• Is ControlUp for You?

    ControlUp is tailor-made for systems administrators and helpdesk personnel who oversee multi-user environments and are required to prevent and troubleshoot performance issues, application failures and operating system errors. Typically, these tasks require a repetitive and time-consuming execution of existing consoles, scripts and various management tools, none of which are capable of achieving the systems administrator’s two primary goals:

    • Quickly identify issues in a complex multi-user environment
    • Resolve these issues in a simple and efficient manner

    ControlUp is a comprehensive system monitoring and management solution which provides deep visibility into the real-time activity of servers, workstations, users and the applications they use. The real-time console gathers and displays a wealth of current information regarding system health and performance. It also allows for powerful management actions to be executed in order to resolve issues and change system configurations. The ControlUp monitor service assists with 24/7 monitoring of your assets and alerts about any abnormal behavior according to a customizable set of incident triggers.

    ControlUp Insights, the historical reporting and analytics platform, accumulates activity and performance data over time and displays a variety of reports that enable systems administrator to investigate past issues, track usage trends, analyze the systems performance and make decisions regarding future system design and configuration.

     

     

  • Typical Usage Scenarios

    RDS / Citrix Farm Management

    In a RDS environment, the user sessions are distributed across multiple servers. 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 RDS farm as it is designed to be – a continuous fabric of resources available to multiple users. If a system task or a setting change is required, ControlUp can perform the change simultaneously on multiple servers or user sessions, keeping the server farm configuration uniform and stable.

    VDI Environment Management

    Virtual desktops environments need to provide a stable and robust user experience with great mobility and flexibility, which presents some unique challenges to the systems administrator. ControlUp’s aggregated grid view and simultaneous management task execution capabilities allow VDI administrators to oversee resource consumption, system stability and user experience in VDI sessions, and also to perform maintenance and troubleshooting tasks with a minimum amount of time and effort.

    Physical Servers and Desktops Management

    ControlUp can manage any amount of Windows servers and desktops, regardless of their purpose or usage. Monitoring performance, gathering software inventory, deploying files and registry settings, configuring Windows components, and remotely controlling user sessions for technical support – these are just a few examples of tasks making ControlUp an ideal all-in-one toolbox for system administrators.

  • Basic Concepts

    ControlUp Console – the main executable of ControlUp, available for download as a single file named ControlupConsole.exe. There are no install/uninstall routines for this component, just a portable executable.

    ControlUp User – typically a systems administrator, technical specialist, or support technician working with ControlUp Console. Every ControlUp user is required to create an online login account which is used for user identification and licensing.

    Managed Computer – a Windows computer which a ControlUp user wishes to manage and/or monitor using ControlUp. It needs to belong to an Active Directory domain and to have .Net Framework 3.5 or 4.5 installed. When first contacted by a ControlUp Console, every Managed Computer is assigned to a ControlUp organization.
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    ControlUp Agent – a lightweight executable named cuAgent.exe that runs as a system service on every Managed Computer. This component provides performance information and handles the execution of management actions.

    ControlUp Organization – a logical grouping of Managed Computers handled by the same team. A ControlUp User selects an organization during login and is restricted to managing computers that belong to the selected organization only.
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    ControlUp Monitor – a background service which operates in a way similar to the ControlUp console but without the graphical user interface. ControlUp Monitor connects to all of the computers in your organization and performs continuous monitoring and reporting of incidents as well as automatic exporting of data tables for historical reporting. If you require 24/7 monitoring and alerting about incidents in your environment, it is recommended that you install at least one instance of ControlUp Monitor.
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    ControlUp Insights – a reporting and analytics platform that displays historical reports using data gathered by ControlUp. In order to start using ControlUp Insights, at least one instance of ControlUp Monitor should be installed in an organization.
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    Incident  - in ControlUp, an incident is an occurrence on one of your managed computers that falls under the scope of one of the configured incident triggers. For example, you might configure a “Process Ended” incident trigger with a filter of “Process name=svchost.exe”. Every subsequent crash or error exit of a process with this name will generate an incident. Incidents are recorded in the ControlUp Cloud Services database and are available for display in the Incidents Pane of ControlUp.
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    Incident Trigger – a definition of an occurrence that should be recorded as an incident. Triggers of two types are supported in ControlUp: community triggers are created by ControlUp based on vendor recommendations and industry best practices, and user-defined triggers which can be configured according to your needs. Each trigger includes a set of conditions: trigger type (Stress Level, Process Started, etc.), filter (specific conditions like computer name or operating system), scope (folders and schedule – when and where the trigger applies). In addition, every trigger may include a set of follow-up actions, for example an email alert.
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    Script-Based Action (or SBA)  a PowerShell, VBScript or batch script, which was imported to ControlUp as a management action. Script-based actions (SBAs) can be assigned to any of ControlUp’s managed resources (folders, computers, sessions, etc.). SBAs can be downloaded from the community repository or created manually and shared within your ControlUp organization.
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    Hypervisor connection – the connection parameters needed for a console or data collection agent to connect with a supported hypervisor management platform (vCenter or XenServer pool master). After the connection to the hypervisor management platform, host and VM information is automatically retrieved and populates the ControlUp database. (If the connection is to vCenter, datacenter and cluster information is also gathered, for better organization of virtualization resources.)

