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Corporate infrastructure monitoring is a key element to provide stable Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (CVAD ) environment. Using the right tool can help to deliver real value but what are the criteria for the best solution ? Every infrastructure is different, every organization has different set of requirements and priorities related to monitoring and incident reporting and every solution available on the market provides vendor specific concept for monitoring. The ideal solution does not exist but the key aspects to consider are the following:

  1. Alerting and proactive support capabilities – crucial functionality to inform support team about any issue registered in the infrastructure. Impact of service outage for business offering must be limited to the minimum. This becomes super important in large-scale infrastructures hosting business critical resources for users located world wide.  Proactive support features able to detect service degradation combined with automated auto-remediation procedures is the most important goal to deliver with new monitoring solution.
  2. Compliance monitoring features – this aspect cannot be overlooked when we talk about enterprise class monitoring solution. In many organizations, especially in financial and banking or military sector there are restrictive regulations to prove that current configuration of CVAD infrastructure is fully complaint with approved standards. It applies not only to operating system settings but also to the FMA components configuration, citrix policies etc.
  3. Solution complexity and implementation cost – very important aspect with main impact for implementation budget but also for future maintenance effort and support model.
  4. Cross-platform support – it would be nice to have one solution which is supported by all platforms and operating systems.
  5. Integration capabilities – monitoring system must be able to integrate with existing incident tracking tools. Support for incident escalation workflows is a crucial functionality to provide proper reaction for business critical issues according to the company incident management principles.

When it comes to monitoring solutions able to monitor XenApp and XenDesktop infrastructure things are getting more complicated. There are great products with confirmed support for CVAD but in most cases they are quite expensive and provide features which are not needed or do not fully meet organisation requirements. You can find great summary for available monitoring solutions in Rob Beekmans’s blog. In this post I don’t want to do additional review of these products. I do believe that they are great and provide great benefits of using them to monitor  CVAD infrastructure. I had no chance to work with all these products – (hey, the vendors maybe this is an option for you to give me a chance to play with your software, learn it and promote it furtner 😈  ) I have some experience with ControlUp and eG Innovation but I would like to show you an alternative for the commercial products. I’m playing with Goliath Performance Monitor now to learn more about reporting features, so expect some more information published on my blog soon.

An alternative is Zabbix. In this article I would like to show you, how to build your own monitoring solution which is free of charge and fully customized. In the current template version I prepared initial configuration for reactive monitoring. I will develop these templates to include new features and make them as great as possible.  All changes will be published as an update to this post and template will be available for download from github repository.

Required resources

  • XenDesktop 7.15 site (support for next LTSR versions will be included in separate templates)
  • server with Zabbix version 3.x or newer
  • optional – server with Grafana (dedicated dashboard for Grafana will be published soon)

Assumptions

  • XenDesktop site is fully configured and accessible
  • Zabbis server is fully configured and connectivity between zabbix server and zabbix agents is enabled. In this article there is no intention to provide installation and configuration manual for Zabbix. You can find great manuals created by Zabbix experts
  • Zabbix agent is configured for active and passive checks
  • Zabbix agent is configured for remote command execution

Template configuration

Template configuration is prepared based on the settings described in my previous article: XenDesktop 7.15 monitoring items. In order to keep configuration simple and easy to deploy I created separate template for a key FMA componentsoo. I will develop these templates separately as they have to be applied to different hosts and require different level of customization and effort to maintain.

Template for Delivery Controller

Monitoring template for Delivery Controller consist of the following configuration elements:

Applications: 3

Items: 29

Triggers: 24

Visualization: Standard Zabbix dashboard with widget “Problems”

Download link: C24_CVAD-715_Broker_v1.00

Screenshot examples:

Figure 1. Local host cache import failure

 

Figure 2. Database is not available

 

Figure 3. Citrix license server is not available

 

Template for Citrix License server

Monitoring template for Citrix License Server consist of the following configuration elements:

Applications: 2

Items: 4

Triggers: 4

Visualization: Standard Zabbix dashboard with widget “Problems”

Download link: C24_CVAD-715_CTXLicServer_v1.00

Screenshot examples:

Figure 4. Citrix licensing services are unrechable

 

 

I am really looking to your comments. Please add your findings and modification proposals in comments below.