Director

Director is a monitoring and troubleshooting console for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. 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 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service console.

Cloud director dashboard image

For more information on working with Director, see Director.

Delegated administrator roles

Monitoring now supports delegated administrator roles that allow you to assign built-in roles to administrators. The role determines the available permissions and hence how an administrator uses monitoring. The roles are currently available only with full scope. The available built-in roles and their related permissions are as follows:

Administrator Role Permissions in monitoring
Full Administrator Full access to all views and can perform all commands, including shadowing a user’s session, enabling maintenance mode, and exporting trends data.
Delivery Group Administrator Full access to all views and can perform all commands, including shadowing a user’s session, enabling maintenance mode, and exporting trends data.
Read Only Administrator Can access all views and see all objects. Can export Trends data using the Export option in the Trends view. Cannot perform any other commands or change anything in the views.
Help Desk Administrator Can access only the Help Desk and User Details views and can view only objects that the administrator is delegated to manage. Can shadow a user’s session and perform commands for that user. Can perform maintenance mode operations. Can use power control options for Desktop OS Machines. Cannot access the Dashboard, Trends, Alerts, or Filters views. Cannot use power control options for Server OS machines.
Machine Catalog Administrator Can access the Machine Details page (Machine-based search).
Host Administrator No access. This administrator cannot view any monitoring data.

Select Custom Access and one of the built-in roles.

Cloud director delegated admin

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, sessions, and application instances 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 tooltips 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 the filter later, from the Filters menu, select the filter type (Machines, Sessions, Connections, or Application Instances), and then select the saved filter.
  6. Choose required columns in the filtered table, and click Export to export the data in CSV format. Up to 100,000 records can be exported.
  7. 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.
  8. In the Machines and Connections views, click 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.
  9. 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.
  10. In the Machines view, double-click 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. Cloud director alerts sidebar image

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).

Director alerts policy image

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 HDX Insight reports in NetScaler MAS 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 a Virtual Apps and Desktops issue. For more information, see the NetScaler MAS documentation.
ICA RTT (No. of Sessions) Number of sessions which exceed the threshold ICA round-trip time. Check HDX Insight reports in NetScaler MAS for the number of sessions with high ICA RTT. For more information, see the NetScaler MAS documentation. 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 HDX Insight reports in NetScaler MAS for the number of sessions with high ICA RTT. For more information, see the NetScaler MAS documentation. 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.

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 Virtual Apps and Desktops service supports historical data retention for 90 days only. Hence, one-year trends and reports in Director show the last 90 days of data.
  • 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.
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. Check the Predict check box to see the predicted graph. For more information, see the Application instance prediction section.
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. Note: This feature requires VDAs version 7.15 or later. Desktop OS VDAs running Windows Vista and later, and Server OS VDAs running Windows Server 2008 and later are supported. For more information, see Historical application failure monitoring in Troubleshoot applications. By default, only application faults from Server OS VDAs are displayed. You can set the monitoring of application failures by using Monitoring policies. For more information, see Monitoring policy settings.
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.

Notes:

  • HDX connection logon data is not collected for VDAs earlier than 7. For earlier VDAs, the chart data is displayed as 0.
  • Deleted Delivery Groups are available for selection in the Director Trends filters until data related to them are groomed out. Selecting a deleted Delivery Group displays graphs for available data until retention. However, the tables don’t show data.
  • Moving a machine containing active sessions from one Delivery Group to another causes the Resource Utilization and Load Evaluator Index tables of the new Delivery Group to display metrics consolidated from the old and new Delivery Groups.

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.

Application instance prediction

Predictive analytics gives you the ability to predict future resource usage. This feature is especially useful for administrators to organize required resources and licenses on each resource.

The first predictive analysis feature, Application instance prediction predicts the number of hosted application instances likely to be launched per Site or Delivery Group over time.

Application instance prediction is available in the **Trends > Capacity Management tab that displays the hosted application usage for the chosen time period. The historical graph contains the peak concurrent application instances values plotted for the chosen period.

Director app prediction image

To get the predicted graph, select the Predict check box. A dotted line prediction graph is displayed as an extension of the historical graph. The predicted peak concurrent application instances values are plotted with the time line extended into the future for the chosen time period.

You can predict the application instances for time periods of the next 7 days, one month, or one year. Custom ending dates are not supported.

Prediction is done using machine learning algorithms that are based on data models created with existing historical data. The predictions are therefore as accurate as the quality of the existing data.

The accuracy of prediction is indicated by the tolerance level that is displayed as a tool tip over the predicted graph. It indicates the amount of possible variation of the actual values from the predicted values.

The tolerance level can be high if the available data,

  • does not follow a regular pattern,
  • is missing for certain periods or
  • is insufficient

Prediction for a year captures the monthly and quarterly patterns coupled with the overall trend for the year. Similarly, monthly prediction captures the daily and weekly patterns along with weekly trends such as reduced activity over weekends.

Sufficient historical data must be available for prediction as follows:

  • 14 days data for 7 days’ prediction,
  • 35 days data for one month’s prediction, and
  • 84 days data for one year’s prediction.

Note: You can export the historical graph only, but not the predicted graph.

Director app prediction image

For a short demonstration of the Application instance prediction feature, see the video Application instance prediction video

Application Analytics

The Applications tab displays application-based analytics in a single, consolidated view to help analyze and manage application performance efficiently. You can gain valuable insight into the health and usage information of all applications published on the Site. This feature requires VDAs Version 7.15 or later.

Cloud director app analytics image

The Instances column displays usage of the applications. It indicates the number of application instances currently running (both connected and disconnected instances). To troubleshoot further, click the Instances field to see the corresponding Application Instances filters page. Here, you can select application instances to log off or disconnect.

Monitor the health of published applications in your Site with the Application Faults and the Application Errors columns. These columns display the aggregated number of faults and errors that have occurred while launching the corresponding application in the last one hour. Click the Application Faults or Application Errors field to see failure details on the Trends > Application Failures page corresponding to the selected application.

The application failure policy settings govern the availability and display of faults and errors. For more information about the policies and how to modify them, see Policies for application failure monitoring in Monitoring policy settings.