Product Documentation

Reporting Tool

Jun 01, 2015

Use the Citrix® NetScaler® Reporting tool to view NetScaler performance statistics data as reports. Statistics data are collected by the nscollect utility and are stored in a database. When you want to view certain performance data over a period of time, the Reporting tool pulls out specified data from the database and displays them in charts.

Reports are a collection of charts. The Reporting tool provides built-in reports as well as the option to create custom reports. In a report, you can modify the charts and add new charts. You can also modify the operation of the data collection utility, nscollect, and stop or start its operation.

Using the Reporting Tool

The Reporting tool is a Web-based interface accessed from the Citrix® NetScaler® appliance. Use the Reporting tool to display the performance statistics data as reports containing graphs. In addition to using the built-in reports, you can create custom reports, which you can modify at any time. Reports can have between one and four charts. You can create up to 256 custom reports.

To invoke the Reporting tool

  1. Use the Web browser of your choice to connect to the IP address of the NetScaler (for example, http://10.102.29.170/). The Web Logon screen appears.
  2. In the User Name text box, type the user name assigned to the NetScaler.
  3. In the Password text box, type the password.
  4. In the Start in drop-down box, select Reporting.
  5. Click Login.
The following screen shots show the report toolbar and the chart toolbar, which are frequently referenced in this documentation.
Figure 1. Report Toolbar


Figure 2. Chart Toolbar


Working with Reports

Updated: 2013-09-27

You can plot and monitor statistics for the various functional groups configured on the NetScaler over a specified time interval. Reports enable you to troubleshoot or analyze the behavior of your appliance. There are two types of reports: built-in reports and custom reports. Report content for built-in or custom reports can be viewed in a graphical format or a tabular format. The graphical view consists of line, area, and bar charts that can display up to 32 sets of data (counters). The tabular view displays the data in columns and rows. This view is useful for debugging error counters.

The default report that is displayed in the Reporting tool is CPU vs. Memory Usage and HTTP Requests Rate. You can change the default report view by displaying the report you want as your default view, and then clicking Default Report.

Reports can be generated for the last hour, last day, last week, last month, last year, or you can customize the duration.

You can do the following with reports:
  • Toggle between a tabular view of data and a graphical view of data.
  • Change the graphical display type, such as bar chart or line chart.
  • Customize charts in a report.
  • Export the chart as an Excel comma-separated value (CSV) file.
  • View the charts in detail by zooming in, zooming out, or using a drag-and-drop operation (scrolling).
  • Set a report as the default report for viewing whenever you log on.
  • Add or remove counters.
  • Print reports.
  • Refresh reports to view the latest performance data.

Using Built-in Reports

The Reporting tool provides built-in reports for frequently viewed data. Built-in reports are available for the following functional groups: System, Network, SSL, Compression, Integrated Cache, NetScaler Gateway, and Citrix NetScaler Application Firewall. By default, the built-in reports are displayed for the last day. However, you can view the reports for the last hour, last week, last month, or last year.

Note: You cannot save changes to built-in reports, but you can save a modified built-in report as a custom report.

To display a built-in report

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, under Built-in Reports, expand a group (for example, SSL).
  2. Click a report (for example, SSL > All Backend Ciphers).

Creating and Deleting Reports

You can create your own custom reports and save them with user-defined names for reuse. You can plot different counters for different groups based on your requirements. You can create up to 256 custom reports.

You can either create a new report or save a built-in report as a custom report. By default, a newly created custom report contains one chart named System Overview, which displays the CPU Usage counter plotted for the last day. You can customize the interval and set the data source and time zone from the report toolbar. Within a report, you can use the chart toolbars to add, modify, or delete charts, as described in "Working with Charts."

By default, newly created custom reports contain one chart named System Overview that displays a CPU Usage counter plotted for the last day.

To create a custom report

  1. In the Reporting tool, on the report toolbar, click Create, or if you want to create a new custom report based on an existing report, open the existing report, and then click Save As.
  2. In Report Name box, type a name for the custom report.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To add the report to an existing folder, in Create in or Save in, click the down arrow to choose an existing folder, and then click OK.
    • To create a new folder to store the report, click the Click to add folder icon, in Folder Name, type the name of the folder, and in Create in, specify where you want the new folder to reside in the hierarchy, and then click OK.
    Note: You can create up to 128 folders.

To delete a custom report

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, next to Custom Reports, click the Click to manage custom reports icon.
  2. Select the check box that corresponds with the report you want to delete, and then click Delete.

    Note: When you delete a folder, all the contents of that folder are deleted.

Modifying the Time Interval

By default, built-in reports display data for the last day. However, if you want to change the time interval for a built-in report, you can save the report as a custom report. The new interval applies to all charts in the report. The following table describes the time-interval options.
Table 1. Time Intervals

Time interval

Displays



Last Hour

Statistics data collected for the last hour.



Last Day

Statistics data collected for the last day (24 hours).



