Install of Citrix 7.6 Master Class video

Install of Citrix 7.6 Master Class video

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Configure session prelaunch and session linger – Citrix Website/Blogs/Citrix TV

Citrix 7.6 configuration for session prelaunch and linger

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XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 session lingering explained

Session lingering is an complementary option to session prelanuch and in most XenApp implementations both these option will be used together to provide the best user experience and to make access to published resources fast and easy. Session lingering similar to session prelaunch was reintroduced in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6

Introduction 

It may happen, that users by mistake close a published application and when they restart the same application, there might be a delay in the display of the application because the session creation and connection takes time. Session lingering prevents a session from being closed as soon as the user ends the last published application in a session. Instead of logging off, the session is silently retained to provide very short reaction time for future access to published applications.
The readiness time can be of course configured, configuration process will be described in the How to configure section below.

Key considerations:

The following conditions must be considered when session lingering is going to be used:

  • Session lingering is configured per Delivery Group
  • The Delivery Group must support applications. If you configure delivery group to deliver only desktops, prelaunch and linger screens will not be available in Edit Delivery Group wizard.
  • Session lingering is available only for the machines must be running a VDA for Server OS, minimum version 7.6.
Note: Please see section Licensing and resource implications in my previous post: XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 session prelaunch explained.

How to configure ?

To be able to utilize session lingering the following configuration task must be completed:

  1. Configure StoreFront 2.6 for Pass Through Authentication – to configure StoreFront for pass-through authentication follow the steps below:
    1. Open Citrix StoreFront console
    2. In the left pane select Authentication
    3. In the right pane  (Action pane) click Add/Remove Method
    4. Select Domain pass-through and Accept settings
    5. Verify domain pass-through is added and enabled if as it is shown in Figure 1prel_1
  2. Enable and configure Session Lingering on XenDesktop 7.6 delivery group – to enable session lingering follow the steps below:
    1. Open Citrix Studio
    2. In the left pane select Delivery Groups
    3. In the middle pane select the delivery group you want to modify
    4. In the right  pane  (Action pane) click Edit Delivery Group
    5. On the left side select Application Lingering and configure required settings.
    6. You can configure 2 behaviors:
      1. If lingering session will be created – by default lingering is disabled.
      2. How long lingering session remain active – there are two methods to specify how long an unused session remains active when the user does not start an application: a configured timeout and server load thresholds. You can configure all of them; the event that occurs first will cause the unused session to end.

Timeout – you can configure the time interval 1-99 days, 1-2376 hours, or 1-142,560 minutes.

Thresholds – you can configure two thresholds: the average load on all machines in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%) and the load on any machine in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%). When a threshold is exceeded, the sessions that have been in lingering state for the longest time are ended, sessions are ended one-by-one at minute intervals until the load falls below the threshold. (While the threshold is exceeded, no new lingering sessions are started.)

Note: In Citrix Studio you can setup only termination timeout. Time before disconnection (disconnection timeout) can be changed using powershell cmdlet.

The example is shown in Figure 2 below sling_2

How to verify if session lingering is working  ?

In order to verify if session lingering is configured you can do either:

  • select the delivery group in Citrix Studio. The result is shown in the Figure 4.sling_5
  • run powershell cmdlet Get-BrokerSessionLinger. The result is shown in the Figure 5  sling_3
  • run powershell cmdlet Get-BrokerSession. The result is shown in the Figure 5  sling_4

Session prelaunch is one of the set of features created to provide a better user experience working on XenApp and XenDesktop products. XenDesktop session prelaunch was reintroduced in version 7.6 – originally session prelaunch was available in XenApp 6.5 but was removed from the first version of XenDesktop 7.

Introduction 

The session prelaunch help all or specified users access applications quickly, by starting sessions before they are requested. By default session prelaunch is turned off and must be configured manually. In the default configuration each session starts (launches) when a user starts an application, and remains active until the last open application in the session closes. When this option is configured a session is waiting for a user and when the user starts an application prelaunched session is replaced with a regular session. If the user does not start an application (the prelaunched session is unused). We can configure the time when prelaunch session is created and for how long that session remains active. The configuration details are shown in section How to configure ? below.

