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Posts Tagged ‘Application’

How to monitor your Internet facing service globally – #Azure, #ApplicationInsights, #Citrix, #NetScaler, #EnvokeIT

Hi again all!

It’s been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post.. I’ve just been too busy working! 🙂

But this is a really cool capability that I think that many of you will like, how often do your company or service provider have a good way of monitoring availability, performance etc. from the public Internet? And if they do then most of the time the larger service providers will build a service and install their own probes on different geographical locations and then they charge quite a lot for this service, and every time you change your application the charge you again for modifying the scripts that the probes use etc.

What I’ve tried and now think is going to be great for both smaller and larger organisations is the Azure Application Insights service. It’s really great and can assist with just this, it’s a service that microsoft provide from their locations globally where you can test your apps in Azure or course but also any web site out there on the Internet. And it doesn’t stop there, you can also use the server installer to also provide metrics from your Windows IIS server up to Azure to get more detailed statistics about the web server itself and requests etc.

Just think about how much it would take for you to setup monitoring from APAC, Americas and Europe for your NetScaler environment.. that would not be done in 10 minutes if you talk to your standard service provider. It took me 10 minutes to setup this reporting to ensure that the NetScaler is available from different locations around the world:

Availability

 

And this is just a simple url ping test to ensure that we get a proper 200 OK response from our EnvokeIT Lab environment that my colleague Björn have setup and modified so nicely with the X1 StoreFront look & feel.

NetScaler_StoreFront_x1_look_and_feel

 

URL_ping_test_netscaler_bear_lab_envokeit

Of course you can make a more proper test than just a url ping test like in this case, the service supports multi-step tests and also content matching etc. It’s also very easy to create one application/service that then consists of multiple locations that you want to monitor, for instance if you’re using GSLB FQDNs as well as regional to ensure that you get the full picture.

More information about what can be done you can find on the Azure Application Insights  page.  Read more…

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – #Nutanix, #WebScale, #Dell, #EnvokeIT, #Gartner

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

As usual it’s very interesting when Gartner takes a look at the trends for the coming year. I must say that I agree with many of them, one of the trends is very close to my heart and what I think should have been on the agenda of most CIO’s prior to 2015, and this is: Web-Scale IT.

Why haven’t more enterprise and solution architects been looking earlier at how to simplify the delivery of the “commodity” service that IaaS should be in todays IT world. Yes I know that most enterprises have a “legacy” environment that is hard to just transform, they have a service delivery organisation with certain competences and are being bombarded by salesmen from the older legacy providers that this new way is scary (up until they themselves come up with a story on web-scale of course). But it’s time to wake up and look at how you can change your Compute, Network and Storage components to reduce complexity, increase flexibility/agility, focus on core business (apps and services on top) and also reduce your TCO.

One way is of course to move to the cloud and let someone else bother about this, but I yet don’t see that the larger enterprises are looking at this and there is a hesitation though most haven’t gotten to the point of understanding the TCO model and how to compare their As-Is costs to the cost that they get from the costing tools of Azure, Amazon etc. Why is this? My view is that most don’t have a clear understanding of their own As-Is TCO, they understand how much a server costs, and storage costs, but not the TCO when it comes to facility/datacenter costs, power & cooling, HW costs, support and operational costs, license costs and the overview of that in a TCO model they can understand or compare with “the cloud”.

Ok, as usual I’m getting a bit sidetracked but I love this topic and I must encourage you to contact EnvokeIT if you need help to understand the Web-Scale IT concept and how it can add value to you and your business. We work with Nutanix and Dell and can assist in assessing your existing As-Is solution and forming the To-Be target architecture and the strategy to get there based on your requirements and needs. Of course we’re not locked into Dell or Nutanix and have experience within Azure and other public cloud providers as well as other hardware vendor solutions like HP, NetApp etc.

If you like to see a really cool solution that is coming then have a look at my previous post including a short and cool video: Dell + Nutanix = awesome!

Here we have the top 10 trends for 2015 that Gartner have identified:

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, October 5-9 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
Read more…

Citrix Startup Company #AppEnsure Releases Free tool to automatically measure response time & throughput for all applications! – via @douglasabrown

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Another cool application!

AppEnsure, a leading provider of application performance solutions for cloud and virtualized environments, today announced the first free product to aid IT operations with application performance monitoring and management. AppEnsure Free is the first free solution to automatically measure response time and throughput for all applications, including custom developed and purchased, in all locations; physical, virtualized, public and private cloud.

AppEnsure Free helps IT Operations rapidly troubleshoot and diagnose application performance problems within minutes and prevents war room meetings. The solution is easy-to-use and deploy and gives immediate insight into common application issues such as slow response time.

“IT Operations teams are the first ones blamed when an application is performing poorly,” reports Bernd Harzog, Performance and Capacity Management Analyst at The Virtualization Practice. “Giving these teams visibility into application response time and throughput will arm them with the necessary data to quickly resolve performance issues.”

