Part 2: Citrix Monitoring — EdgeSight/Director vs. Third-Party Tools

Part 1 of yesterday’s “Citrix Monitoring Tools” article described inherent Citrix monitoring functionality and presented an overview of Citrix EdgeSight/Director. Part 2 will cover specific features of EdgeSight/Director, based on a comparison with key third-party monitoring solutions. However, before we delve into that core subject matter, applications should be discussed.

Application Monitoring

A key deficiency of most monitoring tools is a lack of deep insight into applications. While the generally available tools provide a view into application executables and basic resource consumption, details such as when an application hogs a single processor, delays obtaining backend queries, network failures associated with off-premises data sources, and similar application-related issues are largely underrepresented in monitoring solutions.

One key vendor that focuses on the virtualized applications, but not the virtualization infrastructure, is AppEnsure. Although AppEnsure is not a full XenApp/XenDesktop monitoring solution, in which deep application monitoring is required, its unique end-to-end visibility of application functionality may be needed. Please see

Key Vendors and Comparative Analysis

Citrix includes a number of monitoring tools as part of Platinum licensing. Depending on the platform and version of Citrix in use, the functionality and efficiency of the monitoring tools, EdgeSight and Director, varies. For example, EdgeSight provides significant data for XenApp 6.x environments, but because it does not scale for XenDesktop 5.x, it is not a realistic solution for XenDesktop. Especially where migration to a newer version is being considered, the feasibility of using Citrix’s inherent monitoring tools should not be assumed.

Citrix monitoring tools, as well as those from key third-party vendors, were reviewed for functionality and technical complexity as they would realistically be used in production environments. Because the inherent Citrix monitoring tools may not provide all of the required functionality, an analysis of key third-party offerings is presented, based on data available as of July 2014. As this marketplace changes rapidly, readers should consult specific vendor websites and documentation for updates regarding the latest products.

For a complete review of the key vendors and the associated feature set, please see the white paper entitled Monitoring XenApp/XenDesktop by Means of Citrix and Third-Party Tools, which is available from The Virtualization Practice. This paper can be downloaded from: TVP: Monitoring XenApp / XenDesktop by Means of Citrix and Third-Party Tools.


Vendor/Functionality eG Innovations Lakeside SysTrack Smart-X ControlUp Splunk Citrix Director 2.1 / EdgeSight 5.4 Citrix Director 7.x
Key Monitoring Tools by Platform
XenApp 6.x Yes Yes Yes Yes Dir for 6.5 only No
XenDesktop 5.x Yes Yes Yes Limited scalability for ES No
XenApp / XenDesktop 7.x Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Basic Functionality
Server Health Monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ICA/HDX Channel Monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Login Performance
(inc. Profile)
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Delegated Admin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Modules/Components
Network Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Limited
Hypervisor Yes Yes Q3/14 Yes No Yes
Other Available Endpoints, desktops Endpoints, servers Any machine data n/a NetScaler


Full use of EdgeSight/Director in pre-7.x as well as 7.x requires Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum licensing as well as NetScaler Enterprise or Platinum licensing in order to obtain HDX Monitor data. Thus, to obtain the full value of Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum, the key value-add functionality of Director and AppDNA should be utilized. If it is determined that Director is not sufficient for monitoring and AppDNA is not utilized, it is possible that the Enterprise version of XenApp/XenDesktop may suffice in conjunction with a third-party tool.

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Jo Harder
Jo Harder has been involved with virtualization for over 18 years, long before virtualization was the norm. After holding several sales and marketing positions, she started down the path of bits and bytes while at AT&T/Lucent Technologies. She then moved onto Citrix in 1999, where she became a Senior Architect. Her 11-year tenure included a combination of Citrix Consulting and Technical Readiness roles. After leaving Citrix, Jo provided consulting services for various clients for the next year. In her current role at a hosting provider, she is focused on cloud-based solutions for financial industry clients. In February 2015, she was awarded Citrix Technology Professional. Jo's diverse background of sales, marketing, management, and architectural/technical expertise brings a unique perspective to Virtualization Practice. She welcomes input from vendors, industry contacts, and end users and can be reached at

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1 Comment on "Part 2: Citrix Monitoring — EdgeSight/Director vs. Third-Party Tools"

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Nice summary of the different monitoring tools.