer. On the Escalation team, he’s been able to learn debugging user mode and kernel mode Windows components, and has been actively assisting with analyzing complex development analysis cases. He’s also developed several software application utilities for Citrix including CDFControl, Print Detective and TSUserLog (to name a few). He holds certifications in Network, A+, MCP, CCA. When he’s not learning a new technology, he loves to be playing music.

Do you have an XenApp troubleshooting area that you would like Kapildev to focus on during his presentation? Leave a comment.

Check out more posts in the Citrix TechEdge 2009 series.