If you have worked with a XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x environment, you have probably used Director to monitor it. Indeed, Director provides excellent real-time metrics and insights regarding a Citrix environment, and this information is often useful in helping administrators identify and troubleshoot issues. My purpose in writing this blog post is to provide more details on the various failure reasons behind the alerts shown on the Director Dashboard.


When users experience connection failures, or when VDA’s experience machine failures, Director provides a failure type, which is further narrowed down into more detailed failure reasons that attempt to explain the cause of the issue.

Have you ever wondered what all the possible failure reasons behind an Unregistered alert are, or what the true meaning of failure reasons such as Connection Refused or Communication Error are? If so, you are not alone! When a customer requested more detailed explanations of the failure reasons, I worked with the Citrix product and engineering teams to create a Director 7.6 Failure Reasons Troubleshooting Guide. This document, which aligns with the XenDesktop 7.6 LTSR release, can be found here.


This document details each failure reason, defines the meanings of these failures, and lists action items that serve as a starting point for troubleshooting the specific scenario. Please note that it does not include all conceivable root causes and the troubleshooting steps are simply intended to be a starting point for the issue resolution process.

Some failures will share the same action items as they are specific examples of the same general root issue, such as VDA communication failure to the Delivery Controllers. We have used this document in the field to help educate help desk teams as well as new Citrix engineers on XenApp/XenDesktop architecture, and to provide more specific guidance on what to do when an alert is generated by Director.

Many thanks to William Charnell, Bjorn Paulson, Sarah Steinhoff, and Zeljko Macanovic for spending many hours and lots of effort to discuss the content, hammer out details, and go through all the editing that made this document possible!

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