Over the last couple of years ControlUp became one of the most popular management platforms for Citrix Admins managing XenApp and XenDesktop farms. ControlUp’s real-time performance views and built-in management actions are an excellent companion for existing Citrix tools like App Center, Desktop Studio and Desktop Director. ControlUp is also Citrix Ready verified with XenDesktop and XenApp.

The real-time management capabilities of ControlUp are described in this Citrix Blog post and the Citrix related features in ControlUp 2.0 are mentioned here. In this blog post we will highlight some of the new major features in ControlUp 3.0 which was released in March 2014, focusing on three major areas – columns, script-based actions, and incident triggers.

New Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop real-time columns

Based on community feedback, some important XenApp & XenDesktop data columns were added to the real-time performance grids:

Here is a quick list of some of the Citrix-related data columns added in ControlUp 3.0:

XenApp 6.5:

  • XenApp Load Evaluator
  • XenApp Worker Group
  • XenApp current Data Collector

XenDesktop 7.x

  • XenDesktop Group Name
  • MCS Image Out of Date
  • PVS vDisk File Name (relevant for both XenApp & XenDesktop workloads)

ICA Session

  • ICA session latency
  • Citrix Receiver version

Script Based Actions

Script Based Actions (SBA) enable Citrix admins to import any existing PowerShell, VB or batch scripts into the console and execute them just like any other action built into ControlUp. With SBA you can quickly select the relevant targets, execute the script and monitor the execution status using the results screen. This feature simplifies and streamlines the execution of PowerShell scripts in a number of ways. First, you can easily run a script against multiple targets, while comparing the results. Second, you can pass any attribute of your managed resources to the script as an argument. Furthermore, you can easily select the security credentials that will be used for the script’s execution.

ControlUp includes a community actions library which allows any admin to download script-based actions shared by the ControlUp user community. Here are a few examples of existing community actions:

  • Add Server to a XenApp Worker Group
  • Change XenApp Logon Mode
  • Enable XenDesktop Maintenance Mode
  • IE: URLs – allows the Citrix admin to see which URL are currently open in Internet Explorer instances running inside ICA sessions
  • Display DLLs loaded by process – display the list of DLL’s currently loaded by the process and allows comparing the DLL list between similar processes. This is especially useful when troubleshooting Citrix API hooks related issues

Additional Citrix-related SBA examples can be found here – http://www.smart-x.com/controlup-3-0-deep-dive-script-based-actions/

Incident Triggers – ControlUp triggers allow monitoring specific incidents in your Citrix farm, configure follow-up actions and log all incidents to a central database for historical analysis. ControlUp can monitor a variety of incidents including XenApp & XenDesktop services, critical events, performance stress level alerts and ICA session related events. Follow-up actions include an e-mail alert option so real-time alerts outside the ControlUp console are now possible.

The brand-new Incidents pane aggregates all the incidents that occurred in your environment in the last 2 weeks and allows you to analyze, drilldown and correlate them in order to perform troubleshooting and root cause analysis. In this example, we can see which performance metrics are causing computer stress level events in the Citrix farm:

This view is very valuable in finding the bottleneck that cause performance issues in any SBC or VDI environment. In the example above we can clearly see that Disk I/O is the #1 cause of computers stress events in this particular network, you can quickly click on any resource in your organization tree to see which metrics are the main bottlenecks for that resource.

ControlUp 3.0 includes some additional new features. ControlUp Monitor Service offers 24/7 monitoring and alerting, keeping an eye on your resources when you are not there to look at the console. Per-folder column presets allow for showing only the relevant columns for your XenDesktop and XenApp deployments. A new ADMX template allows customizing the ControlUp UI based on Microsoft Group Polices. A full list of new features in ControlUp 3.0 can be found here – http://www.smart-x.com/controlup-3-0-overview/

ControlUp 3.0 is a full-blown XenApp & XenDesktop management platform that any Citrix admin will find useful for day-to-day management and real-time monitoring and troubleshooting.

For more information please visit Smart-X web site – http://www.smart-x.com/products/controlup/

Citrix Ready and Smart- X Partnership

Smart- X has been a Citrix Ready partner since 2011. Smart-X has developed software that solves some of the complex and common problems faced by System Administrators. Smart-X well established platform ControlUp is Citrix Ready verified with Citrix XenDesktop 7 and XenApp 6.5.

Click here for more information.

About Citrix Ready

The Citrix Ready program identifies verified solutions that are trusted to enhance virtualization, networking and cloud computing solutions from Citrix, including XenDesktop®, XenApp®, Cloud Portal™, XenServer®, NetScaler®. The Citrix Ready designation is awarded to third-party products that have successfully met verification criteria set by Citrix, and gives customers an added confidence in the compatibility of the joint solution offering. The Citrix Ready program leverages industry-leading alliances across the Citrix partner eco-system to meet a wide variety customer needs, and currently incorporates partners who have demonstrated more than 25,000 product verifications. It also includes the Citrix Ready Community Verified program which allows customers to see thousands of products that have been verified by other customers to work in their production environments.

More information about the Citrix Ready program can be found at www.citrix.com/ready.  Reach Citrix Ready using social media via the Citrix Ready blog site, LinkedIn and Twitter OR write an email to CitrixReady@citrix.com.