How to Create Thresholds and Configure Alerts for HDX Insight

HDX Insight on NetScaler MAS allows you to monitor the HDX traffic passing through NetScaler instances. NetScaler MAS allows you to set thresholds on various counters used to monitor the Insight traffic. You can also configure rules and create alerts in NetScaler MAS.

HDX traffic type is associated with various entities such as applications, desktops, gateways, licenses, and users. Every entity can contain different metrics associated with them. For example, application entity is associated with a number of hits, bandwidth consumed by the application, and response time of the server. A user entity can be associated with WAN latency, DC latency, ICA RTT, and bandwidth consumed by a user.

The threshold management for HDX Insight in NetScaler MAS allowed you to proactively create rules and configure alerts whenever the thresholds set are breached. Now, this threshold management is extended to configure a group of threshold rules. You can now monitor the group instead of individual rules. A threshold rule group comprises one or more user-defined threshold rules for metrics chosen from entities such as users, applications, and desktops. Each rule is monitored against an expected value that you enter when you create the rule. In case of users entity, the threshold group can be associated with a geolocation as well.

An alert is generated on NetScaler MAS only if all the rules in the configured threshold group are breached. For example, you can monitor an application on total session launch count and also on application launch count as one threshold group. An alert is generated only if both rules are breached. This allows you to set more realistic thresholds on an entity.

A few examples are listed as follows:

  • Threshold rule1: ICA RTT(metric) for users(entity) should be <= 100 ms

  • Threshold rule2: WAN Latency (metric) for users(entity) should be <= 100 ms

An example of threshold group can be: {Threshold rule 1 + Threshold rule 2}

To create a rule, you should first select the entity that you want to monitor. Then choose a metric while creating a rule. For example, you can select applications entity and then select Total Session Launch count or App Launch Count. You can create one rule for every combination of an entity and a metric. Use the comparators provided (>, <, >=, and <=) and type a threshold value for each metric.

Note: If you do not want to monitor multiple entities in a single group, you must create a separate threshold rule group for each entity.

When the value of a counter exceeds the value of a threshold, NetScaler MAS generates an event to signify a threshold breach, and an alert is created for every event.

You must configure how you receive the alert. You can enable the alert to be displayed on NetScaler MAS and/or receive the alert as an email or as an SMS on your mobile device. For the last two actions, you must configure the email server or the SMS server on NetScaler MAS.

Threshold groups can also be bound to Geolocations for geo-specific monitoring for user entity.

Example Use Cases

ABC Inc. is a global firm and has offices in over 50 countries. The firm has two data centers, one in Singapore and other in California that host the XenApp and XenDesktop. Employees of the firm access the XenApps and XenDesktop throughout the globe using NetScaler Gateway and NetScaler GSLB based redirection. Eric, the XenApp and XenDesktop admin for ABC Inc. wants to track the user experience for all their offices in order to optimize the apps and desktop delivery for anywhere, anytime access. Eric also wants to check the user-experience-metrics like ICA RTTs, latencies, and raise any deviations proactively.

The users of ABC Inc. have a distributed presence. Some users are located close to the datacenter, while a few are located at further away from the datacenter. As the user base is distributed widely, the metrics and the corresponding thresholds also vary among these locations. For example, the ICA RTT for a location near to the data center can be 5-10 ms whereas the same for a remote location can be around 100 ms.

With threshold rule group management for HDX Insight, Eric can set geo-specific threshold rule groups for each location and be alerted through e-mail or SMS for breaches per area. Eric is also able to combine tracking of more than one metric within a threshold rule group and narrow down the root cause to capacity issues if any. Eric is now able to proactively track any deviation without having to worry about the complexity of manually looking through all XenApp and XenDesktop portfolio metrics.

To create a threshold rule group and configure alerts for HDX Insight using NetScaler MAS:

  1. In NetScaler MAS, navigate to System > Analytics Settings > Thresholds. On Thresholds page that opens, click Add.

  2. On the Create Thresholds and Alerts page, specify the following details:
    1. Name. Type in a name for creating an event for which NetScaler MAS generates an alert.

    2. Traffic Type. From the drop-down list box, select HDX.

    3. Entity. From the drop-down list box, select the category or the resource type. The entities differ for each traffic type that you have selected earlier.

    4. Reference Key. A reference key is automatically generated based on the traffic type and entity that you have selected.

    5. Duration. From the drop-down list box, select the time interval for which you want to monitor the entity. You can monitor the entities for an hour, or for a day, or for a week’s duration.

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  3. Creating threshold rules group for all entities. For HDX traffic, you must create a rule by clicking Add Rule. Enter the values in the Add Rules pop-up window that opens.

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    You can create multiple rules to monitor each entity. Creating multiple rules in one single group allows you to monitor the entities as a group of threshold rules instead of individual rules. Click OK to close the window.

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  4. Configuring Geolocation tagging for Users entity. Optionally, you can create a location-based alert for the user entity in the Configure Geo Details section. The following image shows an example of creating a geolocation based tagging to monitor WAN latency performance for users on the west coast of the United States.

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  5. Click Enable Thresholds to allow NetScaler MAS to start monitoring the entities.

  6. Optionally, configure actions such as email notifications and SMS notifications.

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  7. Click Create to create a threshold rule group.

How to Create Thresholds and Configure Alerts for HDX Insight

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