“We developed AppEnsure Free to help IT Operations,” said Colin L.M. Macnab, CEO and co-founder of AppEnsure. “Time and time again we talk with companies struggling with their current performance management systems and we wanted to give companies a solution – at no cost – to help them ensure mission critical applications are performing as expected and to eliminate blame during war room meetings and bridge calls.”

AppEnsure Free costs absolutely nothing for a perpetual 5 servers…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers – #ADC, #NetScaler, #Citrix

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Citrix is keeping up the good work and is placed with F5 in the Leader quadrant!

Citrix is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers for the seventh consecutive year: the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report focuses on vendor’s ability to solve complex application deployment challenges. Don’t miss this chance to learn from Gartner’s independent research.

NetScaler is well established as the industry’s leading internet delivery system, touching an estimated 75 percent of internet users each day. Citrix builds on this leadership to provide the world’s most advanced cloud networking platform, giving customers a single, integrated solution that brings the elasticity, simplicity and expandability of the cloud to any network. This combination helps customers deliver public and private cloud services with the best performance, security and reliability to any device. Learn more about the importance of this recognition by reading this recent press release.

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers

 
 

Source: Gartner (October 2013). The full 2013 Gartner Application Delivery Controller Magic Quadrant, report can be viewed on the Gartner website.

//Richard

Performance tuning #Citrix #Storefront – via @msandbu

October 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Great article by Marius!

Read it and also have a look here at my previous post related to this: #Citrix #StoreFront Slowness, Join and Replication issue – check list!

This is something I wanted to write about for some time now, after the release of XenDesktop 7 but there are only 24 hours in one day so therefore I didn’t have the time before now Smilefjes

But the purpose of this post is to really say that Storefront is slow….. 
Don’t get me wrong it not about Citrix but the combination of Storefront and IIS that makes it a bit complex and therefore this makes it a bit slow.

Now there are a couple of tricks that can tune the perfomance.

Socket Pooling
In Web Interface you could enable it from the console, but in StoreFront we have to change it in the store config. By enabling socket pooling, Storefront maintaines a pool of sockets instead of creating a socket each time a new user connects, this will give a better performance for SSL based traffic.

You can enable this by opening the web.config file under C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\storename\

pooledSockets="off"

And Change this to “on” after that you have to do an IIS reset.

Application Initialization

(NOTE: Make sure you backup the config files before making alterations)

With Windows Server 2012 we have a new feature in IIS called always running on the application pools, this allowed for IIS to make everything ready after an application pool has restarted, before this the previous IIS was set to start loading after the first user tried to login after a restart. This caused the first user to login after an application pool has restarted to take loooong time to login. With Server 2012 IIS we can change the application pool to always running.

With 2008 R2 not so easy. But we can make it happen Smilefjes
First we need to download the application initialization feature from Microsoft
http://www.iis.net/downloads/microsoft/application-initialization

After that is done and installed…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Organizational Challenges with #VDI – #Citrix

And yet another good blog post by Citrix and Wayne Baker. This is an interesting topic and I must say that the blog posts still goes into a lot of the technical aspects, but there are more “soft” organisational aspects to look into as well like service delivery/governance model and process changes that often are missed. And as Wayne also highlights below and that’s worth mentioning again is the impact on the network that also was covered well in this previous post: #Citrix blog post – Get Up To Speed On #XenDesktop Bandwidth Requirements

Back to the post itself:

One of the biggest challenges I repeatedly come across when working with large customers attempting desktop transformation projects, is the internal structure of the organisation. I don’t mean that the organisation itself is a problem, rather that the project they are attempting spans so many areas of responsibility it can cause significant friction. Many of these customers undertake the projects as a purely technical exercise, but I’m here to tell you it’s also an exercise in organisational change!

One of the things I see most often is a “Desktop” team consisting of all the people who traditionally manage all the end-points, and a totally disparate “Server” team who handle all the server virtualization and back-end work. There’s also the “Networks” team to worry about and often the “Storage” team are in the mix too! Bridging those gaps can be one of the areas where friction begins to show. In my role I tend to be involved across all the teams, and having discussion with all of those people alerts me to where weaknesses may lie in the project. For example the requirements for server virtualization tend to be significantly different to the requirements for desktop virtualization, but when discussing these changes with the server virtualization team, one of the most often asked questions is, “Why would you want to do THAT?!” when pointing out the differing resource allocations for both XenApp and XenDesktop deployments.

Now that’s not to say that all teams are like this and – sweeping generalizations aside – I have worked with some incredibly good ones, but increasingly there are examples where the integration of teams causes massive tension. The only way to overcome this situation is to address the root cause – organizational change. Managing desktops was (and in many places still is) a bit of a black art, combining vast organically grown scripts and software distribution mechanisms into an intricately woven (and difficult to unpick!) tapestry. Managing the server estate has become an exercise in managing workloads and minimising/maximising the hardware allocations to provide the required level of service and reducing the footprint in the datacentre. Two very distinct skill-sets!