Key considerations:

The following conditions must be considered when session prelaunch is going to be used:

  • Session prelaunch is configured per Delivery Group
  • The Delivery Group must support applications. If you configure delivery group to deliver only desktops, prelaunch and linger screens will not be available in Edit Delivery Group wizard.
  • Session prelaunch is available only for the machines must be running a VDA for Server OS, minimum version 7.6.
  • Session prelaunch  is supported only when using Citrix Receiver for Windows. In Citrix Receiver 4.2 when you install the Single Sign-on (SSON) component, session prelaunch enabled by default.
  • When using session prelaunch:
    • Physical client machines cannot use the suspend or hibernate power management functions.
    • Client machine users can lock their sessions but should not log off.

Licensing and resource implications

Prelaunched sessions consume a license, but only when connected. Unused prelaunched sessions disconnect after 15 minutes by default. This value can be configured in PowerShell (New/Set-BrokerSessionPreLaunch cmdlet). Optimal configuration balances the benefits of earlier application availability for users against the cost of keeping licenses in use and resources allocated.

Important note: You should carefully verify your licensing model before you enable session prelaunch for all users. This option is fine when you use 1:1 concurrent license or per user/desktop license. If you configure session prelaunch for all users and you have less licenses than total number of workstations you will hit your license limit just in first few minutes in the morning when users will logon to the network (prelaunch session will be created in the background for all users with citrix receiver installed on their computer even though they may not use a XenApp app at all.
If you have other than 1:1 license ratio you can consider to enable session prelaunch only for specified Active Directory groups. You can also try to fix possible problems using short prelaunch timeout – for not used prelaunched sessions or linger timeout to disconnect disconnected sessions but this could be only a workaround.

How to configure ?

To be able to utilize session prelaunch the following configuration task must be completed:

Server side actions:

  1. Configure StoreFront 2.6 for Pass Through Authentication – to configure StoreFront for pass-through authentication follow the steps below:
    1. Open Citrix StoreFront console
    2. In the left pane select Authentication
    3. In the right pane  (Action pane) click Add/Remove Method
    4. Select Domain pass-through and Accept settings
    5. Verify domain pass-through is added and enabled if as it is shown in Figure 1prel_1
  2. Enable and configure Session Prelaunch on XenDesktop 7.6 delivery group – to enable session prelaunch follow the steps below:
    • Open Citrix Studio
    • In the left pane select Delivery Groups
    • In the middle pane select the delivery group you want to modify
    • In the right  pane  (Action pane) click Edit Delivery Group
    • On the left side select Application Prelaunch and configure required settings. You can configure 2 behaviors:
      1. When prelaunch session will be created – Launch when user start an appliaction (no prelaunch) is default selection
      2. How long unused prelaunched sessions remain active – there are two methods to specify how long an unused session remains active when the user does not start an application: a configured timeout and server load thresholds. You can configure all of them; the event that occurs first will cause the unused session to end.

Timeout – a configured timeout specifies the number of minutes, hours, or days an unused prelaunched session remains active. If you configure too short a timeout, prelaunched sessions will end before they provide the user benefit of quicker application access. If you configure too long a timeout, incoming user connections might be denied because the server doesn’t have enough resources.You cannot disable this timeout from Studio, but you can in the SDK (New/Set-BrokerSessionPreLaunch cmdlet). If you disable the timeout, it will not appear in the Studio display for that Delivery Group or in the Edit Delivery Group wizard.

Thresholds – automatically ending prelaunched sessions based on server load ensures that sessions remain open as long as possible, assuming server resources are available. Unused prelaunched sessions will not cause denied connections because they will be ended automatically when resources are needed for new user sessions.You can configure two thresholds: the average percentage load of all servers in the Delivery Group, and the maximum percentage load of a single server in the Delivery Group. When a threshold is exceeded, the sessions that have been in the prelaunch or lingering state for the longest time are ended, sessions are ended one-by-one at minute intervals until the load falls below the threshold. (While the threshold is exceeded, no new prelaunch sessions are started.)

