In an earlier blog post, XenDesktop 5 Announced…Lots of New Features, I discussed the new features of XenDesktop 5 and wrote about the Desktop Director. In that blog post I linked to the Citrix TV Tour of Desktop Director video and as I keep watching that video I keep thinking how something like the Desktop Director could be used with XenApp. Then I was recently in a XenDesktop one day training class and got to see XenDesktop 5 up close. In this one day of training I was able to get hands on with XenDesktop 5 and its various new features. As I was working with one of the new features, Desktop Director, I thought to myself XenApp needs an “Application Director” just like the Desktop Director.
What is the Desktop Director?
The XenDesktop Desktop Director lets you manage, monitor, and remotely connect to/shadow XenDesktop sessions all from a single web-based console. The Desktop Director lets help desk and lower level support staff perform day-to-day operations of user’s desktops. One place to see what’s going on in a XenDesktop environment and gives a complete view of the environment. Searches can be performed in the Desktop Director Console to easily drill down to a single user/desktop session for troubleshooting purposes. All the data in the Desktop Director is only kept for 24 hours. If you want historical data for reporting purposes you will need to setup and configure EdgeSight.
Why does XenApp need an “Application Director”?
Having an Application Director for XenApp with the ability to manage, monitor, and shadow XenApp sessions, published applications, and published desktops from a single console for day-to-day operations would be a very nice value add to XenApp. Along with sessions, published applications, and published desktops; XenApp server’s performance metrics should be displayed as well. I see it as a great tool for help desk and lower level support staff instead of publishing the Delivery Services Console and/or shadow taskbar along with giving them access to the EdgeSight console. As we all know, EdgeSight can be a beast to navigate thru if you don’t know what you are looking for. Help desk and lower level support staff would have better ease of use in a more simplistic console with the Application Director.
What about EdgeSight?
Taking things one step further why not evolve EdgeSight into a “Citrix Director” type product where the Desktop and Application Directors are integrated into it? If you are a non-Platinum XenApp or XenDesktop customer you only get the data from the consoles for 24 hours. If you are a Platinum XenApp or XenDesktop customer or upgrade to Platinum then the consoles point to a Citrix Director server where you can get more information and have historical data for your XenApp and/or XenDesktop deployments. Currently EdgeSight can also monitor NetScaler but what about XenServer and Branch Repeater? Integrate the XenServer, NetScaler, and Branch Repeater products into the “Citrix Director” so you can get complete monitoring of your entire Citrix infrastructure from a single product.
I like the look and feel of the Desktop Director. It is very easy to navigate through and get the information you need. Create an Application Director for XenApp and then take the same approach with EdgeSight and give it an overhaul to a “Citrix Director” type product with the same look and feel as the Desktop Director. What do you think a “Citrix Director” type product should look like?
If you have found this article interesting or if you have any other insights, please feel free to leave comments on this article.