    XenDesktop Connection - an object in the organization tree that contains the details necessary for ControlUp to collect data from a single XenDesktop site. Once configured and connected, it enables for populating the Sessions and Computers views with information retrieved from XenDesktop brokers.

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    Hypervisor folder – similar to a regular folder, but intended to organize hypervisor connections.

    Hypervisor – the term ControlUp uses to refer to the connection points to the virtualization world, namely vCenter and the Xen pool master. Strictly speaking, the vCenter server is not a hypervisor, but for the purposes of consistency in ControlUp, it is referred to as one.

    Host – a computer running VMware ESX/ESXi or Citrix XenServer that ControlUp accesses via the Hypervisor connection. The virtualization hosts are the computers that run multiple virtual machines on them.

    VM – Virtual Machines that run as guests on the ESXi/Xen server hosts. If the guest VM is running a supported version of Windows, then the ControlUp Agent can be installed on it and it will become a fully managed computer by ControlUp. There are some performance statistics that can be gathered about all VMs, managed or not, because ControlUp queries the hypervisor about all of them. However, full data retrieval is only possible if there is a ControlUp agent installed on the guest OS.

     

  • ControlUp Modes

    Enterprise Mode

    Enterprise Mode is the default operation mode for ControlUp, which offers the largest set of available features and the easiest deployment. In Enterprise Mode, you need to download ControlUp Console and perform some basic configuration steps in order to start monitoring and managing your resources. There is no need to install and configure databases or other infrastructure components. All the back-end services (such as storage, database, alerting by email and mobile notifications) are provided seamlessly by ControlUp Cloud.

    When working in Enterprise Mode, ControlUp requires Internet connectivity and relies on a persistent connection to ControlUp Cloud. Various controls and mechanisms are in place to ensure the security of your data stored in ControlUp Cloud. For more information on ControlUp Cloud security, please refer to our security whitepaper.

    The following diagram displays the architecture of ControlUp Enterprise Mode:

     

    On-premises Mode

    In On-Premises Mode, all the back-end services required for ControlUp are installed in the organizational network. This mode is designed for customers who would like to enjoy the features of ControlUp without contacting ControlUp Cloud. On-Premises Mode eliminates the requirement for Internet connectivity and enables all components of ControlUp to operate autonomously without contacting ControlUp Cloud.

    To configure ControlUp in On-premises Mode, you need to prepare some infrastructure resources, such as a SQL database and a web server, and then download and install ControlUp server components.

    On-Premises Mode does not include some of the features that rely on ControlUp Cloud. For the full comparison matrix of ControlUp operation modes, see table below.

    The following diagram displays the architecture of ControlUp On-Premises Mode:

     

     

    ControlUp On-Premises Prerequisites Guide

    ControlUp On-Premises Installation Guide

    Standalone Mode

    In Standalone Mode, ControlUp Console operates autonomously without relying on any servers. Standalone Mode is designed for a single administrator using ControlUp Console for ad-hoc monitoring and management in environments which do not have an Internet connection or do not permit any organizational data to leave the network.

    To configure ControlUp in Standalone Mode, you need to submit a license request and receive a standalone license from ControlUp Support.

    Standalone Mode does not include a substantial amount of ControlUp features. For the full comparison matrix of ControlUp operation modes, see table below.

    The following diagram displays the architecture of ControlUp Standalone Mode:

     

     

     

    Feature Comparison Matrix