The example is shown in Figure 2 below

prel_2

  1. Configure pass-through settings on client device  – in most cases this will be done via Group Policy. To configure this follow the steps below:
    1. Open Group Policy Editor
    2. Create a new group policy and switch to edit mode
    3. Browse to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates
    4. Right click and select Add/Remove templates
    5. Add dd the icaclient.adm this is located in the install location of Receiver “C:Program FilesCitrixICA ClientConfiguration”.
    6. Browse to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Classic Administrative Templates -> User Authentication -> Local Username and Password
    7. Enable Local user name and password and configure it as it is shown in the Figure 3 below
    8. Link created group policy object to OU with client computersprelunch_5

Client side actions:

  1. Install citrix receiver with Single Sign on – from the command line use Citrix Receiver with the /includeSSON flag.
  2. Verify if the following registry key is enabled and set to true: HKLMSoftwareCitrixDazzleEnablePreLaunch. Based on the citrix blog article, starting from Citrix Receiver 4.2 session prelaunch should be enabled by default. If not enabled, use GPO or other method to enable and configure this registry setting.
  3. Restart client computer

How to verify if session prelaunch is working  ?

In order to verify if session prelaunch is configured select the delivery group in Citrix Studio. The result is shown in the figure 4.

prel_4

To display all session lingering settings powershell cmdlet Get-BrokerSessionPreLaunch can be used. The result is displayed in Figure 5.

prel_7

In order to verify if session prelaunch is realy working is to use powershell cmdlet to display all sessions. Use powershell cmdlet get-brokersession to display all sessions with all details as it is shown in Figure 6. Not easy to read for 100 and more sessions :)

prel_5

I would prefer to add some additional parameters to make the result more readable. Use the following command to display session information in more friendly layout:

Get-BrokerSession -SessionType Application -Property AppState, SessionState, Uid, UserName, ApplicationsInUse, DnsName, ReceiverName |Format-Table

The result is shown in Figure 7

prel_6

Source: Citrix Website

The session prelaunch and session linger features help specified users access applications quickly, by starting sessions before they are requested (session prelaunch) and keeping application sessions active after a user closes all applications (session linger).

By default, session prelaunch and session linger are not used: a session starts (launches) when a user starts an application, and remains active until the last open application in the session closes.

Considerations:

  • The Delivery Group must support applications, and the machines must be running a VDA for Server OS, minimum version 7.6.
  • These features are supported only when using Citrix Receiver for Windows, and also require additional Receiver configuration. For instructions, search for “session prelaunch” in the eDocs content for your Receiver for Windows version.
  • When using session prelaunch:
    • Physical client machines cannot use the suspend or hibernate power management functions.
    • Client machine users can lock their sessions but should not log off.
  • Prelaunched and lingering sessions consume a license, but only when connected. Unused prelaunched and lingering sessions disconnect after 15 minutes by default. This value can be configured in PowerShell (New/Set-BrokerSessionPreLaunch cmdlet).
  • Careful planning and monitoring of your users’ activity patterns are essential to tailoring these features to complement each other. Optimal configuration balances the benefits of earlier application availability for users against the cost of keeping licenses in use and resources allocated.
  • You can also configure session prelaunch for a scheduled time of day in Receiver.

To enable session prelaunch:

  1. Select Delivery Groups in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a Delivery Group, and then click Edit Delivery Group in the Actions pane.
  3. On the Application Prelaunch page, enable session prelaunch by choosing when sessions should launch:
    • When a user starts an application. This is the default setting; session prelaunch is disabled.
    • When any user in the Delivery Group logs on to Receiver for Windows.
    • When anyone in a list of users and user groups logs on to Receiver for Windows. Be sure to also specify users or user groups if you choose this option.
  4. A prelaunched session is replaced with a regular session when the user starts an application. If the user does not start an application (the prelaunched session is unused), the following settings affect how long that session remains active. For details about these settings, see How long unused prelaunched and lingering sessions remain active below.
    • When a specified time interval elapses. You can change the time interval (1-99 days, 1-2376 hours, or 1-142,560 minutes).
    • When the average load on all machines in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%).
    • When the load on any machine in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%).

    Recap: A prelaunched session remains active until one of the following events occurs: a user starts an application, the specified time elapses, or a specified load threshold is exceeded.

