Liquidware Labs offers comprehensive user management and monitoring to enable a great desktop experience anytime, anywhere and on any device via efficient delivery of the user persona and selected applications as per policies.
Leveraging the Liquidware Labs Essentials bundle reduces infrastructure and user-management costs while improving user experience and flexibility in Citrix environments. This bundle is comprised of ProfileUnity with FlexApp for User Environment Management and Application Layering and also includes Stratusphere UX for superior Visibility of User Experience metrics across any Windows® desktop, including Citrix® XenApp and XenDesktop.
Citrix Ready and Liquidware Labs
Liquidware Labs was recently named by Citrix® as Citrix Ready® Partner of the month for September 2016. The recognition speaks to the importance of user experience and the value that third party solutions bring to Citrix XenDesktop®, XenApp® and Citrix Cloud environments. User experience is ultimately the best measure of success; and Liquidware Labs Stratusphere UX provides a visibility solution that many Citrix customers have come to depend on in the pursuit of optimal user experience. Stratusphere UX is verified with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.0, 7.1, 7.5 and 7.6 versions.
In this blog, Kevin Cooke, Product Director at Liquidware Labs, highlights a few key areas of visibility that Stratusphere UX can help uncover in your delivery of user-based workloads. Specifically, the blog highlights Stratusphere’s ability to assess, validate, optimize, monitor and diagnose a few key areas that can affect user experience on XenDesktop and XenApp environments.
The Display Protocol
The ICA/HDX protocol is one of the go-to areas of focus for many a Citrix admin. Having the ability to delve deep into a session details such as latency, I/O and channel details, this is a prerequisite for any user-focused visibility solution. Stratusphere UX goes well beyond this level of details and provides the ability to trend session detail over time—inclusive of application, user and machine-specific detail filters.
As you’ll see below, Stratusphere UX provides channel and session details to facilitate diagnostics as well as trendable display and graphics information. Detail on endpoints and features such as SD-WAN, Media and Flash Redirect are present. Additionally, graphics mode detail such as Legacy Mode, Direct 3D and Thinwire H.264 are all presented to help Citrix admins understand the subtlety of endpoint delivery, as well as to correlate machine, display protocol and geographic detail to the user experience.
Machine Boot and Login Process
They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. In the world of XenDesktop and XenApp, this impression is cast during the machine boot and login process. Understanding major steps in this process is critical to the delivery of user experience. Whether it be a contributing component like directory name services (DNS) or Microsoft Active Directory (AD), everything from authentication to network and printer mappings to Group Policy Objects (GPO) will have an impact on machine boot and login.
Understanding the detail to support a higher-level monitoring or optimization exercise, or a granular deep dive to support a diagnostics effort, is far from easy. Stratusphere UX provides one of the industries most detailed and comprehensive views of this information. Understanding and having the visibility to examine all aspects and steps of this process is the only way to stave off a poor first impression.
One of the last frontiers in end-user workspace visibility is within the realm of graphics; specifically understanding how graphics processing units (GPU) contribute to the user experience. Stratusphere UX supports a number of important graphics and user experience phases in the overall user lifecycle. Assessment, image and application design, platform validation and optimization—and let’s not forget diagnostics and monitoring—are all important steps in understanding GPU use.
Stratusphere UX provides GPU hardware inventory and consumption details for both physical PCs and hosts; where an enterprise-class GPU would be installed on a server along with a vGPU function to support virtual end-user workspace. This use case is also quite relevant to application and image design, user tiring and optimizing host VM user densities. Specifically, Stratusphere UX offers application-level visibility to GPU metrics such as core GPU used, GPU memory, as well as the number of machines users and processes associated with each. Stratusphere can also provide GPU-specific metrics for Internet Explorer, tying utilization down to individual tabs within the browser environment.
Breaking Down Barriers to Troubleshoot
While visibility and having the right level of metrics and information is important to the delivery of user experience, what good is all that detail if you can’t leverage it to save time and provide more pertinent and correlated information to take action? Stratusphere’s Advanced Mode Search offers an easy Google-like experience to identify and quickly gain visibility into high-level details about possible user experience issues.
Searching all or a specific category is as easy as typing in a text box and hitting a “Search Now” button. And for more details, user, machine and application 360 degree views can be launched to offer a more comprehensive overview and entry point into a Stratusphere Advanced Mode Inspector. Search offers the newer Citrix administrators the ability to have great visibility, while still building their troubleshooting skills.
Advanced User Experience Solutions—Stratusphere UX, ProfileUnity and FlexApp
Stratusphere UX offers the visibility necessary to make sound decisions in the goal to achieve user experience. This includes the broad features of monitoring and diagnostics, but goes so much further in support of Citrix environments.
In addition to user experience visibility with Stratusphere, Liquidware Labs also offers solutions to manage the user experience and the user environment itself. They offer ProfileUnity, which provides just-in-time delivery of user profiles, application and user rights management and FlexApp, which offers advanced Application Layering. These solutions offer extraordinary flexibility and value to both XenDesktop and XenApp environments. ProfileUnity with FlexApp is Citrix Ready verified with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.0, 7.1, 7.5 and 7.6 versions.
Together these three solutions are available from Liquidware Labs as a comprehensive bundle. User Experience Monitoring and Diagnostics, User Environment Management and Application Layering are available in one convenient and extremely affordable suite known as Essentials. Liquidware Labs invites you to learn more about their Citrix Solution and Value, and thanks Citrix again for this honor. For more information, you may reach out to Kevin Cooke.
Read more about Liquidware Labs on the Citrix Ready Marketplace. You may also visit Liquidware Labs at www.liquidwarelabs.com and let them know how they can increase the user experience attributes in your Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop environment.
About Kevin Cooke
Kevin Cooke is a Product Director at Liquidware Labs, where he champions solutions and helping organizations reap the transformational benefits of next-generation desktop infrastructure and workspaces. Kevin has spent some time in the trenches as an IT professional, and as a solution provider, driving virtualization and next-generation data center architectures. Prior to this, he worked as an editor and journalist at a couple of well-known industry publications—needless to say, he has opinions and isn’t afraid to share them.