Connecting to your XenDesktop Infrastructure

Version 6.0 of ControlUp significantly improves XenDesktop monitoring functionality by adding a data collector component which gathers operational metadata directly from XenDesktop API. This allows ControlUp to display real-time XenDesktop-specific information, such as VDA registration status, brokering performance in the console and send it to ControlUp Insights for historical analysis and reporting.

By adding a XenDesktop connection to ControlUp, you will benefit from the following features:

  • ControlUp will automatically discover VDAs, delivery groups and brokers associated with your XenDesktop deployment. VDAs and brokers will appear on the Computers view and XenDesktop sessions will appear on the Sessions view. Note that with XenDesktop integration, ControlUp Agent deployment is not required for this discovery process.
    • Note: ControlUp Agent is required in order to monitor the performance of your VDAs and brokers, and in order to display processes running on your VDAs and brokers
    • Note: each session discovered by the XenDesktop connection is counted as 1 ControlUp license
  • The XenDesktop site will appear in the organization tree under “XenDesktop Sites”. The site itself, its delivery groups and the “Brokers” container will be displayed as folders as long as the XenDesktop connection is active. You can use the Focus action on these folders in order 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. In order to save custom settings for delivery groups or brokers, please add the corresponding computers to the organizational tree using the Add Computers button.
  • Resources displayed in ControlUp will be enriched with dozens of XenDesktop-related metrics and operational metadata. For example, the Computers view will show the “XD Computer Availability” column which will show “Available” for any VDAs which should be accessible by users, and the Sessions view will show the “XD Launched via HostName” column which will contain the name of the StoreFront server used to launch each session.
    • Note: for the full list of metrics and metadata retrieved from the XenDesktop infrastructure, please refer to the Computers and Sessions column reference. For your convenience, all XenDesktop column names are prefixed with “XD ”

 

Adding a XenDesktop connection

In order to connect ControlUp to your XenDesktop deployment, you will need to create a XenDesktop site connection in ControlUp Console. The connection will define the address/es of the broker/s from which data will be gathered and the credentials used for data collection and management actions. The following are mandatory prerequisites for adding a XenDesktop connection:

  • XenDesktop 7.5 or later
  • XenDesktop PowerShell SDK installed on all computers running ControlUp Console and Monitor, as well as any computers configured as dedicated data collectors

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, click on the Add XenDesktop button on the Home ribbon or right-click the root folder of your organization tree and select Add > XenDesktop Site. The Add XenDesktop Site Connection dialog box will be presented.

 

 

The following details are required:

  • Broker name / IP - enter the full name (FQDN), hostname or IP address of a broker in your XenDesktop site
  • Credentials - use the drop-down to select or add a set of credentials which will be used for data collection from your XenDesktop infrastructure.
    • Note: For more information on configuring ControlUp Monitor for XenDesktop monitoring see below

Once ControlUp establishes a connection with your XenDesktop site, it will automatically populate 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 will start connecting to the site and retrieving data. In order 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.

In order 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, please perform the following steps for each installed monitor instance:

  1. Open the XenDesktop connection settings dialog by right-clicking the site connection in the folder tree and clicking 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 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 in order 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 will start connecting to it automatically in order 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 will help you select an optimal data collector:

  • 1GB 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 will show all available metrics both from the XD site connection and the agent.

 

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 percents.

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 of what % of brokers are 100% healthy.

 

 

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