To enable session linger:

  1. Select Delivery Groups in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a Delivery Group, and then click Edit Delivery Group in the Actions pane.
  3. On the Application Lingering page, enable session linger by selecting the Keep sessions active until radio button.
  4. Several settings affect how long a lingering session remains active if the user does not start another application. For details about these settings, see How long prelaunched and lingering sessions remain active below.
    • When a specified time interval elapses. You can change the time interval (1-99 days, 1-2376 hours, or 1-142,560 minutes).
    • When the average load on all machines in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%).
    • When the load on any machine in the Delivery Group exceeds a specified percentage (1-99%).

    Recap: A lingering session remains active until one of the following events occurs: a user starts an application, the specified time elapses, or a specified load threshold is exceeded.

How long unused prelaunched and lingering sessions remain active – There are several ways to specify how long an unused session remains active if the user does not start an application: a configured timeout and server load thresholds. You can configure all of them; the event that occurs first will cause the unused session to end.

  • Timeout – A configured timeout specifies the number of minutes, hours, or days an unused prelaunched or lingering session remains active. If you configure too short a timeout, prelaunched sessions will end before they provide the user benefit of quicker application access. If you configure too long a timeout, incoming user connections might be denied because the server doesn’t have enough resources.

    You cannot disable this timeout from Studio, but you can in the SDK (New/Set-BrokerSessionPreLaunch cmdlet). If you disable the timeout, it will not appear in the Studio display for that Delivery Group or in the Edit Delivery Group wizard.

  • Thresholds – Automatically ending prelaunched and lingering sessions based on server load ensures that sessions remain open as long as possible, assuming server resources are available. Unused prelaunched and lingering sessions will not cause denied connections because they will be ended automatically when resources are needed for new user sessions.

    You can configure two thresholds: the average percentage load of all servers in the Delivery Group, and the maximum percentage load of a single server in the Delivery Group. When a threshold is exceeded, the sessions that have been in the prelaunch or lingering state for the longest time are ended, sessions are ended one-by-one at minute intervals until the load falls below the threshold. (While the threshold is exceeded, no new prelaunch sessions are started.)

Servers with VDAs that have not registered with the Controller, and servers in maintenance mode are considered fully loaded. An unplanned outage will cause prelaunch and lingering sessions to be ended automatically to free capacity.

SOLVING AUTHENTICATION ERRORS ON MS SQL WHILE SETTING UP XENDESKTOP 7.6

Source: My Virtual Vision by Kees Baggerman

DuringSQL a lab setup of XenDesktop 7.6 I used a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 instance which I installed before while setting up the rest of my lab environment. While the database setup worked seamlessly for other environments it seemed that I couldn’t access the SQL server from the XenDesktop Setup wizard.

I first tried the obvious things, using a service account didn’t help. After that I tried the SA account (just to see if it was an actual issue with the rights on the service account) but that didn’t work either.

The issue:

I couldn’t create the database from the XenDesktop wizard, I tried several accounts but they couldn’t connect to the database or didn’t have the rights the access the database server.

Troubleshooting:

Apparently changing the user didn’t had the effect I wanted, I logged on to the SQL just to make sure my SA password was still valid and it was because I was able to logon to the SQL management Studio with the SA credentials. Because I was already logged on the SQL server I just went on opening the event viewer and found the following errors:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.29.05

SQL

My friend Google then found the following topic:SSPI handshake failed with error code 0x8009030c, which led me to the How to Configure an SPN for SQL Server Site Database Servers. It seems that during the installation of SQL the SPNs for SQL server weren’t registered.

Solving this issue:

With the command ‘setspn -L %hostname%’ you can list the SPNs that are registered for a certain server.

v_3_Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.29.43_v2

When I did this for my SQL server it didn’t list the SQL services so I had to register the SPN manually. Again I googled and found the following article:Register a Service Principal Name for Kerberos Connections.

