Product Documentation

Director

Aug 20, 2017

Director is a monitoring and troubleshooting console for XenApp and XenDesktop. With full administrator permissions, when you open Director, the Dashboard provides a centralized location for monitoring the real-time and historical health and usage of a Site. Director functionality is available on the Monitor tab of the XenApp and XenDesktop Service console.

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For more information on working with Director, see Director.

Filter data to troubleshoot failures

When you click numbers on the Dashboard or select a predefined filter from the Filters menu, the Filters view opens to display the data based on the selected machine or failure type.

Predefined filters cannot be edited, but you can save a predefined filter as a custom filter and then modify it. Additionally, you can create custom filtered views of machines, connections, and sessions across all Delivery Groups.

  1. Select a view:
    • Machines. Select Desktop OS Machines or Server OS Machines. These views show the number of configured machines. The Server OS Machines tab also includes the load evaluator index, which indicates the distribution of performance counters and tool tips of the session count if you hover over the link.
    • Sessions. You can also see the session count from the Sessions view. Use the idle time measurements to identify sessions that are idle beyond a threshold time period.
    • Connections. Filter connections by different time periods, including last 60 minutes, last 24 hours, or last 7 days.
    • Application Instances. This view displays the properties of all application instances on VDAs of Server and Desktop OS. The session idle time measurements are available for Application instances on VDAs of Server OS Version 7.13 or later.
  2. For Filter by, select the criteria.
  3. Use the additional tabs for each view, as needed, to complete the filter.
  4. Select additional columns, as needed, to troubleshoot further.
  5. Save and name your filter.
    To open filter later, from the Filters menu, select the filter type (Machines, Sessions, Connections, or Application Instances), and then select the saved filter.
  6. If needed, for Machines or Connections views, use power controls for all the machines you select in the filtered list. For the Sessions view, use the session controls or option to send messages.
  7. In the Machines and Connections views, click on the Failure Reason of a failed machine or connection to get a detailed description of the failure and actions recommended to troubleshoot the failure. The failure reasons and the recommended actions for Machine and Connection failures are available in the Citrix Director 7.12 Failure Reasons Troubleshooting Guide.
  8. In the Application Instances view, sort or filter based on Idle Time greater than a threshold time period. Select the idle application instances to end. Log off or Disconnect of an application instance ends all active application instances in the same session.
  9. In the Machines view, click on a machine name link to go to the corresponding Machine Details page. This page displays the details of the machine, provides power controls. The Machine Utilization panel displays the CPU, memory, disk monitoring, and GPU monitoring graphs.  Disk and GPU monitoring require VDAs version 7.14 or later. Click View Historical Utilization to see the resource utilization trends for the machine.
    The disk monitoring graphs, real-time average IOPS and disk latency help troubleshoot disk-related issues on the selected VDA. NVIDIA GPU monitoring graphs include percentage utilization of the NVIDIA GPU, the GPU memory, and of the Encoder and the Decoder of the Server and Desktop OS VDAs. For VDAs that access more than one GPU, the average of the GPU metrics collected from the individual GPUs is displayed. GPUs are monitored on VDAs running 64-bit Windows, with NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs and running Display Driver version 369.17 or later. 
    For more information, see Troubleshoot machines.

Alerts and notifications

Alerts are displayed in Director on the dashboard and other high level views with warning and critical alert symbols. Alerts update automatically every minute; you can also update alerts on demand.

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A warning alert (amber triangle) indicates that the warning threshold of a condition has been reached or exceeded.

A critical alert (red circle) shows that the critical threshold of a condition has been reached or exceeded.

You can view more detailed information on alerts by selecting an alert from the sidebar, clicking the Go to Alerts link at the bottom of the sidebar or by selecting Alerts from the top of the Director page.

In the Alerts view, you can filter and export alerts. For example, Failed Server OS machines for a specific Delivery Group over the last month, or all alerts for a specific user. For more information, see Export reports.

Citrix alerts. Citrix alerts are alerts monitored in Director which originate from Citrix components. You can configure Citrix alerts within Director in Alerts > Citrix Alerts Policy. As part of the configuration, you can set notifications to be sent by email to individuals and groups when alerts exceed the thresholds you have set up.

