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Facts from the Field #3: The Wild Card – The Citrix End User

October 21, 2015 | By: Sri Chaganty, COO & CTO/Founder

Our third post from our Facts from the Field series is from the healthcare industry and this time it’s a familiar story about Citrix users flooding the help desk with er, detailed, complaints such as “my computer is slow.” Our champion, “Ted” an IT Director of 12 years with this large, U.S. healthcare provider, was slightly smiling when sharing his challenges while managing his IT infrastructure with one of AppEnsure’s system engineers. “I approach each problem with a sense of humor,” he chuckled. “Especially when the problem is a fellow employee.”

Ted’s fellow employees, which include nurses, case workers, doctors, administrative staff, patients and more, all rely on the robust and responsive infrastructure he has built. “Typically, it’s a well-oiled machine,” he shares when detailing the deployment of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop across thousands of virtualized servers and desktops over a hybrid private/public cloud. “There aren’t too many days where we find ourselves in firefighting mode. But, it’s those problems that never get solved that challenge me most.”

Those problems are the ones that get escalated to Ted and his team due to end user complaints but never get identified and simply resolve themselves. “I’m glad that someone is able to do their job again and they are no longer frustrated with the IT Department, but many times we weren’t able to identify the problem the employee was experiencing. Our team used to go on wild goose chases looking at monitoring tools showing green lights across the board. It merely becomes a waiting game until they call again,” Ted shared. “That’s why I am happy to now have AppEnsure.”

While evaluating AppEnsure, Ted installed desktop agents to allow his Citrix admins to get a bi-focal view of the performance of the images – from the server side as well as from the end device side.  “With the unique end user view AppEnsure provides, my admins can find out what exactly is happening on the end device and have a better understanding of the employee’s experience.  And, as a result, they can pinpoint quickly when the problem is on the end device side versus the server side and get to the root of it in seconds or minutes.”

For example, after Ted installed the AppEnsure desktop agents for some of the more problematic employees, he was able to quickly support one end user experiencing a slow performance problem. “With AppEnsure, we could see the amount of traffic from the end device that was going out to network was 99% to other sources and not to the server from where the image was being published,” he stated with that familiar smile. “As a result of end device being so consumed with other traffic, the image was not responding properly. It was something the end user was doing that had nothing to do with Citrix, the network or my team.”

While wrapping up the meeting with Ted he shared some words of wisdom and one last joke with our engineer. “For the most part, servers, storage devices, databases all work and behave as they were designed with little deviation. Employees, however, are all unique and the only way to better understand their perspective is to see their unique perspective so you can tell them sometimes that they are the problem. I call the employees wild cards but sometimes I just call them jokers.”


Facts from the Field #1: “It’s Where you Measure”

Facts from the Field #2: “I Love It when People Pick on Citrix.”

Facts from the Field #4: “IT Operations with Texas-Sized Grins”

Facts from the Field #2 – “I Love It when People Pick on Citrix.”

September 29, 2015 | By: Sri Chaganty, COO & CTO/Founder

In the second installment of the Facts from the Field series, I wanted to reflect on a first in-person meeting with a Director of IT from “Company X” (who prefers to remain anonymous to protect the innocent.) She started our conversation by sharing, “When I get the phone call after two sips of my first cup of coffee, I just hope they blame Citrix because they’re rarely right. But, I’m still dragged into troubleshooting meetings to work together as a team to resolve whatever issue is at hand that morning. Sometimes the problems are easy to solve — sometimes not — but AppEnsure really helped me last week.”

Only 10 days into her free evaluation of the AppEnsure solution, this Director received that familiar phone call that automatically put Citrix in the hot seat. XenApp users started flooding their help desk with complaints of “Outlook is slow!” and an immediate war room meeting was called to provide an immediate resolution.

A closer look through their various existing monitoring tools didn’t provide any answers. “I didn’t want a problem to occur, but I was anxious to put AppEnsure to the test,” she stated. So she put AppEnsure on the war room’s big screen and went directly to the Topology tab to share a real-time view of the dependency map for their Outlook application. This dynamic view showed all of the response times for each hop between users, servers, databases, etc. that were currently utilizing Outlook.

In just a few seconds, the entire team was able to see the AppEnsure software highlighting the exact hop experiencing higher-than-normal response times. “The hop between the XenApp server and the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Server clearly showed a slow response time of 960m,” she said with a grin. “I was cautiously optimistic AppEnsure had zeroed in on the problem.”