This article described the following switches to manually register the SPN:

To register the SPN manually, the administrator must use the Setspn.exe tool that is provided with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Support Tools. For more information, see the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Support Tools KB article.
Setspn.exe is a command line tool that enables you to read, modify, and delete the Service Principal Names (SPN) directory property. This tool also enables you to view the current SPNs, reset the account’s default SPNs, and add or delete supplemental SPNs.
The following example illustrates the syntax used to register manually register an SPN for a TCP/IP connection.
setspn -A MSSQLSvc/myhost.redmond.microsoft.com:1433 accountname
Note If an SPN already exists, it must be deleted before it can be reregistered.You do this by using the setspn command together with the -D switch. The following examples illustrate how to manually register a new instance-based SPN.For a default instance, use:
setspn -A MSSQLSvc/myhost.redmond.microsoft.com accountnameFor a named instance, use:
setspn -A MSSQLSvc/myhost.redmond.microsoft.com:instancename accountname

So I ran the command:

‘setspn -a MSSQLSvc/SQL001:1433 administrator’

The following screen output appeared:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.30.01

After I registered the SPN for the SQL Server I listed the SPNs of the server again and the SQL service was registered. After a reboot I was able to connect to the database from the XenDesktop wizard.

What’s new for XenApp and XenDesktop with UPS 7.6!

Source: Citrix Blog

Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 included the release of a new version of the Citrix Universal Print Server, UPS 7.6; with this release our test results showed very significant improvements in the software, including:

  • Stability at a sustained load of about 50 print jobs per minute
  • Excellent recovery from periods of stress/overload
  • Protocol efficiency optimizations (reduced chattiness) resulting in a better user experience (opening the Print dialog is about 6 times faster) and better performance over WAN connections
  • Increased protection from faulty printer drivers, including when UPS is used in conjunction with printer driver isolation

Better Documentation

To accompany this release of UPS we have also improved the documentation available in the Citrix XenDesktop Handbook, with a new revised section on printing from our consultancy teams based on their field experience. Although in the XenDesktop” Handbook this advice is also relevant to those using UPS for XenApp Printing. I’d recommend reading Ed Duncan’s great blog overviewing the solutions available, here, for great insight into what UPS can do and a guide to the documentation available.

Citrix does printing solutions?

Yes, and now very well! Citrix spent many years developing enterprise printing technologies; whilst delivering cloud SaaS is becoming common, most businesses still need basic, core functionality. Hotfix UPS 7.1.100 (Q1 2014) addressed a number of stability and scalability issues:

UPS 7.6 has continued this drive for quality and we recommend those using UPS 7.1.100 also upgrade to UPS 7.6 for further enhancements.

Printing files can inflate and place a very high load on bandwidth. Transferring our expertise in compression techniques from our other products and HDX has resulted in some nice compression technology between the client and the UPS, which mean that this is genuinely a WAN suitable solution.

The Future

UPS 7.6 has been about reworking the core architectures for robustness and scale to ensure the platform is future-proof. This will provide the platform ongoing on which we can provide newer features and support for newer versions of Windows Server.  We have spent a lot of this development cycle changing our development tools, automating testing and stress testing.  I’ve blogged about why I’m particularly excited to be the Product Manager for this product.

One of our key focuses has been ensuring printer driver faults can be identified by our own test tools. Printer drivers can be wrapped in pretty strange ways and protecting our infrastructure from leaking and faulty drivers has been a key focus. I’m hoping we’ll be in a position to open our in-house tools to our partner vendors and also customers so they can also identify and isolate faulty drivers easily in the future.

I’m also currently planning our roadmap for new server OS support and new printing features.

Is UPS expensive to get?

It’s free! Citrix is the only virtualisation vendor to provide such a comprehensive solution and as part of our core product. So no dealing with third-party support nor any additional licensing costs! We’ve been analyzing the strengths of the technologies and Mayank provides an excellent overview, here, where you can get ideas on how to assess and compare printing solutions, quality, bandwidth and capacity planning.

Are these improvements available for XenDesktop 5.6, 7.x and XenApp 6.5 Users?

Yes they are! The new components of the UPS 7.6 are currently included in the main XenDesktop/XenApp 7.6 download. With hindsight this is not the most convenient place for XenApp customers to look for new components (UPSClient and UPD) and the need to download the entire download is simply inconvenient. We are working to repackage those components in a more convenient format in the future.