Create alerts policies

To create a new alerts policy, for example to generate an alert when a specific set of session count criteria are met:

  1. Go to Alerts > Citrix Alerts Policy and select, for example, Server OS Policy.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Name and describe the policy, then set the conditions which have to be met for the alert to be triggered. For example, specify Warning and Critical counts for Peak Connected Sessions, Peak Disconnected Sessions and Peak Concurrent Total Sessions. Warning values must not be higher than Critical values. For more information, see Alerts policies conditions.
  4. Set the Re-alert interval. If the conditions for the alert are still met, then the alert is triggered again at this time interval and, if set up in the alert policy, an email notification is generated. A dismissed alert will not generate an email notification at the re-alert interval.
  5. Set the Scope. For example, set for a specific Delivery Group.
  6. In Notification preferences, specify who should be notified by email when the alert is triggered. You have to specify an email server in the Email Server Configuration tab in order to set email Notification preferences in Alerts Policies.
  7. Click Save.

Creating a policy with 20 or more Delivery Groups defined in the Scope may take approximately 30 seconds to complete the configuration. A spinner is displayed during this time.

Creating more than 50 policies for up to 20 unique Delivery Groups (1000 Delivery Group targets in total), may result in an increase in response time (over 5 seconds).

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Alerts policies conditions

Alert policy condition

Description and recommended actions

Peak Connected Sessions

Number of peak connected sessions.
  • Check Director Session Trends view for peak connected sessions.
  • Check to ensure there is enough capacity to accommodate the session load.
  • Add new machines if needed.

Peak Disconnected Sessions

Number of peak disconnected sessions.
  • Check Director Session Trends view for peak disconnected sessions.
  • Check to ensure there is enough capacity to accommodate session load.
  • Add new machines if needed.
  • Log off disconnected sessions if needed.

Peak Concurrent Total Sessions

Number of peak concurrent sessions.
  • Check Director Session Trends view in Director for peak concurrent sessions.
  • Check to ensure there is enough capacity to accommodate session load.
  • Add new machines if needed.
  • Log off disconnected sessions if needed.

CPU

Percentage CPU usage.

  • Identify the processes or resources consuming CPU.
  • End the process if necessary. Ending the process will cause unsaved data to be lost.
  • If all is working as expected, add additional CPU resources in the future.

Note: The policy setting, Enable resource monitoring, is allowed by default for the monitoring of CPU and memory performance counters on machines with VDAs. If this policy setting is disabled, alerts with CPU and memory conditions will not be triggered. For more information, see Monitoring policy settings.

Memory

Percentage Memory usage.

  • Identify the processes or resources consuming memory.
  • End the process if necessary. Ending the process will cause unsaved data to be lost.
  • If all is working as expected, add additional memory in the future.

Note: The policy setting, Enable resource monitoring, is allowed by default for the monitoring of CPU and memory performance counters on machines with VDAs. If this policy setting is disabled, alerts with CPU and memory conditions will not be triggered. For more information, see Monitoring policy settings.

Connection Failure Rate

Percentage of connection failures over the last hour. Calculated based on the total failures to total connections attempted.

  • Check Director Connection Failures Trends view for events logged from the Configuration log.
  • Determine if applications or desktops are reachable.

Connection Failure Count

Number of connection failures over the last hour.
  • Check Director Connection Failures Trends view for events logged from the Configuration log.
  • Determine if applications or desktops are reachable.

ICA RTT (Average)

Average ICA round-trip time
  • Check NetScaler HDX Insight for a breakdown of the ICA RTT to determine root cause.
  • If NetScaler is not available, check the Director User Details view for the ICA RTT and Latency and determine if it is a network problem or XD/XA issue. For more information, see the NetScaler Insight Center documentation, Use Cases: HDX Insight.

ICA RTT (No. of Sessions)

Number of sessions which exceed the threshold ICA round-trip time.

  • Check NetScaler HDX Insight for the number of sessions with high ICA RTT. For more information, see the NetScaler Insight Center documentation, HDX Insight Reports.
  • If NetScaler is not available, work with the network team to determine root cause.

ICA RTT (% of Session)

Percentage of sessions which exceed the average ICA round-trip time.

  • Check NetScaler HDX Insight for the number of sessions with high ICA RTT. For more information, see the NetScaler Insight Center documentation, HDX Insight Reports.
  • If NetScaler is not available, work with the network team to determine root cause.
ICA RTT (User) ICA round-trip time which is applied to sessions launched by the specified user. The alert is triggered if ICA RTT is higher than the threshold in at least one session.

Failed Machines (Desktop OS)

Number of failed Desktop OS machines.
  • Failures can occur for various reasons as shown in the Director Dashboard and Filters views. Run Citrix Scout diagnostics to determine root cause. For more information, see Troubleshoot user issues.

Failed Machines (Server OS)

Number of failed Server OS machines.
  • Failures can occur for various reasons as shown in the Director Dashboard and Filters views. Run Citrix Scout diagnostics to determine root cause.

