Utilize CloudBridge AppFlow along with Splunk® to  gain unprecedented visibility into the Citrix HDX environment and develop strategic understanding of your hosted applications, end-user experience and network usage. Export a wealth of data for XenApp/XenDesktop as well as for enterprise applications by way of CloudBridge AppFlow records and visualize these records using Splunk for application visibility, user sessions visibility and remote branch visibility.

Citrix CloudBridge delivers WAN optimization and seamless cloud connectivity for superior enterprise performance. Apart from market-leading optimization for Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp, Citrix CloudBridge is also known for the unique reporting and Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities within the appliance to understand application performance for improved visibility, troubleshooting and bandwidth management. To further leverage the rich reporting, protocol-intelligent parsing and in-depth classification performed within CloudBridge, many of our customers have been demanding additional capability to make all this useful information available outside the CloudBridge appliances. Moreover, since CloudBridge appliances are placed at the edge of each office where they can see egress and ingress of all branch traffic. The placement combined with the application intelligence built into the product make CloudBridge appliances the natural choice to collect network and application data so that the customers can do away with expensive network taps and intrusive application agents which still present incomplete picture of network.

AppFlow for CloudBridge and Splunk

With the latest firmware release 7.2, we are pleased to introduce AppFlow support on CloudBridge. Customers can now export a wealth of application data, and these records can be imported into third party collectors to enable enterprises visualize, monitor, search and analyze real-time and historical data.

To showcase the CloudBridge AppFlow value-add and as a proof-of-concept of integration with third-party collector we have collaborated with Splunk to deliver Splunk application for CloudBridge.

Unprecedented Visibility into ICA

CloudBridge is able to parse, decrypt/encrypt and understand the ICA traffic on the wire to respond with right mix of optimization techniques and to help monitor traffic at a fine granular scale. For example, CloudBridge can differentiate between ICA virtual channels to separate bulk traffic like print and file-transfer from interactive traffic like thin-wire graphics to apply different network shaping priorities and compression techniques. So with the latest CloudBridge firmware release all this unique visibility into XenApp and XenDesktop traffic is also available on the Splunk App for CloudBridge where you can view details of each virtual channel along with network statistics like latency and compression ratio.

Visibility into enterprise applications with Splunk

Apart from the dashboard page, the main reports on the application are application-specific reports, client/user-specific reports or branch-specific reports. Each of these reports have a traffic overview page, diagnostics page and bandwidth reduction page. The customer can drill down from these pages to find information like WAN usage, average latency, bandwidth savings, number of connections and so forth, for a particular user, host, branch or application. The app also allows customers to customize the reports and change time interval to suit their needs.

The visualization and analysis from Splunk App for CloudBridge could be used to not only troubleshoot problems within the network but also to develop insights into usage patterns, identify cyclic trends and thus take informed decisions regarding future upgrades.

Value proposition of CloudBridge AppFlow

CloudBridge generates AppFlow records in two data sets: WAN optimization and HDX. The CloudBridge configuration page allows user to adjust the data-update interval and configure a set of collectors. Some of the information that can be obtained from these data-sets is listed below:

Thus CloudBridge AppFlow brings value to customers in form of:

  • Adding visibility from CloudBridge into any AppFlow collectors so they can visualize information across multiple devices, applications etc. to get end-to-end picture of their deployments
  • Maintain longer history than what is available on the CloudBridge appliance
  • Ability to gain additional information from the raw-data
  • As the collector acts as hub for all AppFlow records, customers can creatively analyze correlation between different appliances, network points and applications to derive fresh insights
  • The customers can further make information and insights actionable by adding triggers and conditional task execution.

Other IPFIX collectors

Splunk is a great way to visualize AppFlow records from CloudBridge but as mentioned before, it is not the only way to do so.  Citrix AppFlow  records are exported as standard IPFIX templates which can used by a third-party IPFIX collector to develop an application to consume these records and generate detailed reports. Third-party collector developers can find details of  these templates along with guidelines in CloudBridge AppFlow Collector development guide.

To learn more about CloudBridge and its features, please visit : http://www.citrix.com/products/cloudbridge/overview.html