Load balancing Session Recording Servers

In Session Recording 7.13, Session Recording has supported Database High Availability to prevent data losses from database failure in the mission-critical environment.

Now available in the Session Recording 7.14 release, in terms of High Availability and redundancy for Session recording components, there is an experimental feature available: Load balancing Session Recording Servers.

Load balancing for Session Recording is a critical requirement when feature is targeted for large enterprise implementations in terms of increasing the system scalability and availability, by leveraging a load balancer such as Citrix NetScaler.

Adding multiple Session Recording Servers on demand can augment the maximum number of recording sessions compared to single server itself and also provide high availability when a session recording server is under maintenance or having issues.

Here are the high level of Deployment Architecture that gives you an overview:


To understand the load balancing solution for Session Recording Servers with NetScaler, it consists of the following components:

  • NetScaler
    Compared to a typical Session Recording deployment, the large deployment with load balancing requires NetScaler as a load balancer to distribute the traffic across a group of Session Recording.
  • Session Recording Servers 
    To augment the maximum number of recording sessions and prevent single point of failure, more than one additional Session Recording Server can be added to receive the concurrent session data for both XenApp and XenDesktop sessions.Furthermore, all the Session Recording Servers have to be added as a part of the NetScaler load balancing service group and NetScaler will pick up an available server from the server group to serve the client based on the actual server work load and load balancing method.
  • Session Recording Agent
    Session Recording Agent should connect to the virtual server IP of the NetScaler rather than directly connect to the Session Recording Server in the back-end of the load balancing environment. All of the load balancing for Session Recording
  • Session Recording Player
    Session Recording Player should connect to the virtual server IP of NetScaler rather than directly connect to the Session Recording Server in the back-end. All of the load balancing for Session Recording Servers in the back-end is transparent when using file search or replaying the recording files as a live session.
  • SQL Server Cluster
    Session Recording database is used to store some of the server configuration data (e.g. recording policies) and textual metadata of each recording file to support policy query, recording file search and playback. By sharing the same Session Recording database, it ensures all the policy query from the Session Recording Agent based on the same configured recording rules enables the Session Recording Player to search for all the required information from NetScaler, regardless of load balancing in each server. Similarly, the Session Recording logging database should also be shared among the Session Recording Servers. Also, you can take a look at this guidance to set up the standalone SQL Server cluster to increase the entire system availability.
  • Shared File Storage
    Recording files are stored in the file system storage. The storage path is configurable for server admins. All of the Session Recording servers should share the same file-system storage to make sure all the recording files could be retrieved by multiple Session Recording Servers. You can set up a standalone file system storage instead of using the Session Recording server local disk to increase the whole system availability.

Try out the Load Balancing feature, and share your feedback here to further improve the feature.

Session Recording integrated into MetaInstaller

In order to provide an easy install method and also a unified experience with installing other Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop components, you can install Session Recording by using the Citrix MetaInstaller from ISO instead of manually installing all prerequisites and package.


Session Recording Migration Tool

Citrix provides the Session Recording Migration Tool along with the Session Recording 7.14 release. This tool facilitates the migration from SmartAuditor to Session Recording. It processes the SmartAuditor recording files, and extracts and rebuilds metadata in the Session Recording Database to process the search and playback of the legacy recording files in the Session Recording Player. For more information about this tool, see Citrix Knowledge Base CTX222787.

To try out these features and much more, upgrade to XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14 today from the Citrix download page. Let us know what you think of Citrix Session Recording by placing the comments section below.