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Introducing ControlUp 4.1: End-User Experience Monitoring with Logon Duration Metrics

A key objective for any system admin is to provide a superior end-user experience.  The ability to monitor logon duration times is a new and highly anticipated feature of ControlUp version 4.1. With the Logon Duration feature you will now have the crucial information you need to track your VDI performance, which in turn improves the end-user experience.  Also included in the new version, a native mobile app which sends ControlUp alerts directly to your smartphone, as well the ability to support larger VDI and XenApp environments and improved scalability.

4.1 Features

User Logon Duration Metrics

Logon duration has a tremendous effect on how VDI performance is perceived and is a critical end-user experience metric. You can now see a breakdown of logon duration metrics added in the ‘Sessions’ view:

  1. Logon Duration – From the time an end-user is authenticated on an RDS server or VDI endpoint until the time there is interaction with a desktop. In the case of published applications, from the moment of authentication until application is launched.
  1. Profile Load Time – The time that it takes for Windows to fully initialize and load a user profile.
  1. Group Policy Load Time – The time it takes for user logon group policies to load, not including logon scripts. Standard group policy and group policy preferences run on two separate engines, therefore this metric includes the time that it takes for Windows to process both of these engines during a logon sequence.
  1. Desktop Load Time – The time it takes for an explorer shell to initialize, including the Active Setup phase if it is the first time a user logs onto a Windows computer.
  1. Logon Duration – Other –   The time that it takes for other components to load. Although not directly monitored, components like third party profile management solutions (e.g. Citrix Profile Management and VMware View Persona) are part of the logon sequence. Other components may include group policy logon scripts, as well as Userinit initialization, which, if logging into a Citrix XenApp environment, includes drive mapping and printer mapping.

Logon Duration columns display your precise metrics


Check out this short video:


Mobile Push Notifications

ControlUp’s mobile alerts app (native iOS and Android) provides users with real time push notifications for incident triggers.

Scalability Improvements

Just a few years ago, VDI environments were made up of 100 to 200 desktops. Today, many VDI deployments span from 500 to 30,000 user desktops. In order to match the growth of VDI deployments without affecting system performance ControlUp now regulates the rate of performance updates and includes an option to disable the ‘Processes’ view.

Regulating the Rate of Performance Updates

In some instances a large number of updates sent to the ControlUp management console cause performance and scalability issues. To remedy this, you can now regulate the rate of performance updates. You can now configure ControlUp to pull performance updates from managed computers in specified collection cycle times instead of agents sending automatic push updates to the console, therefore decreasing the amount of CPU cycles and RAM. It is important to note that this new configuration option does not require any network topology changes and uses the same ControlUp port configuration.

 

Regulating updates gives you control over the quantity of updates received by the console

 

Disabling the ‘Processes’ View

The ‘Processes’ view displays processes running on all managed computers. Containing thousands of records, this view consumes the highest amount of memory and CPU. With version 4.1, you can disable the flat ‘Processes’ view default display. This leads to a drastic improvement in scalability, allowing ControlUp to manage new and larger environments or existing environments with less resource consumption. You can still drill down from the ‘Computers’ and ‘Sessions’ views to the ‘Processes’ view only when a specific process needs to be accessed.

 

Disable the ‘Processes” view in order to improve scalability and lower resource consumption

 

Conclusion

ControlUp 4.1 includes the exciting features listed above, along with a few more enhancements and bug fixes. These enhancements include the ability to delegate hypervisor permissions and adjust preconfigured counter thresholds based on Citrix and VMware best practices. Additionally, the ‘Display Settings’ drop-down on the Home ribbon now displays a ‘Show Unmanaged VMs’ filter. To learn more about the complete list of features and updates, check out ControlUp v4.1 Release Notes, and then give them a try yourself!

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