Why do you use ControlUp?

Like many large enterprises, one of our major challenges is keeping users productive. We need to monitor 5,500 concurrent users around the clock for issues that may disrupt their work. A big goal in adopting ControlUp was to be more proactive than we were able to be previously, using Citrix Director for monitoring. ControlUp is giving us real-time visibility into our environment, so we can detect and solve problems immediately. For instance, one area that we wanted to target was monitoring cache storage consumption. ControlUp allowed us to create incident triggers that generate an email or text alert before a cache disk overloads. We also needed to optimize other areas, such as improving logon speed, which was averaging between 60 and 100 seconds. After investigating the process in ControlUp we found that there were a lot of legacy scripts from acquisitions. We solved this issue thanks to ControlUp and got those logons down to 20 seconds, which makes employees very happy.

How does ControlUp help in your day to day work?

On a daily basis, this is our go-to tool for solving every type of VDI issue we have, from occasional slow logons to app usage and performance trends. In fact, we regularly monitor logon speed through a quick glance at the ControlUp console. Another example, a new storage array was causing problems. To solve it, we used the ControlUp console to log off sessions and reboot servers.

ControlUp also allows us to work with app developers to see what is killing memory and CPU before they launch new apps into the environment. Then there are the urgent matters. One day we saw all of our servers lighting up in red from the console. The storage team knew there was an issue, but couldn’t find it. ControlUp gave us computer-level metrics so that we could uncover the problem and solve it right away.

What’s your favorite feature in ControlUp?

It’s hard to select a single feature but I would probably go with the controllers. I can’t tell you how many times we use this feature, especially the HKCU registry, to compare a working user with a non-working user. It gives us the ability so see where a rogue registry setting may be ill-affecting a user and then we have the option to correct the issue immediately.

What new features would you like to see in ControlUp?

PVS write cache size and PVS cache free space with their own separate columns. I would love to see Version 5.0 released sooner than later!

Why would you recommend ControlUp to other SysAdmins?

It’s simply feature rich, always being improved and is offered at a price point that any IT shop can afford. Before ControlUp we were reactive, but now we are 100% proactive. There are so many levels to ControlUp, for example, the option to right-click for management actions and drill deep into our environment. It’s very useful having a system that allows us to view our full virtual desktop environment as a whole, aggregating information from Citrix PVS, XenClient and other sources.