Login PI and Xenapp Optimisation – Part 2

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What is Login PI
Login PI is a new tool from those clever people who gave you Login VSI. I have decided to use this tool to test some of the optimisations in my Xenapp environment.

Login PI is an advanced VDI performance measuring system designed to help you deliver the best possible digital experience for your virtual desktop users—maximising worker productivity while minimising downtime and costly business interruptions. Login PI provides a new level of actionable, in-depth insights into the quality of your VDI’s digital experience that other solutions cannot match.

https://www.loginvsi.com/products/login-pi

This article will show you the installation steps and how to set the software up to simulate real world actions such as launching desktops and applications.

Following on from this article we will carry out these real-world tasks using various optimisation settings we highlighted in part 1 of this series.
Installation pre-requisites
I am using a Windows 2016 server.

Install .net 3.5

       Once you have installed the pre-requisites and downloaded the PI software click on the .exe and run it.
Run Setup
This will install IIS and a few other binaries. You will be prompted to reboot.

After this you connect to the web console: (Recommendation is to use Google Chrome)

Connect to http://localhost:8080

You will then add the SQL server details



The below highlights that I am using SQL1 as a server and I input my administrative credentials.

 

Now we are at the stage where we are ready to configure LOGIN PI.
Login PI Configuration
We can see a license error stating that no license is installed. So, first things first upload your license.

I have a trial license to demo this software.


Browse to your License file and upload.

 
Create Logon Accounts
Next, we need to create some logon accounts that LOGIN PI will use to generate session workloads.

Hit the cog wheel icon and put in the details of your Base OU, Username and desired password, Domain and number of users to create.

Then click GENERATE.



This will generate a powershell script for you to run on your Domain Controller.


Copy script to DC and run.

The script should generate a new OU (LoginPI) with a subfolder and some target users as shown below.



Next, we return to our LOGIN PI configuration console.
Create Profile
We will create a profile for LOGIN PI to use.

Click the + icon.

Enter Name, Type (of connection) and Description.



The various types of connections you can do are highlighted here:

 

Now configure your environment settings.


Choose your workload



You have two options.

Default workload - native windows apps will use applications already native to your O/S like notepad, calculator etc.

Default workload – office apps will use word, outlook, Excel etc.

The following office versions are supported. This can be seen under the office version tab within Environment Settings.

Next scroll down and you configure your connections.



Click the + icon and input a username and password (Previously generated via script or any other account that can launch sessions) and click CREATE. You can add as many accounts as you wish to test session launches.



To edit these settings, you can click the area highlighted in yellow above.

Next highlight the yellow edit area shown below and fill in your connection settings.

The example I have below is using a Storefront connection.

For the Storefront URL use the Store URL.

Put in your domain and the resource name is the name of your Published Desktop Resource.


Advanced settings you should not have to change.

Launcher
Next you configure your launcher.

This can be the same machine as your LOGIN PI server but the important thing to remember is this should be in the Xenapp site you are testing. If you have multiple sites you can configure multiple launchers.



Download the launcher setup file that is appropriate for your machine (32 or 64 bit).



Run the launcher.

  

In the next screen shot it is best to put the name of the LOGIN PI server you are connecting to if the machine is not the LOGIN PI server. Remember launchers can be put on multiple sites to test connectivity.

   

You will now have a new application icon



The above reminds me that your launcher machine must also have Receiver installed. (Try to use latest).

Now when you launch this it will not work straight away. We still have some actions to carry out and then we need to approve the launcher machine.
Set Schedule
The next thing we need to set is the Daily Schedule.



We can choose the hours we want the launcher tasks to run using the accounts we set up previously and to start this we need to tick the Enable scheduling box and choose an interval of time between session launches.
Thresholds
Finally, we have threshold settings. This defines thresholds for all actions or specific actions so that you receive alerts after a set overrun.

 
Final Actions
One more thing, we need to approve the launcher server.

To do this we hit the icon highlighted below.



Highlight your launcher by selecting the tick box and then hit ACCEPT.



Now when we click the LOGIN PI LAUNCHER we will initiate a connection to your desired published desktop resource and it will launch the native apps. This will be logged and recorded as part of your defined schedule for you to analyse in the LOGIN PI DASHBOARD.


You should now see a desktop launch and initiate applications and then close.

If you have an issue with the session connecting but no launching of applications the following needs to be installed on your Xenapp image.

More Prerequisites
Here are some prerequisites for your target image:

Target Environment Software

Windows-based operating system.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

Connections

The test user(s) need to be able to:

Logon to the target environment.

Run the logon script.

Have connectivity to the Login PI server over a dedicated port. (Default is port 8080)

Access the %temp%

Make sure all these are in place and you should not have any issues.

Further requirements for a login PI environment can be found here:

https://www.loginvsi.com/documentation/index.php?title=Login_PI_Requirements#Target_Environment
Conclusion
Before I complete the testing of the various optimisations with a 2012/2016 image I view this tool as quite a useful proactive reporting mechanism on the session health of your RDS/Xenapp environments.

You can set up profiles direct to Xenapp/RDS servers and via Storefront and Netscaler Gateways.

One thing that grabbed my attention was if this tool could be multi tenanted. I spoke to the chaps at Login VSI who said that it could be used in such a manner.

If this is the case I would be able to analyse my different profiles that were created for different environments that use different launchers in multiple sites and receive proactive information should there be any issue with session launches or application launches. Remember the launchers must be able to see the LOGIN PI server on port 8080!

In part 3 we will delve in to the Dashboard and Insights supplied by Login PI.

 

 

 

 

 

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