Last Week

Statistics data collected for the last week (7 days).



Last Month

Statistics data collected for the last month (31 days).



Last Year

Statistics data collected for the last year (365 days).



Custom

Statistics data collected for a time period that you are prompted to specify.

To modify the time interval

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, click a report.
  2. On the report toolbar, click Duration, and then click a time interval.

Setting the Data Source and Time Zone

You can retrieve data from different data sources to display them in the reports. You can also define the time zone for the reports and apply the currently displayed report's time selection to all the reports, including the built-in reports.

To set the data source and time zone

  1. In the Reporting tool, on the report toolbar, click Settings.
  2. In the Settings dialog box, in Data Source, select the data source from which you want to retrieve the counter information.
  3. Do one or both of the following:
    • If you want the tool to remember the time period for which a chart is plotted, select the Remember time selection for charts check box.
    • If you want the reports to use the time settings of your NetScaler appliance, select the Use Appliance’s time zone check box.

Exporting and Importing Custom Reports

You can share reports with other NetScaler administrators by exporting reports. You can also import reports.

To export or import custom reports

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, next to Custom Reports, click the Click to manage custom reports icon.
  2. Select the check box that corresponds with the report you want to export or import, and then click Export or Import.
    Note: When you export the file, it is exported in a .gz file format.

Working with Charts

Updated: 2013-09-06

Use charts to plot and monitor counters or groups of counters. You can include up to four charts in one report. In each chart, you can plot up to 32 counters. The charts can use different graphical formats (for example, area and bar). You can move the charts up or down within the report, customize the colors and visual display for each counter in a chart, and delete a chart when you do not want to monitor it.

In all report charts, the horizontal axis represents time and the vertical axis represents the value of the counter.

Adding a Chart

When you add a chart to a report, the System Overview chart appears with the CPU Usage counter plotted for the last one day. To plot a different group of statistics or select a different counter, see "Modifying a Chart."

Note: If you add charts to a built-in report, and you want to retain the report, you must save the report as a custom report.

Use the following procedure to add a chart to a report.

To add a chart to a report

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, click a report.
  2. Under the chart where you want to add the new chart, click the Add icon.

Modifying a Chart

You can modify a chart by changing the functional group for which the statistics are displayed and by selecting different counters.

To modify a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, click a report.
  2. Under the chart that you want to modify, click Counters.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, in the Title box, type a name for the chart.
  4. Next to Plot chart for, do one of the following:
    • To plot counters for global counters, such as Integrated Cache and Compression, click System global statistics.
    • To plot entity counters for entity types, such as Load Balancing and GSLB, click System entities statistics.
  5. In Select group, click the desired entity.
  6. Under Counters, in Available, click the counter name(s) that you want to plot, and then click the > button.
  7. If you selected System entities statistics in step 4, on the Entities tab, under Available, click the entity instance name(s) you want to plot, and then click the > button.
  8. Click OK.

Viewing a Chart

You can specify the graphical formats of the plotted counters in a chart. Charts can be viewed as line charts, spline charts, step-line charts, scatter charts, area charts, bar charts, stacked area charts, and stacked bar charts. You can also zoom in, zoom out, or scroll inside the plot area of a chart. You can zoom in or out for all data sources for 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, and 3 years.

Other options for customizing the view of a chart include customizing the axes of the charts, changing the background and edge color of the plot area, customizing the color and size of the grids, and customizing the display of each data set (counter) in a chart.

Data set numbers, such as Data Set 1, correspond to the order in which the counters in your graph are displayed at the bottom of the chart. For example, if CPU usage and Memory usage are displayed in first and second order at the bottom of the chart, CPU usage is equal to Data Set 1 and Memory usage is equal to Data Set 2.

Whenever you modify a built-in report, you need to save the report as a custom report to retain your changes.

To change the graph type of a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart you want to view, on the chart toolbar, click Customize.
  3. On the Chart tab, under Category, click Plot type, and then click the graph type you want to display for the chart. If you want to display the graph is 3D, select the Use 3D check box.

To refocus a chart with detailed data

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, on the report toolbar, click Zoom In, and do one or both of the following:
    • To refocus the chart to display data for a specific time window, drag and drop the cursor from the start time to the end time. For example, you can view data for a one-hour period on a certain day.
    • To refocus the chart to display data for a data point, simply click once on chart where you want to zoom in and get more detailed information.
  3. Once you have the desired range of time for which you want to view detailed data, on the report toolbar, click Tabular View. Tabular view displays the data in numeric form in rows and columns.

To view numeric data for a graph

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, on the report toolbar, click Tabular View. To return to the graphical view, click Graphical View.
    Note: You can also view the numeric data in the graphical view by hovering your cursor over the notches in the gridlines.

To scroll through time in a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, on the report toolbar, click Scroll, and then click inside the chart and drag the cursor in the direction for which you want to see data for a new time period. For example, if you want to view data in the past, click and drag to the left.