Update (27/Nov/2014): The components are now available for independent download (login to downloads with Citrite ID):

XenApp 6.5 Upgrade Details

There is a caveat for installation on XenApp 6.5 owing to a driver versioning mismatch associated with HRP004 (HotFix RollUp Pack 4 detailed in CTX138366). We are revising our processes to ensure such a mismatch does not occur in the future. And we aim to resolve this with a later HRP (so if you are reading this when HRP005 or higher is available, this information is not relevant and should not be applied to any HRP other than 004 without explicit advice from Citrix to do so).

  • The recommended order of installation is: HRP004 first, followed by UPS 7.6
  • The driver versioning mismatch will result in a dialogue box asking if you wish to install an older driver version when you install UPS7.6, which you should agree to do
  • The dialogue box will interrupt automatic install
  • We are working on a KB article detailing a WA for those users for whom unattended/scripted install is required (if your need is pressing please do contact Citrix Support). Update (3rd Nov 2014): A tool to avoid this issue is now available, see http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX200268

HTML5 and Chrome Receiver Printing!

We are aiming to continue to have the broadest range of printing options available for our XenDesktop and XenApp users allowing them to use the widest range of end-points and to allow people to work where they want and how. Aligned to the XenDesktop 7.6 release, we also released new receivers for HTML5 and Chrome that support local pdf. This is a smart feature whereby if you open a word document on your client, you can choose to print to our new Citrix PDF driver, this then sends the document up to the server and the PDF is sent back to your end-point over ICA and opened on your PDF viewer of choice e.g. CutePDF from where you can print to your printers of choice. It’s a really flexible generic solution which avoids the need to install and maintain local drivers on end-clients. You can read about the HTML5 receiver printing functionality, here, and about the Chrome receiver and its support for the Google Print Cloud, here. Thomas Berger covers some of the security and usability benefits associated with these printing solutions, relative to competitive solutions, in this great overview.

Other Information

  • Citrix Printing Solutions for XenApp and XenDesktop, a review by West Monroe Partners, a Citrix partner enjoy customer success with UPS
  • Details of Canon’s investment in drivers optimised for Citrix printing, here
  • Marek Dressler’s printing focused blog series from Citrix Support, a great place to keep up to date with the latest information, here
  • Independent Consultant Dave Bretty’s blog on how UPS has simplified and resolved driver management for XenApp customers is a nice read, here
  • CTX136332, advice on printer driver isolation

Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 5: Monitoring & Troubleshooting Anonymous User Sessions

Citrix Blog Repost

Anonymous (unauthenticated) user session support

A new feature of XenDesktop 7.6.

Instead of requiring users to log into Citrix Receiver with Active Directory user credentials, a combination of network security and authentication within the application itself is relied upon.

Anonymous Session Support -refers to running sessions as a set of pooled, local user accounts.

1.  This feature is popular in XenApp in the healthcare industry, since their applications typically have server back-ends with their own logons, separate from users’ AD accounts. Thus, the Windows account running the client application is irrelevant.

2,  Anonymous Session support consists of a pool of local user accounts that are managed by XenDesktop and typically named AnonXYZ, where XYZ is a unique 3-digit value.

More information on Anonymous Session Support feature is available here.

With anonymous sessions, the end user will not know the actual username.}

Each anonymous session is assigned a random name such as ANON001, ANON002, etc.,
1,  Citrix Director helps administrators to view details of each session of XenApp via User Search.  But here is the catch, how to view details of anonymous user session as they do not use Active Directory credentials for the session and the end user has no way to know what the username is?

2,  The Helpdesk Admin needs a way to be able to search for the user’s specific anonymous session, return the Help Desk view and User Details views in order to follow their standard troubleshooting processes.

EndPoint Search

The new functionality introduced for Citrix Director 7.6

It can be leveraged to view details of anonymous user sessions. Typically, the end user will know the name of their endpoint as many times there is a sticker attached to the screen or device with the device (endpoint) name.  When the end user calls into the help desk, they can now tell the Help Desk admin the endpoint name so the Help Desk administrator can start the troubleshooting process using Director.

1,  Sessions running on a particular endpoint device can be viewed through Endpoint Search functionality.

2,  Administrators can search for the client device and a list of all the sessions launched by that particular client are provided (as shown in the below screenshot), from which the administrator can choose the required session to view details of that session.