Average Logon Duration

Average logon duration for logons which occurred over the last hour.

  • Check the Director Dashboard to get up to date metrics regarding the logon duration. A large number of users logging in during a short timeframe can cause elongated logons.
  • Check the baseline and break down of the logons to narrow down the cause.

For more information, see Diagnose user logon issues.

Logon Duration (User) Logon duration for logons for the specified user which occurred over the last hour.

Load Evaluator Index

Value of the Load Evaluator Index over the last 5 minutes.
  • Check Director for Server OS Machines that may have a peak load (Max load).
  • View both Dashboard (failures) and Trends Load Evaluator Index report.

Monitor historical trends across a Site

The Trends view accesses historical trend information for sessions, connection failures, machine failures, logon performance, load evaluation, capacity management, machine usage and resource utilization for each Site. To locate this information, click Trends menu.

The zoom-in drill down feature lets you navigate through trend charts by zooming in on a time period (clicking on a data point in the graph) and drilling down to see the details associated with the trend. This feature enables you to better understand the details of who or what has been affected by the trends being displayed.

To change the default scope of each graph, apply a different filter to the data.

Note: Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop Service supports historical data retention for 90 days only. Hence, one-year trends and reports in Director show the last 90 days of data.

Action

Description

View trends for sessions

From the Sessions tab, select the Delivery Group and time period to view more detailed information about the concurrent session count.

View trends for connection failures

From the Failures tab, select connections, machine type, failure type, Delivery Group, and time period to view a graph containing more detailed information about the user connection failures across your Site.

View trends for machine failures

From Failures > Desktop OS Machine Failures or Server OS Machines, select the failure type, Delivery Group, and time period to view a graph containing more detailed information about the machine failures across your Site.

View trends for logon performance

From the Logon Performance tab, select the Delivery Group and time period to view a graph containing more detailed information about the duration of user logon times across your Site and whether the number of logons affects the performance. This view also shows the average duration of the logon phases, such as brokering duration, VM start time.

This data is specifically for user logons and does not include users trying to reconnect from disconnected sessions.

The table below the graph shows Logon Duration by User Session. The administrator can choose the columns to display and sort the report by any of the columns.

For more information, see Diagnose user logon issues.

View trends for load evaluation

From the Load Evaluator Index tab, view a graph containing more detailed information about the load that is distributed among Server OS machines. The filter options for this graph include the Delivery Group or Server OS machine in a Delivery Group, Server OS machine (available only if Server OS machine in a Delivery Group was selected), and range.

View hosted applications usage

The availability of this feature depends on your organization's license.

From the Capacity Management tab, select Hosted Applications Usage tab, select the Delivery Group and time period to view a graph displaying peak concurrent usage and a table displaying application based usage. From the Application Based Usage table, you can choose a specific application to see details and a list of users who are using, or have used, the application.

View desktop and server OS usage

The Trends view shows the usage of Desktop OS by Site and by Delivery group. When you select Site, usage is shown per Delivery group. When you select Delivery group, usage is shown per User.

The Trends view also shows the usage of Server OS by Site, by Delivery Group and by Machine. When you select Site, usage is shown per Delivery group. When you select Delivery group, usage is shown per Machine and per User. When Machine is selected usage is shown per User.

View virtual machine usage

From the Machine Usage tab, select Desktop OS Machines or Server OS Machines to obtain real-time view of your VM usage, enabling you to quickly assess your Site's capacity needs.

Desktop OS availability - displays the current state of Desktop OS machines (VDIs) by availability for the entire Site or specific Delivery Group.

Server OS availability - displays the current state of Server OS machines by availability for the entire Site or specific Delivery Group.

View resource utilization

From the Resource Utilization tab, select Desktop OS Machines or Server OS Machines to obtain insight into historical trends data for CPU and memory usage, and IOPS and disk latency for each VDI machine for better capacity planning.
CPU and memory usage trends require VDAs version 7.11 or later.  IOPS and disk latency trends require VDAs version 7.14 or later.
Graphs show data for average CPU, average memory, average IOPS, disk latency, and peak concurrent sessions. You can drill down to the machine, and view data and charts for the top 10 processes consuming CPU. Filter by Delivery Group and Time period. CPU, memory usage, and peak concurrent sessions graphs are available for the last 2 hours, 24 hours, 7 days, month, and year. The average IOPS and disk latency graphs are available for the last 24 hours, month, and year. 
Note:

  • The Monitoring policy setting, Enable Process Monitoring, must be set to "Allowed" to collect and display data in the Top 10 Processes table on the Historic Machine Utilization page. The policy is set to "Prohibited" by default.
  • All resource utilization data is collected by default. This can be disabled using the Enable Resource Monitoring policy setting.  

