Improving visibility to user login experience with Citrix

Improving visibility to user login experience with Citrix
White paper
Improving visibility to user login
experience with Citrix EdgeSight
Table of contents
Introduction...........................................................................................................................................1
Citrix end-user experience monitoring service overview.........................................................................2
The Presentation Server login process...................................................................................................3
Client start-up........................................................................................................................................3
Server start-up......................................................................................................................................4
Special start-up cases...........................................................................................................................5
Appendix A: glossary of metrics.............................................................................................................6
Appendix B: at a glance — client start-up metrics to client launch mechanism mappings......................7
Appendix C: at a glance — server start-up metrics to launch scenario mappings..................................8
Introduction
When a user clicks on an icon to launch an application delivered
by Citrix Presentation Server™, the first change that they see on the
screen is a dialog box with Citrix in the title and a description of the
processes that are taking place to launch the requested
application. Any problem experienced in the launch process —
within the Presentation Server infrastructure or the supporting
infrastructure components — can result in a poor user experience.
Inevitably, these issues result in service desk calls and complaints
that “Citrix is slow.”
Diagnosing login problems has traditionally been a difficult, timeconsuming, manual process due to the large number of steps
involved, many of which are external to the Presentation Server
infrastructure. Critical operations such as user login script
execution and profile loading can significantly elongate the overall
login experience for a Presentation Server user. Gaining visibility
into these steps has been a reactive process of manually exploring
the size of the user’s profile or execution of the login script, and
watching for errors or delays.
Citrix EdgeSight™ for Presentation Server 4.5 now enables visibility
into each individual step involved in the login process and the time
required for each step to finish. With 22 new and unique metrics
provided by EdgeSight for Presentation Server, administrators can
quickly diagnose performance problems and identify the specific
causes of slow logins. This visibility enhances the performance of
applications delivered by Citrix Presentation Server, resulting in a
better user experience.
Citrix end-user experience
monitoring service overview
EUEM Metric Collection & Aggregation
Presentation Server
Client Device 1
User 1’s
Session
ICA Client
Metrics
collected on
Client-side
Metrics
collected on
Server-side
Client Device 2
EdgeSight
Server
User 2’s
Session
Metrics
collected on
Client-side
ICA Client
Metrics
collected on
Server-side
Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 includes a new service called Citrix
End-user Experience Monitoring (EUEM). This service resides on
each Presentation Server and is the collection point for client-side
and server-side EUEM performance metrics for applications
deployed by that Presentation Server.
The EUEM service provides no caching or storage of EUEM data.
Information is passed to the local EdgeSight for Presentation
Server agent where it is stored in the agent database. This
information is available to administrators in real time via the
EdgeSight Console and is passed on a scheduled basis to the
centralized EdgeSight Server where aggregation, storage and
reporting take place.
EdgeSight
Database
Citrix
EUEM Service
Because EUEM utilizes code on both the client and the server, this
feature is a negotiated capability. Both the ICA® client and
Presentation Server ends of a session must be enabled with the
EUEM service for the full set of metrics to be available. For
Presentation Server 4.5, the Win32, WinCE, WBT, and Linux v10
clients are EUEM-enabled. Other client releases will not provide
any EUEM monitoring at this time.
If the Web Interface for Citrix Presentation Server™ or Program
Neighborhood® Agent is involved, the corresponding components
in the Presentation Server farm must also be EUEM-enabled. No
separate install is required for these components; however they
must be version 4.5 or above.
The Presentation
Server login process
The login process, or session start-up process, can be
categorized into two key areas:
• Client Start-up
• Server Start-up
The total time required for these two areas to complete will directly
affect the experience of the user while waiting for their application
to become ready. EdgeSight for Presentation Server records
detailed metrics that can be viewed on a per-session basis in
the EdgeSight Console. The following is an explanation of
those metrics:
Client start-up
These metrics are concerned with timing the operations that
occur from the point when the user requests an application, e.g.,
by clicking an icon, to the point at which an instance of the ICA
client has finished opening a connection to Presentation Server.
While connection-brokering mechanisms, such as Web Interface
for Citrix® Presentation Server or Program Neighborhood® Agent,
involve components that are not on the physical client device, the
tasks these systems perform have a direct impact on the
performance of the connection start-up and are recorded as
part of the client-side process.
AECD: Application Enumeration Client
Duration
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent is the application
launch mechanism. It measures the time needed to retrieve the list
of applications from the Web Interface service.
BUCC: Back-up URL Client Count
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent is the application
launch mechanism. It records the number of back-up URL retries
before a successful launch. Note that this is the only start-up
metric that is a measure of attempts, rather than time duration.
CFDCD: Configuration File Download Client
Duration
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent is the application
launch mechanism. It measures the time it takes to retrieve the
configuration file from the XML server.