The team then used AppEnsure to quickly dig deeper into the application Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Server and saw the alarm “Active Directory Topology Service Failure” which meant the server containing Active Directory is having a hard time authenticating user credentials. “I couldn’t believe how quickly we pinpointed and resolved the problem,” she remarked. “AppEnsure helped me identify the true root cause and get back to what I originally had planned for the day.”


Facts from the Field #1 – “It’s Where You Measure”

Facts from the Field #3: The Wild Card – The Citrix End User

Facts from the Field #4: “IT Operations with Texas-Sized Grins”

VIDEO: Nie wieder “Mein Citrix ist so langsam!”

September 24, 2015 | By: Steve


A video discussing Application-Aware Infrastructure Performance Management and the AppEnsure solution is now available in German. This detailed presentation of the AppEnsure solution titled, Nie wieder “Mein Citrix ist so langsam!,” discusses common challenges IT Operations face when supporting large, distributed Citrix environments.

AppEnsure is very thankful to have our partner, X-tech, present the solution in German so our message does not get lost in translation. Just like the AppEnsure solution, presenting data is most effective when it’s easy to understand. So, if the German language is your preference, please spend some time listening to X-tech’s IT Systems Architect, Reinhard Travnicek, so you can never again hear the words “Mein Citrix ist so langsam!”

(In German via Google Translate)


Ein Video zum Thema Application-Aware Infrastructure Performance Management und die AppEnsure Lösung ist jetzt in deutscher Sprache erhältlich. Diese ausführliche Darstellung der AppEnsure Lösung mit dem Titel, Nie wieder “Mein Citrix ist so langsam!, diskutiert gemeinsamen Herausforderungen IT Operations Gesicht, wenn die Unterstützung großer, verteilter Citrix-Umgebungen.

AppEnsure ist sehr dankbar, dass unser Partner X-tech haben, präsentieren die Lösung auf Deutsch so unsere Botschaft nicht in der Übersetzung verloren gehen. Genau wie die AppEnsure Lösung, Darstellung von Daten ist am effektivsten, wenn es leicht zu verstehen. Also, wenn die deutsche Sprache ist Ihre Präferenz, verbringen Sie bitte einige Zeit zu hören X-Tech IT Systems Architect, Reinhard Travnicek, so dass Sie nie wieder die Worte zu hören “Mein Citrix ist so langsam!”

Facts from the Field #1 – “It’s Where You Measure”

September 15, 2015 | By: Sri Chaganty, Founder and CTO

As founder and CTO of a Silicon-Valley company, I feel fortunate to continually meet other technology-minded people solving real-world problems and some industry leaders who have greatly influenced my vision. In each meeting, I learn facts….valuable facts that I thought would be a good idea to share on our blog. So, I’m happy to announce AppEnsure’s new blog series titled, “Facts from the Field” to communicate interesting facts we hear and our experiences in the industry with you.

Fact from the Field #1: Shortly after starting AppEnsure, I was introduced to John Young, HP’s CEO from 1978-1992 and who later served on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. When I explained my ideas and principles behind the AppEnsure solution, I remember him putting his arm around my shoulder and saying with a smile, “I have been in instrumentation all my life, son, and one thing I learned is what you measure is less important than where you measure it at. You discovered where to instrument to measure the true performance of applications in this new world of virtualization and clouds.  That will make you and your idea very crucial in the future.”

What an exhilarating experience it was.  Commodity data yields in commodity results – a lesson I learned in 30 years that I have been involved in performance management.  Perfecting performance is a continuous present tense. AppEnsure is built on that principle.  Thanks to the inspiration from people like John and many other luminaries of Silicon Valley – AppEnsure is bringing in new concepts of Application Operational intelligence to our customers that is beyond just fixing problems but focusing on perfecting fundamentals that are crucial to business success – end-user experience of critical applications.

I look forward to sharing more Facts from the Field blog posts after learning (IMHO) interesting facts from IT Operations team members, industry leaders, and great influencers.



Facts from the Field #2 – “I Love It when People Pick on Citrix.”
Facts from the Field #3: The Wild Card – The Citrix End User
Facts from the Field #4: “IT Operations with Texas-Sized Grins”

Double-edged Sword of Human Competition

September 9, 2015 | By: John Ward, Director of Sales

Double-edged Sword of Human Competition

Competition amongst the human race benefits society by stretching ourselves outside, what many psychologists say is the paradigm we avoid the most, the fear of success. When we agree to compete, we flip to our more natural ideology, the fear of failure. This latter mindset keeps us alert and provides us with the motivation to take action, to adjust and stretch to new realms of high performance, and it allows us to evolve.

