I miss my DVDs.

Whether a VFX-laden summer blockbuster or a festival-circuit independent film, DVDs had those amazing “behind the scenes” features that let you watch movies with the eyes of the technicians, storytellers, and artists who created them.

The ability to go back and hear the crew’s commentary and marvel at some of the narrative and visual inventions gave us an insider’s view that totally enhanced our appreciation for the film, and more, for the craft itself. Sure, Netflix and Amazon streaming video have eliminated the complexity of walking up to my TV cabinet and swapping a disk to watch films. But then, as film-obsessed teens growing up in India, we didn’t save up all year to spend an outrageous $20 a DVD to see the filmIt was the “supporting” material that was more valuable!

Citrix support is a lot like that. No, really– stick with me here– it’s true. I’m thinking about a time when my colleague, Nadeem, gave us a sneak peek at some engineering magic behind Citrix support. XenApp and XenDesktop are no strangers to filmmaking idiom, with terms like Studio and Director wending their way into the user interface. So our feature presentation is the blazing-fast pace of releases and innovations. Now, you can enjoy our idea of a special-features DVD too, in the Citrix Supportability Pack for XenApp and XenDesktop

“What’s the Supportability Pack and why should I be excited?”

I’m so glad you asked! Working on cutting-edge technology with insane deadlines– like we do at Citrix–demands “jungle wits” to survive and succeed. Citrix development and support engineers are juggling multiple projects at any given time, working on the next big idea while supporting inevitable fire drills on old releases.

They have to come up with ways to automate, officially or unofficially, so that machines take a first pass at identifying obvious issues. These tools come handy to bubble up conditions that would normally require lengthy investigation. These quick-and-dirty tools sometimes become part of the product–or not–but they frequently prove invaluable to cut down time to resolve issues, and make it easier to provide support.

To help our customers and partners with their supportability challenges, Nadeem and his team took on the daunting task of identifying, documenting, and cataloguing from among hundreds of such tools so we could offer them outside Citrix. After months of due diligence and hard-work, we are proud to introduce the first version of Citrix Supportability Pack

What’s in the Pack?

The Supportability Pack is a collection of support utilities developed by Citrix engineers to help diagnose and troubleshoot XenDesktop and XenApp on the Microsoft Windows platform. The tools are quite diverse: some automate and speed up data-log analysis; others simulate common conditions to keep you ahead of the curve. Still others complement the official tools, going into further diagnostics or health-check reports. Some tools are new, others may have been shared earlier, but now they are all catalogued by feature and component making it easier to find the right one and keep track of any updates.

The goal in creating this pack was to turbo-charge the Citrix administrator’s ability to support Citrix environments. By making these tools available to our customers and partners, we hope they will help others during testing and troubleshooting of these products. The first release consists of 47 diagnostics tools (from the hundreds of tools in our library) that were selected based on usefulness and popularity. Another release is planned later this year, with even more great utilities in store.

Where do I get it?

Go to http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX203082 and download the ZIP file. Extract all the tools to the folder of your choice. Open the README.HTML file with any web browser and begin exploring the tools catalog. You will need to perform a one-time installation or extraction of individual tools, prior to use. Each tool is provided as an individual zip file located in the TOOLS subfolder. The article describes what the tool does, and how to use it.

Please note the Terms of Use for any conditions or restrictions related to use of the pack in your environment.

How can I get more tools or make requests?

Early customers and partners have provided delightful feedback to the pack. Your feedback is critical for the success of this program. It is only the first release, and we will evolve with many more tools, different use-cases, and different formats based on your feedback.

Please share your ideas and comments on this Podio link https://podio.com/webforms/14050283/943878

Don’t forget to use Citrix Forums to engage with the community and share your troubleshooting tips

Our engineers had a lot of fun creating this amazing pack of tools. We hope it brings a few extra moments of bliss in your busy IT administration lives. Just one more way for us to show #CitrixPartnerLove