Application probing

Application probing automates the process of checking the health of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops applications that are published in a Site. The results of application probing are available in Director.

Ensure the following prerequisites:

  • Delivery Controller runs version 7.18 or later.
  • Endpoint machines running probe agents are Windows machines with Citrix Receiver for Windows Version 4.8 or later, or Citrix Workspace app for Windows (formerly Citrix Receiver for Windows) Version 1808 or later. Workspace app for Unified Windows Platform (UWP) is not supported.
  • Director supports the default form based authentication.
  • StoreFront has HTTP Basic authentication enabled.

User accounts/permissions required to run Application Probing:

  • A unique StoreFront user to probe on each endpoint machine. The StoreFront user need not be an administrator; the probes can run in a non-admin context.
  • User accounts with Windows administrator permissions to install and configure the Citrix Probe Agent on the endpoint machines
  • A full administrator user account or a custom role with the following permissions. Reusing existing user accounts for application probing might log off the users’ active sessions.
    • Delivery Group permissions:
      • Read-only
    • Director permissions:
      • Create\Edit\Remove Alert Email Server Configuration - if the email server is not already configured
      • Create\Edit\Remove Probe Configurations
      • View Configurations page
      • View Trends page

Configure Application Probing

You can schedule your application probes to run during off-peak hours across multiple geographies. The comprehensive probe results can help to troubleshoot issues related to the applications, hosting machine or connection before the users experience them.

Step 1: Install and configure the Citrix Probe Agent

The Citrix Probe Agent is a Windows executable that simulates the actual application launch by the user through StoreFront. It tests application launches as configured in Director and reports back the results to Director.

  1. Identify endpoint machines from where you want to run application probing.

  2. Users with administrative privileges can install and configure the Citrix Probe Agent on the endpoint machine. Download the Citrix Probe Agent executable available at https://www.citrix.com/downloads/citrix-virtual-apps-and-desktops/components/app-probe-agent.html

  3. Start the agent and configure your StoreFront Receiver for Web credentials. Configure a unique StoreFront user on each endpoint machine. The credentials are encrypted and stored securely. In the Configure To Display Probe Result tab, enter your Director credentials.

Probe agent

Step 2: Configure Application Probing in Director

  1. Go to Configuration > Application Probe Configuration.

  2. Create a probe and choose:

    • the applications to be probed,
    • the endpoint machines on which the probe must run,
    • the email addresses to which the failure probe results are sent (configure your email server in Alerts -> Email Server Configuration), and
    • the time of the day at which the probe must run (as per the local time zone of the endpoint machine).

    After configuration in Director, the agent takes 10 minutes before it is ready to start probing. Then, it runs configured probes starting the next hour.

    Director Configuration

Step 3: Probe execution

The agent executes application probing as per the probe configuration it fetches from Director periodically. It launches selected applications serially using StoreFront. The agent reports the results back to Director via the Monitor database. Failures are reported in five specific stages:

  • StoreFront Reachability - configured StoreFront URL is not reachable.
  • StoreFront Authentication - configured StoreFront credentials are invalid.
  • StoreFront Enumeration - StoreFront Enumerate applications list does not contain the application to be probed.
  • ICA download - the ICA file is not available.
  • Application launch – the application cannot be launched.

Step 4: View probe results

You can view the latest probe results in the Applications page.

Director Application Analytics page

To troubleshoot further, click the probe result link to see more details on the Trends > Application Probe Results page.

Director application probe results

The consolidated probe results data is available for the last 24 hours or last 7 days time periods on this page. You can see the stage in which the probe failed. You can filter the table for a specific application, probe failure stage, or endpoint machine.

Application probing