HDX Insight

HDX Insight provides end-to-end visibility for HDX traffic to XenApp and XenDesktop passing through NetScaler ADC. It also enables administrators to view real-time client and network latency metrics, historical reports, End-to-end performance data, and troubleshoot performance issues. Availability of both real-time and historical visibility data enables NetScaler MAS to support a wide variety of use cases.

For any data to appear you need to enable AppFlow on your NetScaler Gateway virtual server(s). AppFlow can be delivered by the IPFIX protocol or the LogStream method.

Note: To allow ICA round trip time calculations to be logged, enable the following policy settings:

  • ICA Round Trip Calculation

  • ICA Round Trip Calculation Interval

  • ICA Round Trip Calculation for Idle Connections

If you click on an individual user, you can see each HDX session, active or terminated, that the user made within the selected time frame. Other information includes several latency statistics and bandwidth consumed during the session. You can also get bandwidth information from individual virtual channels such as audio, printer mapping and client drive mapping.

You can also navigate to HDX Insight > Applications and click Launch Duration to view the time taken for the application to launch. You can also view the user agent of all connected users by navigating to HDX Insight -> Users.

Note: HDX insight supports Admin Partitions configured in NetScaler instances running on software version 12.0.

The following Thin Clients support HDX Insight:

  • WYSE Windows-based Thin Clients

  • WYSE Linux-based Thin Clients

  • WYSE ThinOS-based Thin Clients

  • 10Zig Ubuntu-based Thin Clients

Identifying the root cause of slow performance issues

Scenario 1

User is experiencing delays while accessing XenApp and XenDesktop.

The delays might be due to latency on the server network, ICA traffic delays caused by the server network, or latency on the client network.

To identify the root cause of the issue, analyze the following metrics:

  • WAN Latency

  • DC Latency

  • Host Delay

To view the client metrics:

  1. On the Analytics tab, navigate to HDX Insight Users.

  2. Scroll down and select the username and select the period from the list. The period can be one day, one week, one month, or you can even customize the period for which you want to see the data.

  3. The chart displays the ICA RTT and DC latency values of the user for the specified period as a graph.

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  4. On the Current Application Sessions table, hover the mouse over the RTT value and note the host delay, DC latency, and WAN latency values.

  5. On the Current Application Sessions table, click the hop diagram symbol to display information about the connection between the client and the server, including latency values.

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Summary

In this example, the DC Latency is 751 milliseconds, the WAN latency is 52 milliseconds and Host Delays is 6 seconds. This indicates that the user is experiencing delay due to average latency caused by the server network.

Scenario 2

User is experiencing delay while launching an application on XenDesktop or XenApp

The delay might be due to latency on the server network, ICA-traffic delays caused by the server network, latency on the client network, or time taken to launch an application.

To identify the root cause of the issue, analyze the following metrics:

  • WAN latency

  • DC latency

  • Host delay

To view the user metrics:

  1. On the Analytics tab, navigate to HDX Insight > Users.

  2. Scroll down and click on the user name.

  3. In the graphical representation, note the WAN Latency, DC Latency and RTT values for the particular session.

  4. In the Current Application Sessions table, note that the host delay is high.

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Summary

In this example, the DC Latency is 1 millisecond, the WAN latency is 12 milliseconds, but the Host Delay is 517 milliseconds. High RTT with low DC and WAN latencies indicates an application error on the host server.

Note: HDX Insight also displays additional user metrics, such as WAN jitter and Server Side Retransmits if you are using NetScaler MAS running software 11.1 build 51.21 or later. To view these metrics, navigate to Analytics > HDX Insight > Users, and select a user name. The user metrics appear in the table next to the graph.

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Geomaps for HDX Insight

The NetScaler MAS geomaps functionality displays the usage of applications across different geographical locations on a map. Administrators can use this information to understand the trends in application usage across various geographical locations.

You can configure NetScaler MAS to display the geomaps for a particular geographical location or LAN by specifying the private IP range (start and end IP address) for the location.

You can also view the historical and active users’ details from the geo location maps in HDX Insight. Navigate to Analytics > HDX Insight, and in the World section of the map, click the country or region for which you want to see the details. You can further drill down to view information by city and state.

To configure a geomap for data centers:

On the Networks tab, naviagte to Sites > Private IP Blocks to configure geomaps for a particular location.

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Use Case

Consider a scenario in which organization ABC has 2 branch offices, one in Santa Clara and the other in India.

The Santa Clara users use the NetScaler Gateway appliance at SClara.x.com to access VPN traffic. The Indian users use the NetScaler Gateway appliance at India.x.com to access VPN traffic.

During a particular time-interval, say 10 AM to 5 PM, the users in Santa Clara connect to SClara.x.com to access VPN traffic. Most of the users access the same NetScaler Gateway, causing a delay in connecting to the VPN, so some users connect to India.x.com instead of SClara.x.com.

A NetScaler administrator analyzing the traffic can use the geomap functionality to show the traffic in Santa Clara office. The map shows that the response time in the Santa Clara office is very high, because the Santa Clara office has only one NetScaler Gateway appliance through which users can access VPN traffic. The administrator might therefore decide to install another NetScaler Gateway, so that users have two local NetScaler Gateway appliances through which to access the VPN.

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Limitations

If NetScaler instances have Enterprise license, thresholds set on NetScaler MAS for HDX Insight will not be triggered since analytical data is collected for only 1 hour.