3,  Searching for an endpoint can be expensive across a large number of sites.

In order to improve performance, we have provided the ability to “group” endpoints. This is accomplished via the Director Config Tool, which restricts the search within a defined group. How do you group endpoints? All you have to do is run the Director Config Tool, select /createsitegroups, provide the IP and a name and your done!  Once the configuration is complete, the “Select a group” option will be available as part of the search view.

Note: Endpoint Search results include all clients from which a session is launched irrespective of whether the session is an anonymous user session or not.

If Director is monitoring multiple sites, the landing page after login will have search option for endpoint.

Within another view of Director, administrators can search for endpoint sessions using the new Search button on the ribbon bar of Director:

Below is the Screenshot of List of sessions running on a particular client machine:

Note: The endpoint names must be unique in order for Director to be able to search and return the appropriate session.

Details of Anonymous User Session in Client Details view:

  • Session Details: Anonymous field in Session Details Panel is used to indicate whether the session is Anonymous Or Not (As mentioned in the note above, Endpoint Search is not limited to Anonymous User Sessions).

Activity Manager and Machine Details Panel are similar to the User Details Page.

Note:  Shadow is disabled for Anonymous Sessions, as Anonymous user accounts are guest accounts that do not have permissions for Shadowing.

  • LogonDuration:  Logon Duration in Client Details Page is only for the current session and 7 day averages of logons from the client device, unlike when viewing a specific user, and the 7 day average is the average from that Delivery Group.Duration for each Logon Steps like Brokering etc. provided are same as in User Details Page.More on Logon Duration can be found here.
  •  Personalization: Reset Profile and PvD Reset Buttons will be disabled and Panel displays  “not available” as Anonymous User Accounts do not use Citrix Personalization Components.
  • HDX Insight : Network Data from HDX Insight will not be available for Anonymous Users.

Anonymous User Sessions In Filters View:

Director also facilitates the ability to filter out all Anonymous User Sessions through Sessions in Filters Page.

This provides the ability to quickly perform global actions on anonymous sessions (i.e. logoff) as needed.

Navigate to Filters->Sessions Page and use filters to select “Anonymous is Yes”  

  

 

Note: In the screenshot above, observe that Endpoint Name column is clickable. Clicking on Endpoint Name leads to the same behavior as Endpoint Search.

Summary

Adding to Director’s Help Desk functionality to include the ability to search and troubleshoot endpoints and machines allows the Help Desk to expand their troubleshooting use cases and enables one tool and one process for first call resolution.

Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 4: Troubleshooting Machines

Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 4: Troubleshooting Machines

Overview

XenDesktop 7.6 now includes machine details in Citrix Director. These details enable IT administrators to get more insight about the machines in use. The machine details page consists of machine utilization, infrastructure details, number of sessions, and hotfix details. With this new addition, the administrators can view machine-level details on the Director console itself.

As shown in the screenshot below, after logging into Director, you can now search for a machine directly by selecting “Machine” in the dropdown list on the left and then entering the name of the machine in the “Search for machine” field on the right.

The Director administrator can now configure Site groups as an additional search filter to narrow down results to these specific groups. Create the groups in the Director server by running the configuration tool with the following command prompt:

C:inetpubwwwrootDirectortoolsDirectorConfig.exe /createsitegroups

Then provide a Site group name and an IP address of the Site’s Delivery Controller to create the Delivery Group, as shown in the following screenshot:

After the Site groups are created, the administrator can select a group from the newly added “Select a group” field:

All machines that match the search string entered appear in the “Search for machine” dropdown. Then the administrator can select the appropriate machine to navigate to machine details page.

