XenDesktop 7 Director with the EdgeSight network analysis feature brings the networking context into the traditional virtual application and desktop troubleshooting role. The Help Desk will often troubleshoot issues with slow performance and needs to be able to prove that the reported issue is not a XenDesktop issue but rather is a result of poor networking. XenDesktop 7 provides the ability to root cause session performance problems caused by the network by integrating NetScaler HDX Insight into the Director views. Now the Help Desk user can ascertain using Director if the end user’s performance issue is due to the network and then quickly escalate to the appropriate level 2 team.
The EdgeSight network analysis (Director and HDX Insight integration) is available for Platinum customers only.
The HDX Insight data on Director is shown in two locations with different views; on the Trends view and the User Details view. Refer to the screenshots below:
In the Trends view, the HDX Insight data is available on Network tab. It gives the overview of the network details such as average bandwidth, latency, client jitter, ICA round trip time and many more network related details at the site level. There are three selections:
- To quickly analyze the network health, the chart provides a summary showing the average network metrics per the time selection
- The list of Users contains a list of users who have accessed the environment within the time period selected. Metrics such as latency, # of application launches, ICA RTT, Bandwidth, and jitter are provided on a per user basis
- Admins are able to drill down on a per user basis for network metrics relevant to that user
- The chart shows an average of the launch duration for the applications and the number of application launches for the specified time frame.
- The list shows each application, number of launches for that application and the average logon duration specific to that application.
- Admins are able to drill down into each application for additional metrics.
- The chart shows an average bandwidth used for the desktops during the specified time frame.
- The list shows the user associated with the desktop, session duration, average latency, average ICA RTT, and average bandwidth used
- Admins are able to drill down on a per user basis for additional detail
Note – The Network tab is enabled based on the XenDesktop license edition. The information shown from HDX Insight is based on the NetScaler license edition. NetScaler Enterprise will show the last 60 minutes of data, NetScaler Platinum will show historical data over 60 minutes. All data shown in the Network tab is a result of traffic flowing through the NetScaler. If the traffic does not flow through the NetScaler, that data will not be shown.
User Details View:
For XenDesktop Platinum customers, the Network panel is also available on the User Details view. This panel provides the network details that are specific to the user session.
How do we configure Director & HDX Insight to work together?
- Install Director using XenDesktop installer.
- Open command prompt and run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /confignetscaler command.
- Provide the HDX Insight machine IP/host name in the machine name field, then the user name and password.
- Provide the desired connection type. Enter 1 for https connection and 0 for http connection. Use https connection type to maintain secure connection.
Refer to the screenshot below:
HTTP vs HTTPS Connection for HDX Insight Integration:
- Using HTTPS connection for both HDX Insight and director is recommended for better security.
- If the director login is done via HTTPS but HDX Insight is configured for HTTP connection, the connection is only partially encrypted. This is called webpage with mixed content.
- The blog ‘Browser Best Practices for Citrix Director‘ describes the steps to be followed to allow mixed content in browsers.
- Also, when using HTTPS connection for HDX Insight, corresponding certificate for the HDX Insight should be used to view the content without any errors on network tab of director.
What are the NetScaler and HDX Insight requirements?
- NetScaler HDX Insight must be v10.1 or above.
- XenDesktop VDA version 7.0 and above are supported by HDX Insight and NetScaler.
- Storefront from the XenDesktop 7.0 installer or above versions can be used to launch the user sessions.
- Receiver for Mac v11.8 and Windows Receiver 14.0 (4.0) and above are required for accurate ICA RTT metrics.
- For more information on configuration of HDX Insight to enable data collection from the Netscaler vpx, refer http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/netscaler/ni-main-wrapper-con.html