Product Documentation

Citrix SCOM Management Pack 1.17 for NetScaler

May 21, 2017

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler is an availability and performance management solution that extends end-to-end service monitoring capabilities of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to include the Citrix NetScaler (NetScaler) infrastructure. It fully integrates topology, health, and performance data into SCOM, providing an end‐to‐end operations overview across the entire NetScaler estate and enabling delivery of effective business service management.

Some key benefits of Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler are:

  • Agentless monitoring architecture
  • Intuitive topology discovery of internal NetScaler components
  • Deep monitoring of key virtual servers and services
  • Enhanced infrastructure health
  • Quick deployment and simple upgrades
  • Functioning across physical and virtual NetScaler appliances
  • Easy identification and resolution of network-specific issues
  • Acceleration of problem resolution
  • Scaling management responsibility across your infrastructure and organization
  • Automation of routine administration to improve service levels, increase efficiencies, and achieve greater control of the IT environment

Topology discovery

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler provides out-of-the-box discovery of the NetScaler configuration:

  • Automatically discovers and visualizes the topology of NetScaler devices. The discovery and visualization are based on a defined NetScaler device model. The discovered devices are used as a base for NetScaler component discovery.
  • Updates NetScaler topology in regular time intervals.

Discovered NetScaler appliance objects are divided into the following major components:

  • System
    Shows system settings as well as licensed functionalities on NetScaler and memory pools.
  • Network
    Provides details on IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6), network interfaces, VLANs, channels, and bridge groups.
  • Access Gateway
    Displays AG virtual servers and related authentication policies.
  • Traffic Management
    Contains Load Balancing group which includes LB virtual servers, as well as LB services and service groups.
  • SSL
    Covers SSL entities, namely policies, actions, and certificates.
  • Authentication Authorization Auditing
    Divides authentication servers into three groups: LDAP, Radius, and TACACS.
  • Cloud Bridge
    Contains information about Network Bridges that are configured.

Monitoring 

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler monitors many components out-of-the-box and is designed to be extendable to meet custom monitoring requirements. Some out-of-the-box monitoring capabilities are: 

  • Settings in detail, monitors per object as well as monitoring of configuration changes. 
  • Detection of unusual session behavior. 
  • Detection of NetScaler service failures. 
  • Identification of internal NetScaler issues and non-responding services. 

Monitors are classified into the following groups: 

  • Appliance
    Includes hardware and system information monitoring: 
    • CPU and memory usage 
    • Temperature 
    • Fan speed 
    • Power supply 
    • High availability node master state
      General statistics for: 
    • Authentication, Authorization, and Auditing 
    • Access Gateway 
    • Protocols (IPv4, IPv6, SSL, TCP, UDP) 
  • Access Gateway Virtual Servers
    Related to a specific virtual server and includes monitoring of: 
    • State 
    • Number of current users 
    • Requests rate 
    • Activity in terms of requests and responses 
  • Load Balancing
    Monitors health states for LB related objects including: 
    • Virtual Server 
    • Service 
    • Service group 
  • Authentication
    Detects the number of authentication failures in a given time interval for the following authentication protocols: 
    • LDAP 
    • Radius 
    • TACACS 
  • Network
    Network-related monitors show: 
    • State change for interfaces and channels 
    • IP address conflicts for both IPv4 and IPv6 
  • SSL
    SSL-specific monitors are used to monitor: 
    • Impending SSL certificate expiry 
    • Absence of SSL policy hits (no traffic to trigger the policy) 

Views 

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler provides various out-of-the-box views that present alerts, the health state, tasks, and performance. 

There are a number of performance collection views: 

  • Appliance
    The NetScaler appliance is the target. 
    • Authentication, Authorization, and Auditing (general) 
    • Access Gateway VPN (general) 
    • Application Firewall 
    • Integrated Cache 
    • Compression 
    • NetScaler Configuration Changes 
    • CPU 
    • Disk 
    • Memory 
    • HTTP Protocol 
    • IP Protocol 
    • SSL Protocol 
    • TCP Protocol 
    • UDP Protocol 
    • Temperature 
  • Network
    One of the network components is the target. 
    • Channel 
    • Interface 
  • Access Gateway
    The Access Gateway virtual server is the target. 
  • Load Balancing
    Load Balancing service is the target. 
  • SSL
    SSL policies or SSL actions are the target.

Tasks

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler provides some tasks that can be easily extended:

  • Displays all NetScaler events.
  • Displays a current list of system sessions.
  • Displays a current list of ICA connections.
  • Displays all SSL virtual servers.

Architecture

The following diagram shows how Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler is deployed on the SCOM management platform.

Increasing the queue size of the version store

The Microsoft Monitoring Agent Service stores records of unfinished transactions in a version store. Version store enables the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) to track and manage current transactions. It contains a list of operations performed by active transactions maintained by the Health Service. This list is an in‐memory list of modifications made to the Health Service store database.

The default size of version store is 1,920 16‐KB memory pages (30 MB) and is optimized for a typical installation of SCOM. A version store of this size is not sufficient to handle the high data flow in a large XenApp and XenDesktop environment.

To increase the queue size of the version store, do the following:

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.

1.     In the Start menu, type regedit in the Search text box, and then click Search.
2.     In the Results list, click regedit or regedit.exe.
3.     In the User Account Control dialog box, click Yes.
4.     In the Registry Editor window, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > HealthService > Parameters.
5.     Right-click the Persistence Version Store Maximum value and click Modify.

Figure The Persistence Version Store Maximum value in Registry Editor

localized image

Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler has two main parts:

  • Server side (installed on one computer out of management server computers in the SCOM management group)
    The server side of the product contains management packs as well as agent installation packages. When management packs are imported into SCOM, all network devices are targeted and NetScaler devices discovery is based on the network device OID value. Other discovery and monitoring processes use the agent to communicate with NetScaler devices.
  • Agent side (installed on each member of the SCOM resource pool dedicated to NetScaler device monitoring)
    The agent side of the product contains Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler Agent. It is designed to act as a layer between the management packs and the NetScaler appliances in the monitoring process. All requests initiated by Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler on the SCOM side flow though the agent. The agent is a proxy and data collector that optimizes the requests, optimizes sessions with the NetScaler appliances, and collects and caches data from these appliances.
    The agent is implemented as a Windows service. It uses AJAX technology to access the NetScaler appliances through the NITRO API. Credentials for accessing the NetScaler appliances are sent from SCOM. A single agent instance can monitor multiple NetScaler appliances.
    The agent must be installed on all members in the chosen SCOM resource pool.
    Note: Resource pools are a feature introduced in SCOM 2012. A resource pool is a collection of management servers or gateway servers used to distribute work amongst themselves and take over work from a failed member. Citrix SCOM Management Pack for NetScaler Agent must reside on all members of a resource pool.