As ControlUp worldwide user community grows, we keep receiving more and more excited e-mails from systems administrators that find ControlUp useful for their day-to-day management and maintenance tasks. I thought I would share a typical use case reported by one of our US-based enterprise customers.

In an environment that includes hundreds of Citrix XenApp RDS hosting thousands of user sessions, the admins’ hands are full of work most of the time, so performing maintenance tasks rapidly and efficiently is crucial. In the current case, the admins were challenged with the following issue, which should be familiar to most Citrix server farm administrators:

Some of the servers in the farm are not accepting user connections, even though logon is enabled and system health looks fine.

A remedy for this issue is readily available. This is the procedure that should be performed on each server:

1. Stop Citrix IMA service

2. Run “dsmaint recreatelhc” command

3. Start Citrix IMA service

Once you understand a bulk action needs to be performed, the question is which tools to use in order to complete the task as quickly and easily as possible. Every admin I know has a preferred automation method, a good example is a script run remotely with PSExec, but many other tools can do the job just as well. Most of the tools use a text file with target computer names to execute the commands one by one, which is a bit of a nuisance when the list of target machines varies from day to day.

Let’s take a look at how ControlUp would help you handle this situation.

The empty servers are easy to spot using ControlUp’s Machines View, since they all have something in common – a zero in the “User Sessions” column. All these machines need to be brought back into action ASAP.

After right-clicking the target servers, note two functions that will come in handy – “Services Controller” and “Processes > Run As”. The Services Controller is the right tool for performing bulk actions on Windows Services. In our case it will be used for stopping and starting the IMA Service using an interface that looks just like the familiar services.msc console with one big difference – the each action is performed on multiple machines simultaneously. So just a click will suffice to stop the service on all of the target servers.

Next, we use the “Processes > Run As” action to run the “dsmaint recreatelhc” command on all of the servers. Just right-click the servers, select “Processes > Run As” and provide the command line and credentials to run the command:

After the task completes on all of the servers, you can start the IMA service again using the Services Controller, just as described above. Normally, the whole process should take about a minute and a half with ControlUp.

In a case such as this, when the task sequence is routine, a small batch file can be placed on a network share and executed remotely on any number of machines using the “Run As” action. Similar tasks involving file system and registry operations can also be performed using ControlUp with the same ease and speed.

It’s always great to hear how ControlUp makes life easier for system admins. After all, this is exactly what it was built for !

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