Terminal Server / Citrix XenApp Management

Server-based computing (SBC) technologies such as Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Terminal Services / Remote Desktop Services have many economical and operational benefits. However, the centralization of application computing in a terminal server farm presents several complexities which make real-time monitoring and management of your SBC infrastructure ever more critical:

  • As many users’ Terminal Services sessions are running on a single server – a single server failure can disrupt those users. Furthermore, since those sessions share the same physical server resources, a single resource-intensive session could reduce the resources available for many other sessions.
  • At any given time a user might have multiple applications sessions consuming resources from different applications servers which might be on a single or the same physical infrastructure.
  • Since a user might be consuming multiple resources from different published applications, a single user’s Windows workspace might contain several session instances in the network infrastructure.

In order to make such a complex environment manageable, the administrator has to possess tools and consoles which make troubleshooting quick, precise and effective. Traditional management and monitoring tools are not aware of the complexity of SBC environments and are thus often unfit to assist with this mission. For example, Task Manager may provide an in-depth performance analysis of a given server, but lacks any capability of monitoring a group of servers or a server farm as a whole.

Since the workload of a specific terminal server is dependent on its users’ specific sessions, administrators need to know which users are logged on to the server, which applications are they using, who are the resource-intensive users and what are the top resource-consuming applications. A monitoring solution needs to provide in-depth visibility of the users’ activity and be able to determine which user or process might be responsible for the increased workload of a terminal server farm.

ControlUp users around the world report an unprecedented level of control and knowledge about the state of their SBC farms since the adoption of ControlUp as a management and monitoring solution. The average time spent on troubleshooting issues reported by users is also decreased, thanks to ControlUp’s parallel task execution and rapid resource location capabilities.

ControlUp dramatically speeds up the isolation and identification of the root cause of common issues in SBC farms. For example, when users report slow performance in an applications, it takes the administrator just a few seconds to pinpoint the bottleneck using ControlUp’s holistic view of the infrastructure. Rapid action can then be taken to resolve the issue using ControlUp’s innovative parallel management capabilities.

In a terminal server farm, ControlUp allows the farm administrator to gain a complete performance overview of the servers, identify bottlenecks, locate user sessions and pinpoint the issue to the level of an individual Windows process. ControlUp’s grid view allows for viewing the terminal server farm as it is designed to be – a continuous fabric of resources available to multiple users.

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