Citrix is a name that has become synonymous with virtualization in networking.
As a leading provider of virtualized servers and applications, Citrix has helped expand the network of countless enterprises.
Yet the complexity of monitoring these services on the client-side has raised some major challenges.
Here is our list of the best Citrix monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor EDITOR’S CHOICE A comprehensive monitor for servers and everything that runs on them. The long list of services that this tool supports includes XenApp and XenDesktop. There is a 30-day free trial.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor An all-in-one server, applications, and network monitor that provides the ideal combination of services to monitor Citrix Xen Server implementations.
- eG Enterprise An infrastructure monitor that has great drill-down capabilities that help root cause analysis with Citrix Xen Server problems.
- Dynatrace A cloud-based infrastructure monitor that has Xen, Amazon EC2, Hyper-V, KVM, and VMWare specializations.
- SysKit Monitor Real-time monitoring and historical data performance analysis from this agentless network monitor.
- ControlUp This impressive infrastructure monitor includes a virtualization mapper.
- ExtraHop Watch ICA and CGP transactions in real-time with this monitor and track bandwidth usage at the same time.
- Goliath Performance Monitor A network monitor that includes Citrix performance tracking.
The best Citrix monitoring tools
All the products on this list are ideal for monitoring the performance of Citrix infrastructure and keeping key services available.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is an application monitoring solution that can be used to monitor Citrix infrastructure. The tool enables you to monitor CPU load, performance counters, services, events and processes for XenApp and XenDesktop. All of this information is shown in the form of a list format accompanied by a graph with time period options (1h, 12h, and 24h).
One of the most appealing features is the out-of-the-box monitoring templates that the program has for Citrix. Performance metrics include CPU entitlement, reservation, shares, usage, IMA network traffic sent/received, active connections, SecureTicketAuthority metrics, ICA session bandwidth metrics, Datastore read/writes, DynamicStore read/write, Encryption ActiveSync service,and end-user experience.
To keep you up-to-date on Citrix performance, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor offers alerts. The software sends alerts to you by email and SMS if certain performance issues occur. For example, if a session slows to a crawl or an application isn’t available to a user the program sends a notification.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a reliable product for citric monitoring and measuring application performance. The user interface is straightforward and configurable so you can view all the information you need to uphold your services. The software is available from a price of $2,995 (£2,388.21). You can download the 30-day free trial.
The SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) is our top choice for Citrix monitoring because it identifies all resource and service requirements for XenApp implementations and keeps an eye on their performance. Get alerted with warnings so you can head off issues before they escalate without having to watch the screens all of the time.
Start 30-day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/server-application-monitor
OS: Windows Server 2016 or later
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that has a number of sensors that can monitor Citrix hosts. Through the PRTG Citrix XenServer Host Sensor, you can monitor the CPU usage, memory usage, network usage, number of running virtual machines, and a load average of Xen host servers. Similarly, the Citrix XenServer Virtual Machine Sensor can monitor virtual machines on a Xen server. Through this sensor, you can monitor the CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage, network usage, and balloon driver target size.
There is also a range of options for monitoring XenServer backups. For example, the IMAP Sensor allows you to monitor your emails for keywords that indicate a backup has been completed. By configuring this sensor you’ll be able to stay on top of backups and ensure your services are up-to-date.
The notifications system on PRTG Network Monitor is highly customizable. You can send alerts via email, SMS, or push notifications. Alerts can be scheduled according to your requirements. For example, you can configure it so you don’t get alerts outside of working hours.
The great thing about PRTG Network Monitor is that the sensors system makes it easy to configure. All you need to do is launch one of the preconfigured sensors and you’re ready to go. PRTG Network Monitor has a scalable pricing model. PRTG Network Monitor starts at $1600 (£1,276.31) for 500 sensors and one server installation. There is a 30-day free trial.
eG Enterprise is a network monitoring software platform that can monitor Citrix XenServer services. eG Enterprise is a top application monitoring solution because it allows you to move past superficial metrics and on to the issue of problem resolution. You can monitor every layer of your Citrix infrastructure and monitor data like CPU usage with bar charts and graphs to make sure you can see everything you need to.
To keep up with performance issues, eG Enterprise uses alerts. Alerts work by using auto-baselines to monitor for unusual activity. You can also configure alarm policies through the Alarm Manager. In effect, you have complete control over the activity you’ll be notified about.
eG Enterprise is available in a number of versions (on-premises and in the cloud); Easy Evaluation, Perpetual License, Subscription, SaaS, and Audit service. In order to view a quote for this product, you will have to contact the company directly. However, you can download the free trial version.
Dynatrace is a virtualization monitoring platform that monitors virtual resources from all the main providers. Xen, Amazon EC2, Hyper-V, KVM, and VMWare are just some of the providers that Dynatrace supports. The platform monitors the entire application infrastructure behind the virtualization layer to help identify problems hidden beneath the surface.
