With Director 7.6, we really wanted to make sure users know when they are about to be impacted by a license issue. To address this, license alerts from the license server are now made available in the Dashboard view in Director 7.6. This new capability provides greater visibility into the licensing state of XenApp/XenDesktop so administrators are aware of impending current licensing conditions, which may affect the functionality of the product. Licensing errors in an environment can cause major outages or degraded service for customers and in previous versions of XenApp/XenDesktop, it is difficult to identify when license problems affect your site or are about to impact user connections.
In previous versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, if the users run out of licenses they will get session rejections via the license policy engine. To address this limitation, we introduced a new concept called Supplemental Grace Period (SGP). During the Supplemental Grace Period, the license policy engine will grant unlimited connections, providing a window of time to purchase more licenses . SGP will be granted for over consumption of licenses, adding another 15 days window to allow for fixing the issue. After the expiration of SGP, regular license limits are enforced.
Director Dashboard view
This feature is made available with two panels on Dashboard view under a new tab called Licensing Status. The Licensing Status tab will indicate the conditions detected by the licensing system (license server and controller). The number shown in the Licensing tab indicates the total number of alerts/alarms detected by the licensing server and each controller.
License Server Alerts panel – This displays status updates that are generated directly from the licensing server. Alerts/alarms are activated when triggered by the server. Alert messages include: Incomplete configuration, compatibility with the Delivery Controller, and activation of SGP. In addition, administrators are provided with recommended actions to resolve License Server issues.
2. Delivery Controller Status panel –Displays license server connection status for each controller. Delivery Controllers that belong to the same site and their license server connection status are displayed. Delivery Controllers which cannot connect to the license server will trigger an alarm. The administrator can further view the licensing information for each delivery controller in overview and details tabs.
a) Overview field: Contains licensing server state details, the SGP state and the time remaining before grace period expiration. An alarm is activated when the grace period expires, as the purchased limits are enforced and no free licenses are granted.
b) Details field: Indicates the additional details of the licensing status with the Delivery Controller. It details the grace state for the licensing server and also the last licensing event time stamp is shown. The licensing server’s fully qualified domain name, port used, product edition of the license applied, product identification, and the licensing model used are captured under details panel.
Alerts vs. Alarm
Alerts are generated to advise customers when denying connections due to licensing issues. These alerts provide warnings and typically contain cautionary text and are shown in orange. Licensing alarms occur when licensing is misconfigured, damaged, or usage is improperly licensed. In these cases, immediate action should be taken. These alarms are shown to the administrator in red.
Below are screen shots showing the various license alert/alarms scenarios.
Alert: Licenses consumed are exceeding the threshold value set.
Alarm: Licensing Service is down, causing an alarm on Director.
Normal Working Licensing Server without Alert or Alarm:
Licensing Alert Threshold
Administrators can set a threshold for license usage. If the licenses consumed exceed the set threshold value, an alert will be generated and shown in the Licensing Server panel in Director. The default value threshold is set at 90% however it can be configured on the Delivery Controller by running the following XenDesktop PowerShell command to set a custom threshold.
Set-ConfigSiteMetadata – Name “LicensingAlertThreshold” –Value “90”
The alert shown in Director is captured in the below screenshot:
I’ve included a table that shows the various deployment scenarios and the expected outcome for each.
|License server version||And controller version is…||And Director version is…||The expected outcome is that…|
|7.6(v11.12.1)||7.6||7.6||Alerts are working. SGP licenses granted by controller|
|7.6(v11.12.1)||7.6||Pre-7.6||No alerts shown in Director in the new License status tab|
|7.6(v11.12.1)||Pre-7.6||7.6||Broker does not grant SGP licenses. No alerts shown in Director in the new License status tab|
|7.6(v11.12.1)||Pre-7.6||Pre-7.6||Pre-7.6 behavior for both controller and Director|
|Pre-7.6(pre-v11.12.1)||7.6||7.6||The controller cannot checkout licenses, as License server is incompatible. No alerts will be shown.|
|Pre-7.6(pre-v11.12.1)||7.6||Pre-7.6||Broker cannot check out licenses, as license server is incompatible. No alerts will be generated.|
|Pre-7.6(pre-v11.12.1)||Pre-7.6||7.6||No alerts. No SGP (i.e. pre-7.6 behavior|
**Note – for Pre-7.6 behavior, no alerts or SGP will be generated in the License Status tab.
Director also provides License Server status in the Infrastructure panel on the Dashboard for all deployments. This is for all deployments regardless of versions (used for backwards compatibility). Status shown:
- Connected = everything is working as expected
- Not connected = grace period has been entered (grace period will be entered as a result of inability to contact the license server).
License monitoring is designed to help Citrix administrators know when licensing issues may impact their deployments and provides the recommended actions to resolve the issues. Look for additional features around license usage and proactive notification and alerting in upcoming releases.