I am happy to highlight some exciting news that my fellow Citrix Technology Advocate Mark Plettenberg has kindly shared with myself. Those of you who are familiar with my 4 part optimisation series found in the below links will already know the advantages of using this software.

Login PI and Optimisation – Part 1 – http://wp.me/p8leEE-9p

Login PI and Optimisation – Part 2 – http://wp.me/p8leEE-9M

Login PI and Optimisation – Part 3 – http://wp.me/p8leEE-be

Login PI and Optimisation – Part 4 – http://wp.me/p8leEE-bs

The blogs highlight the  benefits of Login PI to simulate real world workloads in real time in your Xenapp environments. You will now be happy to hear that this software as of version Login PI version 2.1 now has a new predictive capability. That is right this software has gone all Mystic Meg!

Introducing predictive power

Login PI’s virtual users run their workflows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These virtual users work in an extremely consistent manner, which allows them to detect even the smallest variations in system performance. Alerts are automatically triggered when performance thresholds are exceeded or when logons/applications do not work as expected. This lets administrators detect user-experience problems outside business hours while also helping them to minimize costly disruptions and downtime during business hours.

The new predictive capability of Login PI adds an extra dimension to the administrator’s capability to act proactively in preventing performance and availability problems. Where Login PI provided graphic representations of performance trends up to now, this new capability adds the option to extrapolate future trends (up to one month). This enables an even earlier warning system as the potential convergence of increasing latency trend lines and pre-defined thresholds can now be predicted in advance.

“The combination of our virtual user based 24/7 testing, using 100% consistent workloads, and this new prediction capability, will enhance performance and availability of virtualized desktop environments dramatically.” says Eric-Jan van Leeuwen, CEO of Login VSI.

The new predictive capability is available today in Login PI version 2.1. Existing Login PI users can upgrade to the new version for free at  https://www.loginvsi.com/downloads/login-pi.

New users can download a trial version of Login PI that includes the new capability at https://www.loginvsi.com/free-trial-request.

About Login PI

Where traditional monitoring systems only watch system health when real users are present, Login PI’s virtual user technology verifies desktop infrastructure performance and availability 24/7, without the need for real end-user activity. This approach offers an early warning system of potential problems in end-user experience, before real users experience these problems and business processes are affected.

Login PI is used by both enterprises and government organizations that run their key user processes on virtualized desktop environments, such as VMware Horizon, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop and Microsoft RDS. Login PI offers detailed insight into every aspect of end-user performance, such as logon performance and availability, application performance and availability, and network performance and protocol latency.

The screen shots below highlight the latest features.

  • Predicted Login Times

  • Predicted Latency
  • Predicted Workloads

This is a great addition to the product and I predict that you will like it to. After all, I know these things as I can now see in to the future!

How To Set Your Environment as Active/Active or Active/Passive per Application Level

Once upon a time….

A customer I was dealing with decided on an active/active solution.

Shortly after implementation users started complaining of slowness with a specific application. Investigations identified the DB backend for this application was only in one site.

To cut a long story short the backend location was not going to change. Other applications had backend DB’s in the other locations to add complication.

Now you may have heard of Application Groups introduced in Xenapp 7.9. I just read about it and never put it in to practice but in this case, it certainly came to the rescue especially combined with Tagging which was introduced in 7.8 version.

With these new features, I could configure the Xenapp solution to either load balance applications between different locations within the same Xenapp site or set a preferred site for session connection.

In addition, because of Tagging I could control what machines users could connect to and use Tagging to aid in troubleshooting support issues.

Let me walk you through the solution.

The below diagram shows the principal design of this solution.

  • You have your individual applications.
  • You create application groups.
  • You assign applications of likeness in to the Application Group.
  • You connect the Application Group to a Delivery Group or Delivery Groups.
  • Create Tags for individual Xenapp servers, groups of servers that you can add within your Delivery Groups

The following all happens at the Application Group level:

  • Using the above method, you only set permissions at the Application Group level, not the Delivery Group or individual application.
  • You can set priority of assigned Delivery Groups. Having the same priority will load balance applications between the assigned Delivery Groups.
  • Setting different priorities will result in one of the Delivery Groups being favored for application connections.
  • You can control which servers the applications in your Application Group go to by restricting launch to a specific Tag.

So now I have a controlled solution for application site launches and server session launches which will greatly help in troubleshooting techniques.

Plus, if you have Xenapp 7.9 and above you can do this!

Now to show you what this looks like in the real world:

Within the individual application you assign the Application Group

Permissions are not set at the individual application

Within the Application Group is where you set the permission restrictions

Within the Application Group you assign the Delivery Groups. The below picture shows a priority setting favoring the London Delivery Group. If this was 0, 0 the applications in the group would be evenly load balanced.

At the Delivery Group level in the “edit Delivery Group” settings we see that no permissions are set.

Now the thing to remember is you can set permissions at 3 levels. Application, Application Group and Delivery Group. Best practice when using Application Groups is to set the permissions at this level. However, if for one reason or other your apps in the application group require different users then just set the permissions at the application level and not at the Application Group level or Delivery Group level.

Basically, try to set them only in one location!


I find this a very overlooked feature that is incredibly useful. It is very simple to change your solution from active/active to active/passive per app level or target specific servers when launching applications, all from within the core XenApp software without the addition of more kit.

So, if you have an issue where various apps perform better in certain site locations this solution will become handy. If you have profiles only in one location and they are causing problems loading in one site a simple change using Application Groups will be your knight in shining armour!

I hope you enjoyed this tale from the land of Citrix…and just so you know, they all lived happily ever after.


A CTA’s Personal Note of Thanks to the Citrix Community

I made a conscious decision to improve my life not so long back. This involved improving my health through fitness, organising my time better and getting involved in general.
I am not an astronaut, actor or rock star (only in my head) but rather than be disgruntled about this I decided to like what it is that I do. It is to this end my relationship with my work improved and I started developing an interest in Citrix technologies.
I have been really influenced by the shift from knowledge hoarders to knowledge sharers and the contributions these people make to help their fellow peers. The game here is not about knowing it all but about learning, listening and sharing.
With some encouragement from fellow CTP Dave Brett (@dbretty) whom I had the pleasure of working with and the influential fountain of knowledge that is Mr Lyndon Jon Martin (@lyndonjonmartin) and some extra work effort I put in I have achieved this goal of becoming a Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA).
I also have a personal reason that I decided to push myself and I did not want to be constrained or stop myself from achieving my goals. I will not let my fears govern me, nor should anyone. After all, didn’t someone once say we have nothing to fear but fear itself?
The Citrix user community has taken off and there are so many of you who have provided answers and helped relieve the stress of our day to day problem solving. I will get the chance to work with peers whose work I deem exceptional and the bonus is it will be shared.
So, on a closing note I just want to say a big thank you to Citrix and the CTA program for recognising the community and lastly, I wish to salute all the sharers, helpers and contributors out there.
Further blog posts coming soon!