VDI Visibility and Monitoring

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) frees IT departments and users from the limitations of traditional client-based desktop and application IT management. IT organizations use VDI to more easily manage desktops, support remote users, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Employees and contractors use VDI to securely access corporate desktops and applications from any connected device, including thin clients, personal laptops, or mobile devices.

Tens of thousands of enterprise IT organizations rely on Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp for application and desktop virtualization. The foundation of Citrix VDI solutions is the Citrix Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol, developed by Citrix to optimize the efficiency of application and desktop virtualization, and supported by traditional thin clients or newer universal clients such as Citrix Receiver.

Citrix Monitoring: Analyzing a Bitstream of Pixels and Clicks

To optimize virtual desktop and application delivery, the Citrix ICA protocol transforms interactions between the client and server into a bitstream of pixels and clicks. Because of the opacity introduced by the ICA protocol, traditional application performance management (APM) tools cannot monitor user activity or the performance of the Citrix infrastructure. Existing Citrix monitoring tools require IT teams to install and maintain burdensome agents on thin clients or other client devices. These agent-based Citrix monitoring tools scrape data from event logs, but do not provide real-time specifics about user activity for both XenDesktop and XenApp.

Real-Time Monitoring and Transaction Analysis at 100Gbps

Citrix ReadyExtraHop provides an unprecedented level of visibility into end-user and infrastructure performance for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. Developed with collaboration from Citrix, the ExtraHop Citrix ICA Module is verified as Citrix Ready for both XenDesktop and XenApp.

ExtraHop works with Citrix to provide comprehensive, deterministic, and real-time analysis for ICA transactions, including CGP-encoded traffic. Best of all, the ExtraHop platform can provide this level of visibility immediately out of the box—without requiring IT teams to install any instrumentation on Citrix servers or desktops. Leading companies in the healthcare and financial-services industries use the ExtraHop platform to achieve real-time monitoring in large Citrix VDI environments without the complexities and burdens of agents.

The ExtraHop platform supports Citrix VDI deployments. Download the solution brief to learn more.

Deep End-User Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Monitoring

Real-time analysis of every ICA and CGP transaction helps IT teams solve Citrix monitoring challenges, especially for end-user experience. By detecting end-user slowdowns within seconds, the ExtraHop platform equips IT teams with the metrics they need to dig deep into Citrix-specific issues, such as slow logins and load times.

  • Proactively address potential problems with early-warning alerts for anomalous behavior
  • Break out metrics by user, session, and client type (including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS)
  • Identify bandwidth-intensive activity by application and virtual channel, including audio and video
  • Track printing, clipboard, and client drive mapping activity with sophisticated ICA monitoring

Comprehensive Citrix VDI Infrastructure Monitoring

Because the ExtraHop platform analyzes all transactions passing over the network in real time, IT teams can correlate front-end Citrix behavior with specific activity in the backend infrastructure—including the network, web, database, and storage tiers.

  • Eliminate finger-pointing by identifying the root cause of performance problems wherever they occur in the application environment
  • Make informed decisions regarding tuning, capacity planning, and infrastructure changes
  • Track application usage and the number of concurrent Citrix sessions
  • Ensure the performance of the Citrix licensing console, configuration database, remote storage, and other infrastructure components

ExtraHop has built an elegant, agentless solution for monitoring the performance of our desktop virtualization solutions to track end-user performance and tie that activity back to the underlying infrastructure. This solution has the potential to address a real pain point for large desktop virtualization deployments.

Aimee Catalano Vice President of Alliance Marketing Citrix