The network-related monitoring and reporting within Citrix Director is powered by NetScaler HDX Insight, which is a powerful tool for end-end monitoring tool for Citrix HDX deployments, and that gives thorough insight in to HDX traffic down to packet level information.
It allows the administrators to proactively monitor the XA/XD deployments and facilitates them to pin point the exact problem that an end user is facing. It clearly helps the administrator to answer the: When is a user accessing the applications? What applications a user is accessing? Who are the users logging in?
Further to this, with the latest release of NetScaler® 11.0 it is now possible for the administrators to answer the question of from Where a user is accessing an application? This feature is called HDX Insight Geo Maps. This feature is available in NetScaler Insight Center® 11.0 product as well as accessible from the Trends > Network tab in the Citrix Director Monitoring console.
Following are the examples of the use cases, which the administrator can address with this feature:
- Top 5 cities from where the Outlook application is being accessed
- Top 5 countries from where most number of Users are accessing the applications from evening 7 PM to night 11 PM
- ICA RTT of ShareFile application when accessed from Boston office as compared to when accessed from Seattle office
- Cities from which Steve has accessed the applications in last 1 month
With this kind of data and reporting available to an administrator from Director’s console, it becomes really easy to troubleshoot a problem and do better in terms of capacity planning as well. The best thing about this is not just thoroughness of data but also the ease with which this can be configured. Following are the steps involved to configure public geo IP and private geo IP look up.
Public Geo IP look-up:
For showing the users who are accessing the applications from public IP addresses, a geo IP database as per the help documentation vendor recommendation, needs to be uploaded in to NetScaler Insight Center. Refer Fig. 1 for more details about this.
Private Geo IP look-up:
For showing the users who are accessing the applications from private IP addresses (like company’s intranet), private IP blocks need to be created in NetScaler Insight Center. Refer Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 for more details about this.
Fig 1: Upload MaxMind Geo DB for Public IP look up in NetScaler Insight Center
Fig 2: Listing of created Private IP Blocks in NetScaler Insight Center
Fig 3: Creation of a Private IP Block in NetScaler Insight Center
HDX Insight Geo Map reporting:
For viewing these reports, login to Director console and then to Trends tab and further into the Network tab. Here, you will be able to see the regular HDX Insight reporting which was available earlier, with HDX Insight Geo Maps, which have been newly introduced. Refer Fig. 4 for the details.
The regions in the Geo Map are color-coded based on the quantity of the metrics in that region, for example: If ICA RTT is more in China than India then China would be filled with a darker color shade of green. This helps quick visual inferences. The Geo Maps can be drawn on various metrics like: ICA RTT, Bandwidth, WAN Latency and DC Latency. The table down below can show all the regions with sorting and pagination available.
A region (Country or State) can be clicked from within the Geo Map or the link in the table down below for seeing the details of reporting in the selected region. Refer Fig. 5 for the same.
The use cases mentioned earlier on in this blog can easily and intuitively catered to using the simple and visually rich representation and straight-forward drill-down mechanisms, all the way up to the trouble-shooting’s point of interest.
Fig 4. Geo Map reporting in Director Monitoring Console
Fig. 5: Drill down into China’s Guangdong region to see city-wide Geo Map reporting in Director Monitoring Console
HDX Insight Geo Maps are a very useful mechanism to statistically analyze data and troubleshoot, with a very intuitive, super-sleek and visually rich reporting console. With this in hand, the administrator gets complete Insight into whereabouts of the HDX users and their performance implications with these reports guiding them through easily towards giving the user best possible performance and application delivery.