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This function is similar to node discovery in design but is much more detailed Once a node is discovered and identified, the discovery process will interrogate the device to find out about the software and hardware configuration If fat clients must be used, this
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Citrix XenApp Platinum Edition for Windows: The Official Guide
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can be an invaluable tool to meter software that is, to find out if the number of licenses purchased matches the number of licenses in use It can also aid in creating inventories of hardware that need to be upgraded for a particular project Similar functionality is available for peripheral and network devices Hardware and software inventory data is usually rolled into the overall configuration management process
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Monitoring and Messaging
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The most common agent function is to watch the system and look for problems as defined in a rule base Ideally, this rule base is administered centrally and shared by all similar agents The agent s job is to send an appropriate message whenever an item in the rule base is triggered, as illustrated in Figures 6-9 and 6-10 These items can consist of both errors, or traps, and collections of information such as traffic thresholds, disk utilization, and log sizes
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Figure 6-9 EdgeSight agent monitoring
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Security, Monitoring, and Management
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Figure 6-10 EdgeSight alert setup
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With SNMP-based systems, the agent processes events and sends messages with little to no filtering or processing on the local system This is acceptable because SNMP messages are typically small and not likely to flood the network In systems with more intelligent agents, where much more detailed information can be collected, the agent has the added task of collating or summarizing the data before sending it to the manager Otherwise, the added traffic caused by unsummarized messages could cause a bandwidth utilization problem
NOTE: SNMP uses standard UDP ports 161 and 162 Port 162 is reserved for traps only As a result, it can be made subject to bandwidth utilization rules in a router (queuing) or in a device such as the Citrix WANScaler or Packeteer PacketShaper Similarly, CMIP reserves UDP and TCP ports 163 for the agent and 164 for the manager
Citrix XenApp Platinum Edition for Windows: The Official Guide
Management by Exception or Negative Monitoring This can be a function of an agent or a manager Sometimes not receiving a piece of information from a system is just as critical as receiving one A system may become unresponsive without ever sending a trap In cases like this, it is useful to have a periodic heartbeat a small message that says nothing more than I m here If the agent or manager does not receive this heartbeat, an alert is generated for follow-up We have found this type of monitoring to be a crucial part of the SME because not all platforms send alerts when they are supposed to Network Monitoring and Tracing One of EdgeSight s key features is its ability to examine an ICA packet s entire roundtrip to and from a XenApp Server, and point to delays and bottlenecks in the trip This is an important tool, because it can allow you to quickly know whether a delay is from an oversubscribed server or an oversubscribed network In addition to looking at the Citrix-related traffic, though, a complete SME system must measure network traffic and problems between any two arbitrary points It should follow established rules to do detailed monitoring on critical paths, such as between data centers, an Internet router, or between XenApp Servers and back-end database servers Thresholds can be established that serve to guarantee acceptable performance and send alerts if those thresholds are reached In many ways, the heavy reliance of an application infrastructure s environment on network performance makes this one of the most crucial monitoring functions Effective monitoring in the SME can provide critical data for predictive analysis about when the network is approaching saturation before it ever happens Therefore, we recommend implementing not only EdgeSight but additional network-focused tools that integrate into EdgeSight, such as the Citrix WANScaler Figure 6-11 shows an EdgeSight network device summary report Note the data regarding where the delays are occurring Remote Diagnostics By using the Citrix s shadowing function, administrators can attach to and run a user s session anywhere on the network from a central location Similarly, an SME should offer the ability to attach to network equipment and perform basic operations, such as uploading and downloading configurations and rebooting If a particular node cannot be reached, the SME should provide enough data from surrounding nodes to determine what is wrong with the unresponsive equipment