The other two teams which tend to get a hard time during these types of projects are the networks and storage teams – this usually manifests itself when discussing streaming technologies and their relative impacts on the network and storage layers. What is often overlooked however is that any of the teams can have a significant impact on the end-user experience – when the helpdesk takes the call from an irate user it’s going to require a good look at all of the areas to decipher where the issue lies. The helpdesk typically handle the call as a regular desktop call and don’t document the call in a way which would help the disparate teams discover the root cause, which only adds to the problem! A poorly performing desktop/application delivery infrastructure can be caused by any one of the interwoven areas, and this towering of teams makes troubleshooting very difficult, as there is always a risk that each team doesn’t have enough visibility of the other areas to provide insight into the problem.

Organizations that do not take a wholesale look at how they are planning to migrate that desktop tapestry into the darkened world of the datacentre are the ones who, as the project trundles on, come to realise that the project will never truly be the amazing place that the sales guy told them it would be. Given the amount of time, money and political will invested in these projects, it is a fundamental issue that organizations need to address.

So what are the next steps? Hopefully everyone will have a comprehensive set of requirements defined which can drive forward a design, something along the lines of:

1) Understand the current desktop estate:

Read more…

#Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 – March 2013

Citrix Support is focused on ensuring Customer and Partner satisfaction with our products.

One of our initiatives is to increase the ability of our Partners and Customers to leverage self-service avenues via our Knowledge Center.

Find below the Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 for March 2013.

Top 10 Technical Articles

Article Number Article Title
CTX129229 Recommended Hotfixes for XenApp 6.0 and Later on Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX129082 Application Launch Fails with Web Interface using Internet Explorer 9
CTX804493 Users Prompted to Download ICA File, Launch.ica, Instead of Launching the Connection
CTX132875 Citrix Receiver Error 2320
CTX105793 Error: Cannot connect to the Citrix server. Protocol Driver Error
CTX127030 Citrix Guidelines for Antivirus Software Configuration
CTX115637 Citrix Multi-Monitor Configuration Settings and Reference
CTX133997 Citrix Receiver 3.x – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX325140 Manually and Safely Removing Files after Uninstalling the Receiver for Windows
CTX101644 Seamless Configuration Settings

 

Top 10 Whitepapers

Article Number Article Title
CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) – Optimization Guide
CTX132799 XenDesktop and XenApp Best Practices
CTX101997 Citrix Secure Gateway Secure Ticket Authority Frequently Asked Questions
CTX136546 Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook 5.x
CTX136547 StoreFront Planning Guide
CTX133185 Citrix CloudGateway Express 2.0 – Implementation Guide
CTX129761 XenApp Planning Guide – Virtualization Best Practices
CTX134081 Planning Guide – Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Policies
CTX130888 Technical Guide for Upgrading/Migrating to XenApp 6.5
CTX122978 XenServer: Understanding Snapshots

 

Top 10 Hotfixes

Article Number Article Title
CTX136714 Hotfix XS61E016 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX132122 Hotfix Rollup Pack 1 for Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX126653 Citrix Online Plug-in 12.1.44 for Windows with Internet Explorer 9 Support
CTX136483 Hotfix XS61E014 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX133882 Hotfix Rollup Pack 2 for Citrix XenApp 6 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX133066 12.3 Online Plug-In – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX136253 Hotfix XS61E010 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136482 Hotfix XS61E013 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136085 Hotfix XA650R01W2K8R2X64061 – For Citrix XenApp 6.5
CTX136674 Hotfix XS61E012 – For XenServer 6.1.0

 

Top 10 Presentations

Article Number Article Title
CTX135521 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX129669 TechEdge 2011 – Overview of XenServer Distributed Virtual Switch/Controller
CTX121090 Planning and implementing a Provisioning Server high availability (HA) solution
CTX133375 TechEdge 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX135356 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Understanding and Troubleshooting ICA Session Initialisation
CTX135358 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – XenDesktop Advanced Troubleshooting
CTX133374 TechEdge 2012 – Monitoring your NetScaler Traffic with AppFlow
CTX135361 Troubleshooting Tools: How to Isolate and Resolve Issues in your XA and XD Env Rapidly
CTX135360 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Planning, Implementing and Troubleshooting PVS 6.x
CTX135357 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Implementing and Troubleshooting SF and Rec for Windows

Top 10 Tools

Article Number Article Title
CTX122536 Citrix Quick Launch
CTX135075 Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit – 64bit Edition
CTX130147 Citrix Scout
CTX111961 CDFControl
CTX106226 Repair Clipboard Chain 2.0.1
CTX109374 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX124406 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX113472 Citrix ICA File Creator
CTX123278 XDPing Tool

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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