At the next level down, there are a number of detailed metrics
available:
Used for new sessions only, when the ICA file doesn’t specify a
connection to a Presentation Server. The NRCD is the time it
takes the XML service to resolve the name of a published
application to an IP address.
NRWD: Name Resolution Web Server
Duration
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent or Web Interface is the
application launch mechanism. It is the time it takes the XML
service to resolve the name of a published application to a
Presentation Server address.
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent is the application
launch mechanism. It measures the time required to obtain the
user credentials. Note that COCD is only measured when the
credentials are entered manually by the user. Because this metric
may be artificially inflated if a user fails to provide credentials in a
timely manner, it is subtracted from the Startup Client Duration
(SCD). This consideration is especially important if the metric is to
be used for threshold alerting.
This is the high-level server-side connection start-up metric. It
includes the time spent on the Presentation Server to perform the
entire start-up operation. In the event of an application starting in
a shared session, this metric is normally much smaller than when
starting a completely new session, which involves potentially highcost tasks such as profile loading and login script execution.
The time it takes to query every ICA session to host the requested
published application. The check is performed on the client to
determine whether the application launch request can be handled
by an existing session. A different method is used depending on
whether the session is new or shared.
COSD: Credentials Obtention Server
Duration
SCCD: Session Creation Client Duration
New session creation time, from the moment wfica32.exe is
launched to the establishment of the connection.
TRWD: Ticket Response Web Server
Duration
IFDCD: ICA File Download Client Duration
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent or Web Interface is the
application launch mechanism. This is the time it takes the client
to download the ICA file from the web server.
A matrix showing which connection start-up metrics should be
expected under which start-up conditions is provided in Appendix B.
Used when Web Interface is the application launch mechanism. It
measures the time needed to process the launch page (launch.
aspx) on the Web Interface server.
SSSD: Session Start-up Server Duration
At the next level down, there are a number of detailed metrics
available:
Used when Program Neighborhood Agent or Web Interface is the
application launch mechanism. This is the time it takes to get a
ticket (if required) from the STA server or XML service.
LPWD: Launch Page Web Server Duration
creation process will perform client device mapping tasks
(printers, drives), load the user’s profile, execute any login scripts,
and then start the user’s application (in the case of a desktop this
will be explorer.exe). If a session already exists and a new
application is being started through session sharing, only the
application start stage will occur.
SLCD: Session Look-up Client Duration
COCD: Credentials Obtention Client Duration
SCD: Start-up Client Duration
This is the high-level client-side connection start-up metric. It
starts at the time of the request (mouse click) and ends when the
ICA connection between the client device and Presentation Server
has been established. In the case of a shared session, this
duration will normally be much shorter, as many of the set-up
costs associated with the creation of a new connection to the
server are not incurred.
NRCD: Name Resolution Client Duration
Server Start-up
In order to create a new session on a Presentation Server, the
user must first be authenticated. After authentication, the session
The time taken for the server to obtain the user credentials. This
time is only likely to be a significant if manual login is being used
and the server-side credentials dialog is displayed (or if a legal
notice is displayed before login commences). Because this metric
may be artificially inflated if a user fails to provide credentials in a
timely manner, it is not included in the Session Start-up Server
Duration (SSSD).
CONSD: Credentials Obtention Network
Server Duration
The time spent by the server performing network operations to
obtain credentials for the user. This only applies to a Security
Support Provider Interface login (a form of pass-through
authentication where the client device is a member of the same
domain as the server and Kerberos tickets are passed in place of
manually entered credentials).
PNCOSD: Program Neighborhood
Credentials Obtention Server Duration
This is the time needed for the server to cause the Program
Neighborhood instance running on the client (“Program
Neighborhood Classic”) to obtain the user credentials. As in the
case of the COSD metric, because this metric may be artificially
inflated if a user fails to provide credentials in a timely manner, it
is not included in the Session Startup Server Duration (SSSD).
CASD: Credentials Authentication Server
Duration
The time spent by the server when authenticating the user’s
credentials against the authentication provider, which may be
Kerberos, Active Directory® or an SSPI.
PLSD: Profile Load Server Duration
The time required for the server to load the user’s profile.
LSESD: Login Script Execution Server
Duration
The time needed for the server to run the user’s login script or
scripts.
PCSD: Printer Creation Server Duration
The time required for the server to synchronously map the user’s
client printers. If the configuration is set such that printer creation
is performed asynchronously, no value is recorded for PCSD as it
is does not impact completion of the session start-up.
A matrix showing which server start-up metrics should be
expected under which start-up conditions is provided in
Appendix C.
Special Start-up
Cases
A start-up may not complete for a number of reasons —
interruption of the network, failure to authenticate, failure to
license, or a manual abort from the end user. In these cases, Citrix
EdgeSight for Presentation Server may provide partial metrics that
it has managed to gather before the abort occurred. The exact
number of metrics that are available will depend on when the
connection was aborted.
