Now that we’ve announced the general availability of the latest major release of our virtualization platform, XenServer 7, we can finally talk about its significant new features and capabilities.  The focus of this blog is the new XenServer Health Check and its integration with Citrix Information Services (CIS).

XenServer Health Check with Citrix Insight Services integration

This release introduces XenServer Health Check to provide proactive, regular and automated health checks resulting in an enhanced experience for XenApp and XenDesktop users.

What’s so special about Health Check?

The current process of uploading server status report logs to the Citrix Insight Services (CIS) server is reactionary and has an admin collecting the logs and uploading them to CIS, where the logs are parsed and a link to a report emailed back to the user.

The new Health Check automates this entire process. This is an opt-in feature requiring customers to enroll. Within XenCenter, the IT admin checks the Enable Health Check box, selects a date/time interval for the Server Status Report (SSR) to be automatically uploaded, and provides the appropriate host/pool and CIS credentials.

XS Health Check Enrollment Form

Once enrollment is completed a token is created that is used for all subsequent activity.

At the specified time interval, the logs are uploaded automatically to CIS. After these logs have been parsed, we communicate a Red-Amber-Green (5 severities, with 1 being worst, through 5, no issues) notification back to the user, as well as a link that they can click through to take them to the full blown report. Here’s a sample screen:

XenServer Health Check Overview screen

This process runs through XenCenter, and as it is an application that numerous admins might run locally on their desktops/laptops, we’ve streamlined the XenCenter process by building in a mechanism that will ensure duplicate reports are not uploaded.

What types of information are being tracked? Well, there are 100 XenServer plugins for checking your infrastructure versions, drivers, and the network/storage types in use. These include:

  • missing hotfixes
  • out-of-date drivers
  • bonding issues
  • security patches
  • xapi db corruptions
  • out-of-date BIOS
  • configuration limits exceeded

Click Here for a list of the content included in the Health Check server status report with their descriptions.

These issues are classified as one of three severity classifications: Low, Medium and Severe.  With this data, Citrix Insight Services is able to pro-actively and automatically diagnose potential infrastructure issues, providing a consumable report to infrastructure admins through XenCenter.

CIS Report Screen

The result is increased operational efficiency and reduced infrastructure OPEX by…

  • helping to minimize unplanned outages due to known issues
  • proactive health monitoring
  • automatic diagnosing of common infrastructure issues

Bottom line: This integration with Citrix Insight Services (CIS) enables infrastructures to be automatically diagnosed for potential resource pool configuration or known Citrix Support issues, providing an easily consumable report to administrators to take remedial action, such as determining failing infrastructure, required updates or misconfigured infrastructure components.

We will be following up with a technical blog on Health Check and CIS – so stay tuned.

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