The machine details page has five sections:

  1. Machine Details
  2. Machine Utilization – CPU and memory usage
  3. Sessions – The total number of connected and disconnected sessions
  4. Infrastructure Panel – Hypervisor and Delivery Controller sections
  5. Hotfixes

Machine Details

The panel consists of the following fields:

  1. Machine name: The domainmachine name of the machine selected.
  2. Display name: The display name of the machine as configured while creating and publishing the Delivery Group.
  3. Delivery Group: The Delivery Group that contains the machine selected.
  4. Machine Catalog: The catalog that contains the machine selected.
  5. Remote PC access: Indicates whether the selected machine is configured for Remote PC Access.
  6. Site name: The Site name with which the machine is associated.
  7. Registration state: Indicates whether the machine is registered with the Delivery Controller.
  8. OS type: Indicates the operating system running on the machine.
  9. Allocation type: Indicates whether the allocation is static or random.
  10. Machine IP: Gives the IP address of the machine (Ipv4/Ipv6).
  11. Organizational unit: Gives the organizational unit with which the machine is associated in Active Directory.
  12. VDA version: Gives the version of the XenDesktop VDA installed on the machine.
  13. Host: Indicates the name of the hypervisor host as configured on Studio.
  14. Server: Indicates the name of the hypervisor as seen on the hypervisor console, such as XenCenter/VSphere/SCVMM console.
  15. VM name: Indicates the name of the virtual machine as seen on the hypervisor console.
  16. vCPU: Indicates the number of vCPUs allocated on the hypervisor for the machine.
  17. Memory: Indicates the memory allocated on the hypervisor for the machine.
  18. Hard disk: Indicates the hard disk allotted to the machine on the hypervisor.
  19. Avg. disc sec/transfer: The average time in seconds per every disk transfer as seen on the performance monitor tool on the machine.
  20. Current disk queue length: The disk queue length as seen on the performance monitor tool on the machine.
  21. Load evaluator index: This field, which is only present for server OS machines, gives a measure of the load on the server machine distributed across CPU, memory, disk and session count.

The Director admin can perform some additional operations on machine details page:

a)      Power Control – The Power Control dropdown allows the user to shut down, restart, force restart, force shut down, and start a virtual machine. To perform these power control operations on Remote PC machines, you must configure the XenDesktop Wake on LAN feature.

b)      Manage Users – You can now assign users to the machine directly from Director console. To do so, click the Manage Users button, which opens up the popup below:

c)      Maintenance Mode – You can now set the maintenance mode for the machine from the Director console by clicking on the Maintenance Mode button on the machine details panel. You can turn it off by clicking the same button again.

Machine Utilization

The Machine Utilization panel displays memory and CPU usage over the past minute so IT admins can monitor the load on the machine from the Director console. This enables help desk admins to solve issues related to slow and poor performance in user sessions because of either CPU or memory usage overload. The panel is updated every five seconds.

Sessions

The Sessions panel shows the total number of sessions associated with the machine, including the number of connected and disconnected sessions. The numbers are hyperlinks that redirect to the Filters page.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure is divided into two sections, hypervisor status and Delivery Controller.

Hypervisor Status – The alerts set on the hypervisor host are shown in this section. (Note: Alerts set on HyperV host currently are not supported.)

Delivery Controller – This panel consists of multiple fields that are explained below:

a)      Status: Status of the Delivery Controller, either online or offline. For example, the Director server is either unable to reach the Delivery Controller, or the Broker Service on the Delivery Controller is not running.

b)       Services: Shows the number of core services that are currently not available, including Citrix AD Identity Service, Broker Service, Central Configuration Service, Hosting Unit Service, Configuration Logging Service, Delegated Administration Service, Machine Creation Services and Monitor Service. Just like the alerts in the Hosts table, the administrator can click the alerts’ text and see a pop up displaying the name of the service, the time the service failed, and the location of that service.

c)      Site Database: Indicates whether the site database is connected. For example, the Delivery Controller is unable to contact the Site database; there is an issue with the database configuration; or there is version mismatch between the database and the service.

d)      License Server: Indicates whether you can connect to the license server configured for the Site. For example, the Controller is unable to contact the license server; if they are running the same machine then the service may be stopped.

e)      Configuration Logging Database: Indicates whether the Configuration Logging Database is connected. For example, the Citrix Configuration Logging Service on the Controller is not running.

Monitoring Database: Indicates whether the Monitoring Services Database is connected. For example, the Delivery Controller is unable to contact the Monitoring Services Database, or the Citrix Monitoring Service on the Controller is not running.

Hotfixes

The Hotfixes panel consists of details pertaining to the hotfixes installed on the machine selected. Details displayed include component, component version, hotfix name, hotfix file name, links to Knowledge Center articles and effective date.

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