Configuring Citrix Director 7.6 for XenApp 6.5

Citrix has brought back IMA Support  to allow users to troubleshoot XenApp 6.5 (IMA) sessions with enhanced features in Director 7.6. In addition to providing a short list of the available features of Director 7.6 with IMA architecture

Features:

  • Activity Manager for XenApp 6.5
  • Delegated Admin support
  • Shadow Session
  • Machine Details Panel
  • Session Details Panel
  • Personalization Panel
  • HDX panel

Global User Session Search across XenDesktop Sites and XenApp farms:

Director 7.6 now helps administrators search user sessions across XenDesktop sites and XenApp farms. This feature allows admins to get all the sessions for users in one search session.  We’ve also made it convenient to switch between the sessions quickly.

Note:  Director 7.6 supports three types of search: user, machine and endpoint search. XenApp sessions are supports only “user” search.

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[Director Session Chooser showing sessions across XD/XA Sites and XA (IMA) Farms]

Activity Manager:

Director 7.6 will now display different applications and list the processes running on a XenApp server for a user session imitating the Windows task manager. As an administrator, you can close an application or kill the process remotely. One of the primary use cases to help diagnose slow applications is when a user calls the helpdesk complaining that session interactions are slow.  Now administrators can drill down to a process that is consuming high resource and kill it freeing up much needed resources.

2 [Director Activity Manager: Application and Process View]

Delegated Admin Support:

Director 7.6 supports XenApp delegated administrators in addition to the full administrator role. Full Admin, View Only Admin and Custom Admin are the types of administrators supported with the Delegated Admin Support feature. Permissions for each admin type can be configured (see the product documentation).

Director 7.6 now enables admins to shadow user sessions. This feature helps administrators quickly diagnose issues and get a direct look into  user sessions.  Admins have also been provided with access to applicable controls. To activate this feature, Microsoft Remote Assistance should be enabled in XA Server. Here is the link that will help you install and enable Remote Assistance on Windows Server 2008 R2.

3[Director Shadow Session: Picture illustrates the ease of having a peek to user session]

Director Pages that are shown for XenApp

Activity Manager View:

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This view gives the basic insight into the applications and process running on the user session. It contains the “terminate” and “shadow” buttons, helping the admin perform basic control operations.

User Details View:

The User Details view gives a bird’s eye view of the user session. This view displays complete information about the user session such as session machine details, the farm name, and the machine OU. It also helps find the client machine name and IP from which the session was launched, the session state and the total time for the session on current state.

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The personalization panel allows us to easily locate the user profile. The Logon duration panel shows the logon time (Although the logon duration chart is not shown for XenApp Sessions). Finally, the HDX panel shows the status of each HDX channel. To get additional troubleshooting details, the administrator can click on any of the channel icons.

Installing WMIProvider on XA Server:

In order for Director to retrieve data from XA 6.5 server sessions, the administrator will need to install a WMIProvider on XenApp 6.5 server. This can be found in the DVD folder /support/DirectorWMIProvider. Once this is installed, check to make sure that the WinRM is enabled. This can be done by running the command, Winrm qc.

The expected output is:

C:\ > winrm qc
WinRM service is already running on this machine.
WinRM is already set up for remote management on this computer.

Configuring WinRM permissions on XA server:

In order for Director to retrieve the information from the XA server, it is necessary to enable WinRM permission for administrators. These details are explained in our edocs . We have two types of permissions:

1. To get the information from the XA server on Director. This can be achieved by running the following command :

ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe /configwinrmuser domain\name
ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe /configwinrmuser domain\HelpdeskUserGroup

2. To enable operations on the session. The operations are actions such as end application, end process, etc. This can be achieved by running the following command:

ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe /configwinrmuser domain\name /All
ConfigRemoteMgmt.exe /configwinrmuser domain\HelpdeskUserGroup /All

How to Configure XA server in Director 7.6

After installation, open command prompt on the Director Server. Enter following command:

C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /xenapp <XenAppServerDnsName>

Once the tool runs successfully, Director is ready to troubleshoot your XenApp 6.5 user sessions

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About Murugan B Iyyappan

Working as a Technical Specialist - Citrix solutions architect with 13 years of experience in the IT industry. Expertise in Citrix XenApp and VMware in Windows platform.
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