We have improved Director in many ways, not only with added features but also continuing to improve performance and capabilities.  We have improved the performance of the user search, in addition to adding the ability to search for machines and endpoints.  Easing workflow, from Filters view to the various Details views, drill down capability in the Trends tables provide details around each of the Trend reports, helps the administrator to reduce the time to resolution, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

Search Users, Endpoints and Machines

Expanded search capabilities

Using the new improved search, you can not only search for users connected to your site but also search for machines and endpoints. The machines include the desktops and workers being used by the users and the endpoints include client devices. Searching using the endpoints is especially useful in case of anonymous (unauthenticated) users. Additionally, the UI has been updated and provides a better user experience.

Improved Search

Imagine this, a Help Desk Admin receives a call from a nurse (end user) at the hospital. In the health care industry, thin clients are predominately used.  Many times the end user who is having the problem doesn’t know the username of the session, as they are not required to login because the session is “unauthenticated”.  Instead, the user can use the client endpoint name that the end user is accessing (physical device).  A lot of times, the endpoint name has been documented using a sticker stuck to the thin client or on the screen. When the nurse reports a problem, they can now give the client endpoint name shown on the sticker and the Help Desk Admin is able to search for that name and returned the client session details view to begin troubleshooting and quickly resolve the issue.

Machine search is a handy way to search for a specific machine name and troubleshoot issues related to specific machines.  For example, XenApp users are complaining about slowness of their hosted application.  Let’s say that the hosted application is published on the server “XAWorkerA”.  The admin can now select the machine for the search and enter “XAWorkerA”.  They will be returned the Machine Details view and are able to troubleshoot that machine.

Grouping Machines and Endpoints

Director queries the broker when asked to search for machines or endpoints. In a large environment the search response may be slow as it enumerates all of the machines/endpoints. In order to improve performance, we have provided the ability to “group” machines/endpoints. This is accomplished via the Director Config Tool, which restricts the search within a defined group. How do you group machines? All you have to do is run the Director Config Tool, select /createsitegroups, provide the IP and a name and your done!  Once the configuration is complete, the “Select a group” option will be available as shown below.

Site Groupings

Session Chooser (Switcher)

Director provides the Help Desk admin with the ability to see information in real-time, user’s session information, machine details, and endpoint session information.  The Session Chooser provides the ability to select all sessions (disconnected/connected sessions), or the user’s machines/endpoints that he/she is assigned to.  After the Help Desk admin initiates the search for a user from the improved search panel, the Session Chooser panel will return information about the machines and applications, including the session state, that were provisioned for the user. You can also “switch” between different sessions with ease using the session switcher by choosing the session you need to troubleshoot.

Session Switcher

Improved Performance in the Session Chooser

The performance of the search has been greatly improved in the Director 7.6. Previously, when there were two or more sites, the search results for machines and endpoints would be returned only after a response from all the sites have been received. But now, as soon as a response from one site is received the results are displayed. The responses from the other sites are appended to the result in real time. This helps greatly improve the search as well as improving the overall admin experience.

Improving Filters

Improved Navigation

Imagine an IT admin who is filtering through tons of data in Director in the Filters view. He comes across a session or a machine specific data that is odd and needs further investigation.  In Director 7.6, all he needs to do is simply select the hyperlink that will take him to the specific details view directly. Isn’t this an easy workflow that would prevent any confusion?

Associated User take you to that specific User Details view.

Endpoint Name takes you to the endpoint view that shows the session running on that endpoint.

Machine Name takes you to that specific Machine Details view.

Improved Navigation

New Connection Type field added

The “Connection Type” is a new column that has been added to the Sessions table in the Filters view. It indicates whether the connection is HDX or non-HDX connection (RDP or Console). This is very helpful to you if you are trying to figure out why there is latency in a session. If it’s a non-HDX connection the user is bound to experience high latency and dissatisfaction. He wouldn’t realize that it is a non-HDX channel which is causing the problem and he might be blaming XenDesktop for it. This field helps you analyze and help out users with such problems.

Connection Type

As you can see, we have made many improvements to enable the Help Desk to reduce the time to resolution, thus increasing customer satisfaction.  Look for additional improvements and features as we continue to develop Director.