In the case of a re-connection to an existing session, a “transitory”
session is created for the new connection. This transitory session
is discarded after passing the new connection over to the user’s
previous session. EdgeSight for Presentation Server automatically
handles this condition by re-associating the new start-up metrics
with the original session.
Appendix A: Glossary of metrics
SCD (Measure): Start-up Client Duration (Milliseconds)
SSSD (Measure): Session Start-up Server Duration (Milliseconds)
AECD (Measure): Application Enumeration Client Duration
(Milliseconds)
COSD (Measure): Credentials Obtention Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
BUCC (Measure): Back-up URL Client Count (Number of Events)
PNCOSD (Measure): Program Neighborhood Credentials
Obtention Server Duration (Milliseconds)
CFDCD (Measure): Configuration File Download Client Duration
(Milliseconds)
COCD (Measure): Credentials Obtention Client Duration
(Milliseconds)
IFDCD (Measure): ICA File Download Duration (Milliseconds)
LPWD (Measure): Launch Page Web Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
NRCD (Measure): Name Resolution Client Duration (Milliseconds)
NRWD (Measure): Name Resolution Web Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
SLCD (Measure): Session Look-up Client Duration (Milliseconds)
CONSD (Measure): Credentials Obtention Network Server
Duration (Milliseconds)
CASD (Measure): Credentials Authentication Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
PLSD (Measure): Profile Load Server Duration (Milliseconds)
LSESD (Measure): Login Script Execution Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
PCSD (Measure): Printer Creation Server Duration (Milliseconds)
DMSD (Measure): Drive Mapping Server Duration (Milliseconds)
SCSD (Measure): Session Creation Server Duration (Milliseconds)
SCCD (Measure): Session Creation Client Duration (Milliseconds)
TRWD (Measure): Ticket Response Web Server Duration
(Milliseconds)
DMSD: Drive Mapping Server Duration
The time needed for the server to map the user’s client drives,
devices and ports.
SCSD: Session Creation Server Duration
The time spent by the server in creating the session. This should
not be confused with the overall SSSD. The SCSD duration starts
when the ICA client connection has been opened and ends when
authentication begins.
PN New Session
PN Shared Session
PNA New Session
PNA Shared
Session
WI New Session
WI Shared Session
Start-up Client Duration: SCD
Custom Connection
Shared Session
Appendix B: At a glance — client start-up
metrics to client launch mechanism mappings
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Appendix C: At a glance ­— server start-up
metrics to launch scenario mappings
The following table identifies which metrics can be expected to be produced in different
connection start-up scenarios.
Session Creation Server Duration: SCSD
Back-up URL Client Download: BUCD
•
•
Credentials Obtention Server Duration: COSD
Application Enumeration Client Duration: AECD
•
•
Credentials Obtention Network Server Duration: CONSD
Configuration File Download Client Duration: CFDCD
•
•
Program Neighborhood Credentials Obtention Server Duration: PNCOSD
Credentials Obtention Client Duration: COCD
•
ICA File Download Duration : IFDCD
•
•
Launch Page Web Server Duration: LPWD
Name Resolution Web server Duration: NRWD
Session Look-up Client Duration: SLCD
Session Creation Client Duration: SCCD
Ticket Response Web Server Duration: TRWD
•
•
•
•
Non-SSO New
Session Launch
PN Classic
Launch Using a
New Session
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Credentials Authentication Server Duration: CASD
•
•
•
•
•
Profile Load Server Duration: PLSD
•
•
•
•
•
Login Script Execution Server Duration: LSESD
•
•
•
Drive Mapping Server Duration: DMSD
•
•
•
•
Name Resolution Client Duration: NRCD
Published App
Using a New
Session via SS0
•
•
•
•
Printer Creation Server Duration: PCSD1
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Session Start-up Server Duration: SSSD
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Printer Creation duration will only be measured and reported for sessions that perform printer creation in a synchronous manner.
Asynchronous printer creation will not be reported.
1
•
These metrics are not guaranteed to be produced in all the cases indicated. The • indicates only the possibility that the metric will be
produced. For example, in general, SLCD is only produced if the Connection Center is already running on the client.
Where metrics are not applicable, no result will be collected by EdgeSight for Presentation Server. If a measured metric is negligible, the
value of 0 may be displayed.
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About Citrix
Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS) is the global leader and the most trusted name in application delivery infrastructure. More than
200,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to deliver any application to users anywhere with the best performance, highest
security and lowest cost. Citrix customers include 100% of the Fortune 100 companies and 98% of the Fortune Global 500, as well
as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more
than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2006 was $1.1 billion.
©2007 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix®, ICA®, Program Neighborhood®, Citrix Presentation Server™ and Citrix EdgeSight™ are trademarks or registered
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