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Why I Joined ControlUp

Where it all began

Time.

It’s something you never get back. I’ve heard it be called the most precious resource in the universe because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Something I’ve found I love about the end user computing space is we all share a lot of the same challenges. We share the same successes. Maybe they vary in scale, from small to large, but when we solve a problem… When we make things better we take a lot of pride in it.

A few years ago, my environment was sick. Every morning and every evening. But it was only sick for a few dozen minutes a day to maybe an hour or two.

This was bad sick though.

User logons was measured in minutes, or failed outright. We couldn’t figure out why. It was an exercise in frustration. It made people hate coming into to work. Each day, every morning and every evening. The calls would roll in. Panic to try and root cause what was going on would happen. CPU would be high sometimes, sometimes not, RAM would be high sometimes, sometimes not. Then, as quickly as it came, the problem would stop.

Eventually, the problem started to creep. Calls started to come in earlier and earlier in the morning. Waking you up. Stealing your sleep. And each day the defeated feeling of not knowing what was causing it would start to take over. Dread for being the one on call. Dread for fruitlessly looking for why this started and why this was getting worse. Dread for being asked again and again if it’s fixed. And then the calls started lasting longer and longer in the evening. Stealing your home time. Stealing your time to enjoy life. Stealing your time with your loved ones.

After a couple of weeks of pure pain, I was asked to find a tool to help us solve this problem once and for all. I looked at everything I could find.

I needed to quickly setup the tool.

I need it to be user-friendly so anyone could set it up.

We needed to be able to figure out how this thing works without hours of training.

I needed to monitor multiple components of the Citrix environment and tell me what was happening.

I needed information to guide me to an answer to solve this problem once and for all.

First contact

I installed ControlUp and added our environment and watched the metrics. I watched as metrics rose in real time to the load of the users. Web Interface was the first to show symptoms. ControlUp reported that Web Interface was experiencing a growing amount of queued requests as our problems started to occur.

We had a hope! This looks like something we work with! I load tested our Web Interface and determined what our maximum load could be, and we implemented steps to increase capacity.

ControlUp’s first day on the job was a big win. The next few days, everything was smooth sailing. The calls weren’t occurring anymore.

Until they did. With a vengeance.

Calls came in early and often and the problem started lasting the whole day. User’s couldn’t launch applications at all! Things appeared to be worse than before. But appearances can be deceiving.

ControlUp now showed another metric was Red. And I mean RED. ControlUp color coded and highlighted it. It said our XML broker was maxed out on threads and the CPU was pegged. This was not how it looked last week. By fixing the kink in the Web Interface fire hose we had discovered another further down the line in the XML Brokers.

I approached the problem the same way. I found some way to load test our XML brokers to measure their performance and load capacity. We made adjustments to them, and then held our breathe a little to see if another kink in the hose would be found.

No, further kind found. User logons were as fast as ever.

So you like the product?

I love the product.

Trying to get the information out of EdgeSight or SCOM and trying to remember time stamps or date stamps for when the problem started occurring and correlating what’s going on right now… It is incredibly tough. It’s hard when you have a hundred voices yelling in your ear asking for status, asking for what’s going on, asking for estimated time to fix, asking for anything, and then trying to manually sift through historical data to try an pin point when it occurred and the root cause? Are you 100% this spike caused it? How do you know it’s not a false positive?

Being without ControlUp, I like to think it’s akin to imagining a volume control having a 15 minute delay from when you turn the knob to when the volume actually changes. It was absolutely infuriating living with that. That’s how we lived. Turn the dial, wait 15 minutes, see if anything changed or changed to your liking. Did the change do anything? ARE YOU SURE?

But then ControlUp takes things a step further. It doesn’t just do RealTime monitoring. You can take actions. This was a game changer. You could log off sessions or change the logon mode of a machine. But then the game changed again. They introduced Script-Based Actions (SBA’s). They introduced an ability to extend the product so you can write features yourself!

I’m a scripter and this forever made my life easier. I could run a script against anything or everything, and the software intelligently groups the results.

It made your life easier?

Oh man.

On-call went from being this horrible, dreaded burden to being something people clamored for. On-call pay is a little boost to your pay cheque, and if it’s super easy and low-stress to solve problems… YEAH YOU WANT IT!

I took a call one morning. I decided… you know, I’m going to record me solving this problem in real-time. Let see how long it takes. And in less than 5 minutes, the problem was resolved. And it was easy, using a feature my team and I wrote that’s not native to the application!

I got time back! I got that most precious resource back! I could spend the rest of my Sunday enjoying it with my family in full confidence everything was working again. And I got paid for it.

Why join ControlUp?

Finally, I get to the question. Thanks for sticking with me.

After witnessing and experiencing first hand what this product can do, I got to talking to some people in the company.

What I learned is the product isn’t born from a list of random decisions. It’s born from passionate people expressing their desire to help make people’s lives easier. It’s born from intelligent leadership and vision. It’s born from being in constant communication with customers and feeling their pain, our short comings and working to fix as much as possible.

When I’m working within this company, I feel like we’re sharing the same goal. To make ControlUp a product that gives people back time. That lowers their stress level and that improves their quality of life.

This productThis companyImproved my quality of life.

It brought me back time. Time to be with my young family. Time to spend on things I get to enjoy. And an ability to share in more success stories than pain stories.

And I joined ControlUp to try and help bring these same qualities to everyone.

Thank you.

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