Connecting to Your CVAD Infrastructure
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Connecting to Your CVAD Infrastructure

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With ControlUp you can monitor your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) built on Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD), formerly known as XenApp and XenDesktop. 

In this article, we show you how to add a CVAD connection to ControlUp and how you can configure ControlUp 

Adding Your CVAD Environment to ControlUp

By Default, the ControlUp Data Collector communicates with the configured XenDesktop Broker via port 80 to pull configuration and performance data. During the initial connection, the Data Collector discovers all XenDesktop Brokers and saves them into the Broker's failover list to enable data collection. 

The ControlUp Data Collector utilizes both, the PowerShell SDK and OData API to pull relevant data about Delivery Groups, Brokers, VDAs, user sessions, and published applications. 

Features of the CVAD Integration

Automatic Discovery of VDAs and Broker

When adding a CVAD connection to ControlUp, the Real-Time Console automatically discovers Virtual Desktop Agents (VDAs), delivery groups, and brokers associated with your CVAD deployment. After you connect your CVAD to ControlUp, you will see:

  • In the Machines view, VDAs and broker.
  • In the Sessions view, open sessions on the VDAs or broker.
  • In the Processes view, running processes of open sessions.
  • In the Applications view, information on published applications.


    To display performance metrics of your VDAs and Broker, you need to install the {{variable.ControlUp_Agent}} on each of the machines. An installed ControlUp Agent gathers collector performance data from the VDAs and Broker machines, so only with the Agent installed you can benefit from the full real-time experience. Monitor the performance of your VDAs and brokers and display processes running on your VDAs and brokers.

    Each session discovered by the XenDesktop connection is counted as 1 ControlUp license

    Published Applications

    ControlUp shows you published applications in the Applications tab.

  • The XenDesktop site appears in the organization tree under “XenDesktop Sites”. The site itself, its delivery groups, and the “Brokers” container are displayed as folders as long as the XenDesktop connection is active. You can use the Focus action on these folders to filter the information grid to display VDAs or sessions in a specific delivery group or to examine the health of your XenDesktop brokers.
    Note:

    the child folders of the XenDesktop connection in the organization tree (delivery groups and the Brokers container) are ephemeral objects which are not stored in ControlUp’s configuration. As such, they cannot be used to configure custom stress settings, incident triggers or column presets. To save custom settings for delivery groups or brokers, add the corresponding computers to the organizational tree using the Add Computers button. 

  • Resources displayed in ControlUp are enriched with dozens of XenDesktop-related metrics and operational metadata. For example, the Computers view shows the “XD Computer Availability” column which shows “Available” for any VDAs which should be accessible by users, and the Sessions view shows the “XD Launched via HostName” column which contains the name of the StoreFront server used to launch each session.
    Note:
    For a full list of metrics and metadata retrieved from the XenDesktop infrastructure, refer to the Computers and Sessions column reference. For your convenience, all XenDesktop column names are prefixed with “XD ”.

Adding a CVAD connection

To connect ControlUp to your CVAD environment, you need to create a connection in the Real-Time Console. The connection defines the address/es of the broker/s from which data is gathered and the credentials used for data collection and management actions. The following are mandatory prerequisites for adding a XenDesktop connection:

Prerequisites

  • XenDesktop 7.5 or later.
  • XenDesktop PowerShell SDK installed on all computers running the ControlUp Real-Time Console and ControlUp Monitor, as well as any computers configured as dedicated data collectors. Learn more about installing the PowerShell SDK from here
Note:

It is recommended to designate at least one computer on your network as a designated collector for XenDesktop data, especially in environments in which multiple instances of ControlUp are being used concurrently. For more information on configuring dedicated data collectors for XenDesktop, see below.

To add a XenDesktop site connection

  1. In the Real-Time Console, click the Add EUC Environment button on the Home ribbon or right-click the root folder of your organization tree and select Add> EUC Environment. The EUC Environment Connection dialog appears.
  2. Provide the following details:
  • Broker Name / IP. Enter the full name (FQDN), hostname, or IP address of the broker site.
  • Port. The port on which the Broker address is reachable. By default: 80.
  • Credentials. Use the dropdown to select or add credentials that are used to collect data from your CVAD infrastructure. To learn more about Shared Credentials, refer to the Configuring Shared Credentials article.
  • In version 7.1 we've introduced the Shared Credentials Store used via the Monitor.
    Note:
    For more information on configuring ControlUp Monitor for XenDesktop monitoring see below.

Once ControlUp establishes a connection with your XenDesktop site, it automatically populates the Site Name field with the site’s name and the Brokers Failover List tab with the names of all the broker servers assigned to the XenDesktop site.

Note:
For more information on optimizing the performance of XenDesktop data collection, see below.

Configuring ControlUp Monitor for XenDesktop

After creating a XenDesktop connection, all ControlUp Monitor instances in your organization start connecting to the site and retrieving data. To avoid conflicts between data collected from different sources, all ControlUp instances in your network are required to use the same credentials for XenDesktop data collection. It is therefore recommended that you create a service account with adequate permissions for your XenDesktop site and save its credentials with all ControlUp instances on your network.

To ensure that the monitor is able to collect data from the XenDesktop site, you need to ensure all monitor instances have the credentials you selected when creating the connection.
To ensure that, perform the following steps for each installed monitor instance:

  1. Right-click the site connection in the folder tree and click Connection Settings.
  2. Note the username configured for XenDesktop data collection.
  3. Double-click a ControlUp monitor instance in the area below the organization tree.
  4. Click the Monitored Resources tab and locate the Name of your XenDesktop site. If its status is Connected, your monitor is communicating with the XenDesktop site. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  5. Click Settings… to open the ControlUp Monitor configuration wizard
  6. Click Add Credentials Set… and provide the username, password, and domain for the user account recorded in step 2 above.

Optimizing XenDesktop Data Collector Performance

The following step is optional but strongly recommended to ensure optimal performance of the XenDesktop connection.

By default, when you create a XenDesktop connection in ControlUp, all consoles and monitor instances in your organization start connecting to it automatically to collect information. This may create unnecessary performance overhead, especially if multiple instances of ControlUp Console and Monitor are used in your network. It is a best practice to designate one or more computers in your ControlUp organization to act as dedicated collectors for XenDesktop data.

To configure dedicated data collectors, open the XenDesktop site connection settings dialog, expand the Data collectors panel and click the Add.. button to select a computer in your ControlUp organization to add as a dedicated data collector for XenDesktop. The following guidelines help you select an optimal data collector:

Prerequisites for a XenDesktop Data Collector:

  • 1 GB of available RAM
  • Uninterrupted connectivity to the XenDesktop site
  • Always on (except for planned maintenance/reboot windows)

We added the option to view new entities in the console - XenDesktop Site, Brokers, and Delivery Groups.

Focusing on each of the new entities shows the relevant new metrics pooled from the XD connection in the regular folder, computer, and sessions views.

This enabled us to also add a drilldown from unmanaged XD VDAs to their sessions.

In case one of the brokers or VDA machines have an agent deployed - the console shows all available metrics both from the XD site connection and the agent.
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We added the ability to calculate the health of each broker in the XenDesktop site.

The health column calculation is based on a list of services, databases, and hypervisors, and in case all services are available and running, all databases can be reached and all hypervisors are available, the broker’s health is 100%. In case one of the parameters is not ok, it affects the broker’s health by a few percent.

Each of the parameters that the calculation is based on can be excluded from the registry (by default the % hypervisors available is excluded).

The site itself shows an aggregated calculation on how many % of brokers are 100% healthy.



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