I hope everyone is taking the opportunity to download and evaluate the Excalibur tech preview. With Project Avalon Excalibur’s unified architecture, IT/admins can use the single infrastructure to deliver to end users the “follow-me desktop and applications” allowing them to work from anywhere.  With the business depending on users being able to access desktop and applications to get the job done, it is important to be able to troubleshoot problems quickly and effectively. The Excalibur Tech Preview includes Citrix Director, which provides a sneak peak of how Citrix will provide a troubleshooting solution that grows with your environment.  Today, I’m going to share with you some of the key Help Desk support capabilities you can try out in the Excalibur tech preview.

Quickly find and fix the issue

Many times the Help Desk agent is expected to resolve an issue in less than 8 minutes, including creating the service request ticket!  In the Excalibur Tech Preview, we have extended the Help Desk role within Citrix Director providing an actionable Help Desk view that enables the agent to quickly resolve 80% of the issues on the first call.

Bringing the task manager capabilities to the forefront shortens the time it takes to resolve the issue.  The Help Desk agent does not need to start shadowing the user, start Windows Task Manager, and then search and kill the offending process.  Instead, they have a task manager view of all the applications the user is running and can quickly identify processes consuming high CPU/memory; it is all right there at their fingertips with the Help Desk view.

We provide the same troubleshooting capabilities for hosted shared desktops, virtual desktops (VDI), and hosted applications enabling the Help Desk to quickly find the user’s session and take the necessary actions!

This Help Desk view not only helps save the agent time it also provides key action buttons enabling resolution at first touch.

Expanded Citrix Director User Details view

Suppose a user calls up and complains that their session is slow.  How can the Help Desk quickly find and fix the issue?  The User Details view provides key metrics to enable the Help Desk determine root cause and quickly escalate to the proper IT group.  Making metrics such as Latency visible in the Help Desk console highlight whether network conditions are affecting the ICA latency between the HDX client and machine causing user experience to degrade.  Storage latency is another metric that will affect the end user’s experience.  High values for Disk transfers/sec and Current disk queue length metrics can indicate that your storage is a bottleneck, causing session performance problems.  All of these details provide the data required to quickly identify and pinpoint the problem, and enable escalation to the correct team.

Troubleshooting profiles

In the virtual desktop and application world, profile management is one of the most widely used technologies that enable users to “roam” with their data and personalization.  The User Details view provides pertinent detail about the user’s profile that enables the Help Desk to quickly determine if the size of the profile has grown too large or the wrong server is hosting the profile resulting in extended logon times.

Profile size and location are just part of the logon process.  Look for more detail in our upcoming release around the overall logon duration and how we identify profile load times during this process.

Citrix EdgeSightTM  – more to come!

I hope you were able to listen to the Synergy Barcelona Keynote.  It was exciting to hear Mark Templeton discuss how Citrix EdgeSightTM will help customers monitor and manage their Excalibur environment.  For more details, you can read my blog.  Citrix EdgeSightTM provides advance analytics around knowing performance management, knowing network health, knowing capacity to plan for the future, and providing SLA assurance. These additions to the real-time user analytics into the core of HDX give administrators the confidence of the “power of knowing”.  This is Citrix EdgeSightTM!