To change the background color and text color of a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart for which you want to customize the axes, click Customize.
  3. On the Chart tab, under Category, click one or more of the following:
    • To change the background color, click Background Color, and then select the options for color, transparency, and effects.
    • To change the text color, click Text Color, and then select the options for color, transparency, and effects.

To customize the axes of a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart for which you want to customize the axes, click Customize.
  3. On the Chart tab, under Category, click one or more of the following:
    • To change the scale of the left y-axis, click Left Y-Axis, and then select the scale you want.
    • To change the scale of the right y-axis, click Right Y-Axis, in Data set to plot, select the date set, and then select the scale you want.
      Note: The data set numbers, such as Data Set 1, correspond to the order in which the counters in your graph are displayed at the bottom of the chart. For example, if CPU usage and Memory usage are displayed in first and second order at the bottom of the chart, CPU usage is equal to Data Set 1 and Memory usage is equal to Data Set 2.
    • To plot each data set in its own hidden y-axis, click Multiple Axes, and then click Enable.

To change the background color, edge color, and gridlines for a plot area of a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart for which you want to customize the plot area, click Customize.
  3. On the Plot Area tab, under Category, click one or more of the following:
    • To change the background color and edge color of the chart, click Background Color and Edge Color, and then select the options for color, transparency, and effects.
    • To change the horizontal or vertical grids of the chart, click Horizontal Grids or Vertical Grids, and then select the options for displaying the grids, grid width, grid color, transparency, and effects.

To change the color and graph type of a data set

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart for which you want to customize the display of the data set (counters), click Customize.
  3. On the Data Set tab, in Select Data Set, select the data set (counter) for which you want to customize the graphical display.
    Note: The data set numbers, such as Data Set 1, correspond to the order in which the counters in your graph are displayed at the bottom of the chart. For example, if CPU usage and Memory usage are displayed in first and second order at the bottom of the chart, CPU usage is equal to Data Set 1 and Memory usage is equal to Data Set 2.
  4. Under Category, do one of more of the following:
    • To change the background color, click Color, and then select the options for color, transparency, and effects.
    • To change the graph type, click Plot type, and then select the graph type you want to display for the data set. If you want to display the graph as 3D, select the Use 3D check box.

Exporting Chart Data to Excel

For further data analysis, you can export charts to Excel in a comma-separated value (CSV) format.

To export chart data to Excel

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart with the data you want to export to Excel, click Export.

Deleting a Chart

If you do not want to use a chart, you can remove it from the report. You can permanently remove charts from custom reports only. If you delete a chart from a built-in report and want to retain the changes, you need to save the report as a custom report.

To delete a chart

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, select a report.
  2. In the right pane, under the chart that you want to delete, click the Delete icon.

Examples

To display the trend report for CPU usage and memory usage for the last week

  1. In the left pane of the Reporting tool, under Built-in Reports, expand System.
  2. Click the report CPU vs. Memory Usage and HTTP Requests Rate.
  3. In the right pane, on the report toolbar, click Duration, and then click Last Week.

To compare the bytes received rate and the bytes transmitted rate between two interfaces for the last week

  1. In the right pane, on the report toolbar, click Create.
  2. In the Report Name box, type a name for the custom report (for example, Custom_Interfaces), and then click OK. The report is created with the default System Overview chart, which displays the CPU Usage counter plotted for the last hour.
  3. Under System Overview, on the chart toolbar, click Counters.
  4. In the counter selection pane, in Title, type a name for the chart (for example, Interfaces bytes data).
  5. In Plot chart for, click System entities statistics, and then in Select Group, select Interface.
  6. On the Entities tab, click the interface name(s) you want to plot (for example, 1/1 and 1/2), and then click the > button.
  7. On the Counters tab, click Bytes received (Rate) and Bytes transmitted (Rate) and then click the > button.
  8. Click OK.
  9. On the report toolbar, click Duration, and then click Last Week.

Stopping and Starting the Data Collection Utility

Updated: 2014-09-24

The data collection utility, nscollect, runs automatically when you start the NetScaler ADC. This utility retrieves the application performance data and stores it in the form of data sources on the ADC. You can create up to 32 data sources. The default data source is /var/log/db/default.

The data collection utility creates databases for global counters and entity-specific counters, and uses this data to generate reports. Global-counter databases are created at /var/log/db/<DataSourceName> . The entity-specific databases are created based on the entities configured on the NetScaler, and a separate folder is created for each entity type in /var/log/db/<DataSourceName/EntityNameDB>.

Nscollect retrieves data once every 5 minutes. It retains data in 5-minute granularity for one day, hourly for the last 30 days, and daily for three years.

You might have to stop and restart the data collection utility if data is not updated accurately or the reports display corrupted data.

To stop nscollect

At the command prompt, type:
/netscaler/nscollect stop

To start nscollect on the local system

At the command prompt, type:
/netscaler/nscollect start