The table below the graphs shows the resource utilization data per machine. 
Note: Average IOPS shows the daily averages. Peak IOPS is calculated as the highest of the IOPS averages for the selected time range. (An IOPS average is the hourly average of IOPS collected during the hour on the VDA).

View application failures

The Application Failures tab displays historical failures associated with published applications. You can see faults and errors that have occurred while launching or running of a selected application or process during a selected time period. This information enables you to monitor application-specific issues.

Failure monitoring of applications hosted on Server OS VDAs is provided by default. You can modify the monitoring settings through Monitoring Group Policies.

For more information, see the Application failure monitoring section.

Create customized reports

The Custom Reports tab provides a user interface for generating Custom Reports containing real-time and historical data from the Monitoring database in tabular format. From the list of previously saved Custom Report queries, you can execute to export the report in CSV format, copy and share the corresponding OData query, or edit the query.

You can create a new Custom Report query based on machines, connections, sessions, or application instances. Specify filter conditions based on fields such as machine, delivery group, or time period. Specify additional columns required in your Custom Report. Preview displays a sample of the report data. Saving the Custom Report query adds it to the list of saved queries.

You can create a new Custom Report query based on a copied OData query. To do this, select the OData Query option and paste the copied OData query. You can save the resultant query for execution later.

Note: The column names in Preview and Export report generated using OData queries are not localized, but appear in English.

The flag icons on the graph indicate significant events or actions for that specific time range. Hover the mouse over the flag and click to list events or actions.

Note: 

  • HDX connection logon data is not collected for VDAs earlier than 7. For earlier VDAs, the chart data is displayed as 0.
  • Sessions, failures, and logon performance trend information is available as graphs and tables when the time period is set to Last month or shorter. When the time period is set to Last Year, the trend information is available as graphs but not as tables.

Application failure monitoring

This feature requires VDAs version 7.14 or later. Desktop OS VDAs running Windows Vista and later, and Server OS VDAs running Windows Server 2008 and later are supported.

To enable the feature, add a registry key on the VDA. 

Caution: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that might require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Citrix recommends that you back up Windows Registry before changing it.

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In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >SOFTWARE> Citrix>VirtualDesktopAgent

  • Create a new key, FeatureToggle
  • Add a new DWORD Value, ApplicationLaunchFailureTracking and set it to 1.

The Application Failures tab displays failures associated with the published applications on the VDAs.

The application failures that are logged to the Event Viewer with source "Application Errors" are monitored. The failures are displayed as Application Faults or Application Errors based on their severity. The Application Faults tab displays failures associated with loss of functionality or data. 

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Application errors indicate problems that are not immediately relevant; they signify conditions that might cause future problems.
Application failure trends are available for the last 2 hours, 24 hours, 7 days, and month. 
The grooming retention settings for application failure monitoring, GroomApplicationErrorsRetentionDays and GroomApplicationFaultsRetentionDays are set to 1 day by default. You can change this setting using the PowerShell command:
Set-MonitorConfiguration -<setting name> <value>

You can filter the failures based on Published Application Name, Process Name or Delivery Group, and Time Period. The table displays the details of the failure along with a brief description; a detailed failure description is displayed as a tooltip. Click Export to generate reports in CSV, Excel or PDF formats.
Note: The Published Application name is displayed as Unknown when the corresponding application name can’t be derived. This typically occurs when the launched application fails due to an unhandled exception caused by a dependent executable.

Policies for application failure monitoring

The Application Failure tab, by default, displays only application faults from Server OS VDAs. Settings of application failure monitoring can be modified with the following Monitoring policies:

Enable monitoring of application failures

Use this setting to configure application failure monitoring to monitor either application errors or faults (crashes and unhandled exceptions), or both.
Disable application failure monitoring by setting the Value to None.
The default for this setting is Application faults only.

Enable monitoring of application failures on Desktop OS VDAs

By default, failures only from applications hosted on the Server OS VDAs are monitored. To monitor Desktop OS VDAs, set the policy to Allowed.
The default for this setting is Prohibited.

List of applications excluded from failure monitoring

Specify a list of applications that are not to be monitored for failure.
By default this list is empty.

Export reports

Using the export feature, you can export trends information to generate regular usage and capacity management reports. Export supports PDF, Excel, and CSV report formats. Reports in PDF and Excel formats contain trends represented as graphs and tables. CSV format reports contain tabular data that can be processed to generate views or can be archived. 

The supported number of concurrent export operations and the amount of data that can be exported is set to default limits, beyond which tabular data is truncated.