Exciting New Published Application Metrics

ControlUp was born from the EUC world. A world full of remote sessions, remote protocols, published desktops and published applications, each with lots of moving parts.

From its early days ControlUp provided good coverage and lots of metrics for most of these moving parts. You can monitor sessions, processes, logon times, the servers as a whole and tons of other metrics that allow you to get full visibility into what’s going on in your infrastructure.
Until recently Controlup missed some key metrics for one tiny component, the published applications. ControlUp monitored sessions, processes and the XenApp/XenDesktop deployment, but this didn’t include a dedicated view or actions – until now.

Version 7.1 turns Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop published applications into equal citizens in the ControlUp Console!

In this blog post I will describe the new published applications metrics, explain the rationale behind them, and why these specific metrics ended up in the console. A guided tour, if you will, of some of the stuff under the hood in version 7.1. Let’s start.

Once the console successfully connects to the XenApp/XenDesktop site let’s go to the ‘Applications’ view. By default this view shows you all the Windows-based applications running on the monitored instances (provided by the lightweight Controlup agent) as well as the newly added published applications Controlup gets from the XA/XD sites connection.
If you want to change this behavior and to only see the published apps, go to ‘Display’ and uncheck ‘Show Applications’.

Note, you’ll now see all published apps, not just the ones with active users.

Cool, let’s see what’s included.

When we thought about the best way to show published applications’ real-time behavior, we tried to refine the most important metrics that would help you get the most accurate health state of those published applications. Or in other words, showing the number of instances each published application has is nice, but seeing true real-time resource utilization of the servers where these instances are running is much more interesting and helps you provide better service and a better experience for your users.

In addition to the more trivial info about each published application (names, state, creation date, etc), this approach lets you see the following more revealing metrics. This is not a full list, but just some interesting metrics in order to to get a feel for what can be done:

  • Stress Level – A well known column in the ControlUp Console that shows an aggregated – and configured – stress level of a specific entity. It’s the real-time health status of the published application.
  • XD App Instances Count – The number of instances of a specific published application currently running in the site, in either active or disconnected state.
  • XD Active Sessions – The number of active sessions where the published application is running, meaning there is an active instance of the application running. Also, we mustn’t forget that one session can run multiple application instances.
  • XD Disconnected Sessions – The number of disconnected sessions where there is an instance of the relevant published application.
  • Avg. Computers CPU – Shows the average CPU usage of all servers where there are application instances/sessions running.
    To get this metric, the servers must be monitored by ControlUp (with the ControlUp lightweight agent installed). In the the example above you can see that no agent is running on the server which publishes Microsoft Outlook 2016, therefore this metric shows no data while there is an agent on the server that publishes the Google Chrome bot test.
  • Avg. Computers Memory/Bandwidth/IO/etc – Same as the above but for memory, bandwidth, disk I/O, network I/O and other real-time average consumption in the servers on which the relevant published application is running.
  • Avg. Logon Duration – Shows the average logon duration of the sessions on which the application instance is running.
    Note that due to session sharing, application instances may be opened within an already established session.
  • XD Running/Available Ratio – The count of servers currently running the application (servers with active application instances), divided by the number of servers on which the application is published and currently in an available state. This metric helps in finding issues such as servers in the delivery group which may have failed to serve the application. These servers are registered and available from the broker view, but something went wrong when it was time to open the applications (process crashed after session brokering, applications which couldn’t be found on the server and other simple – or exotic – failures).
  • XD Available/Published Ratio – The count of servers on which the application is available (from the XenDesktop perspective), divided by the total count of servers on which the application is published.
    This metric helps you see how many servers (out of all assigned) are ready for session initialization requests for specific published applications. This will help you find issues with servers in the delivery group.
  • XD Running/Published Ratio – The count of servers currently running the application, divided by the number of servers on which the application is published. Very similar to ‘Running/Available Ratio’ but taking into account all the servers in the relevant delivery groups and not just the available ones.
  • XD Available on Count – This is a complementary metric to ‘XD Available/Published’ metric, it shows the number of servers on which the application is published (not necessarily running) and which are in available state.
  • XD Manage/Running Ratio – Percentage of servers running the published application on which the ControlUp agent is installed. This metric’s main purpose is to show you how accurate the metrics for ‘Avg. CPU/Memory/IO/etc’ are; Since these average metrics are only showing data about those servers that have an agent running.

There are no prerequisites to get the published application data to the console; just make sure the site version is at least 7.6. And of course, we will support any XenDesktop and XenApp license level.

ControlUp 7.1 is currently running in Beta! Want to try it yourself and be part of our innovators? Just let us know and we’ll add you to our beta.