What makes Dynatrace perfect for monitoring XenServer is that it can automatically detect and pinpoint the root cause of performance issues. This is even more useful due to the fact that infrastructure changes are updated automatically so new servers will be added to your monitoring environment automatically.
If you require a virtualization monitoring solution that provides visibility beyond the virtualization layer then Dynatrace is a natural choice. To view the price of Dynatrace you will have to contact the sales team directly. You can also download the 15-day free trial.
SysKit Monitor is an agentless network monitoring solution. The tool tracks real-time and historic performance. You can also monitor the live experience of end users. You can monitor users activity such as logons and how long they spent during each state of their sessions.
Sessions are broken down into three sections; active, idle, and disconnected. The software also monitors for OS, patches, and licenses of components connected to your network. Real-time alerts keep you posted so you won’t miss anything important.
The reporting capabilities of Syskit Monitor are also very flexible. There are user monitoring reports and server auditing reports to show you everything you need to identify performance problems. When you generate a user monitoring reports for Syskit Monitor you can see a session log summary, details of user activity, most active users, a list of IP addresses and clients, and concurrent usage reports.
There are three versions of SysKit Monitor available to purchase: the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions. The Standard version costs $199 (£158.65) per server and includes agentless monitoring, user activity reports, and application reports.
The Professional version costs $299 (£238.36) per server and adds other features like PowerShell administration and License reports. The Enterprise version costs $449 (£357.94) per server and includes a web application plus performance reports. There is also a 30-day free trial version.
ControlUp is a performance monitoring software tool that identifies issues throughout your Citrix infrastructure. The program delivers transparency from hypervisors right through to individual user sessions. The dashboard shows performance data in real-time. Data shown on the dashboard includes latency, login times, and application launch times, in the form of a table. The table is color-coded so you can see problems at a glance.
Once an issue has been found there are a number of actions the user can take to address it. For example, the user can select the ‘Kill Policy’ option to remove group policy restrictions and enable configurations to be changed at a much faster rate than before (particularly useful when responding to performance troubles).
A distinct advantage of this product compared to many others on the market is that it can monitor multiple Citrix apps and desktops. The software supports all Citrix Virtual Apps, and Desktop versions so that you can manage your entire virtual infrastructure from one location.
There are three versions of ControlUp available to purchase: the Pro, Enterprise, and Platinum versions. The Pro version has one-day data retention, the enterprise version has one month, and the platinum version has one year. You need to contact the company directly to view a quote. You can download a free trial.
ExtraHop is an application performance monitoring platform that has support for monitoring Citrix infrastructure. The ExtraHop Citrix ICA Module provides visibility for XenDesktop and XenApp, and displays ICA and CGP transactions in real-time. The Citrix ICA module comes configured out-of-the-box. Metrics are broken down into user, session, and client type. From this module, you can monitor for issues like slow logins and long loading times.
It is worth noting that you can also monitor bandwidth with the ExtraHop Citrix ICA Module as well. The module shows bandwidth activity by the application so that you can see any bandwidth hogs in your virtual infrastructure. You also have an alerts system which notifies you when anomalous behavior is recognized.
The top-down perspective gained from using ExtraHop is excellent for diving straight to the root of performance problems. If one application is experiencing difficulties, you’ll be able to find it and start troubleshooting. To view the price for ExtraHop you will have to contact the company directly. A free trial is also available for download.
Goliath Performance Monitor is a network monitoring tool that can monitor Citrix servers and applications. The tool has been designed to provide end-to-end visibility of virtualized infrastructure right down to end-user experience.
For example, you can monitor End User Experience data such as Session start/end, ICA/RTT, Bandwidth, Packet loss, Network latency, ICA channel metrics, Logon duration, and availability. For applications, you can monitor processes per session, app performance, CPU, memory, IOPS, throughput, application availability, and more.
The program also has an intelligent alerts system. Alerts work on a threshold basis and are triggered once certain trigger conditions are met. For further analysis, you can use the advanced reporting and analytics module that includes 66 reports out-of-the-box. For example, you can generate a graph that displays the Average Time for parts of the Logon throughout XenApp services.
Goliath Performance Monitor is available in a number of pricing options such as: perpetual license, subscription, enterprise license agreements, and OEM options. You can download a 30-day free trial.
Choosing a Citrix Monitoring tool
Software like SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor concentrates on a monitoring experience that keeps things simple for smaller enterprises.
Other tools like Dynatrace concentrate on increasing the visibility of performance issues and diagnosing the root cause of server or application problems. If you want the most responsive service then Dynatrace is probably your best bet on account of its automatic updates which keep you up-to-date.