In the business and corporate world, we speak of leaders. As Al Pacino stated in his role as Big Boy Caprice in the 1990 film, Dick Tracy, “(humans) crave leadership!” We want someone to show us the way, though we all can be positive and influential leaders in all walks of our lives. What stops us from breaking out of the “tribe”? It is likely the fear of success. If we go outside our corporate group/division’s current theme of protectionism, we aren’t sure who we will become and who we may alienate and be required to leave behind. We stick with protecting our turf and with the familiar.

We can and do make progress within these corporate world frameworks, though we likely don’t do it at the speed and with the level of enjoyment that is likely available to ourselves, our fellow colleagues and the marketplace we are trying to serve.

Some would say this is all the fear of failure playing out, though I believe failure is a given. We are humans. As we all know, we are not perfection, so we need not waste countless hours of lives avoiding failure.

In the workplace, why are we protecting and concealing information from other groups that would efficiently and effectively move our business mission forward? It appears that our fight or flight instinct is at work. One group is in flight which prompts the other group to take unnecessary days, weeks and sometimes years fighting the battles against their colleagues that allow them to optimize their value to the organization.

Nowhere are these battles more real and prevalent than amongst corporate IT departments. We can’t expect the CIOs to know about all these battles and the ensuing turf wars, though these leaders need to empower their management teams and subsequently the individual team members to lead with “success” (improvement) as the main motivation.

IT groups (i.e., Network, Server, Application, Storage) should not be conveying that performance issues, outside their specific jurisdiction, “are not my problem.” IT is a service provider to the organization and to the market they are trying to capture and maintain, so overall departmental success is the only goal.

Don’t fear that my position will be eliminated or that my group will be downsized, thus, leaving me with less authority within the department. Focus on what working together and not against one another will do for the company. How can we possibly see all the “success” possibilities, if we fear them so much that we sabotage our true growth potential?


Contributor, John Ward, Director of Sales, AppEnsure, Inc. For comments, 603.479.2511,


CTO DEMO Recording: Perfecting End User Experience in Citrix Environments

July 23, 2015 | By: Steve

Recorded Webinar: Doug Brown, DABCC, and Sri Chaganty, AppEnsure CTO, discuss how IT Operations can utilize the AppEnsure solution when troubleshooting large, distributed Citrix environments — especially when Citrix is wrongfully blamed.

          Webinar Recording

AppEnsure gives IT Operations the ability to stop the finger pointing and quickly identify the “real” root cause of performance problems by understanding the underlying infrastructure supporting XenApp and XenDesktop. 

This demo presentation explores the depth of application operational intelligence you can develop in your Citrix environments and focuses on the following AppEnsure product features:

  •     AppEnsure’s Application Operational Intelligence
  •     Automatic discovery of every application by name – delivered using Citrix XenApp or Citrix XenDesktop
  •     Automatic and dynamic topology mapping – end to end – beyond the Citrix silos
  •     Automatic measurement of application response time and throughput hop-by-hop and end-to-end – for every application/image being published by Citrix
  •     Know every application that is being used within the VDI
  •     Automatic data correlation to provide root cause diagnosis

Watch the recorded CTO Demo of the AppEnsure solution now.

AppEnsure Wins Again!

July 15, 2015 | By: Steve

AppEnsure Wins Again!


For the second year in a row, AppEnsure has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the Global 100 Companies to Watch.

As they say in Hollywood during the Oscars “It’s just an honor to be nominated.” But we at AppEnsure are not shy to say “We like winning!” In all seriousness, it truly is an honor to be acknowledged by AlwaysOn as an innovator for the future. As new technologies continue to disrupt application performance, this award validates the need for new solutions to aid IT Operations in managing all applications in all locations. Organizations, both mid-market and enterprise, are quickly realizing the value of a solution built for today’s dynamic infrastructure to rapidly troubleshoot and diagnose application performance problems. Receiving this award is a tremendous honor and we thank the judges for their recognition.

Congratulations to all the winners! Here is the full list of the AlwaysOn Global 100 Companies to Watch winners.

Note: AppEnsure was nominated by several leading investors, service professionals and other top champions of entrepreneurial companies from prestigious firms such as: KPMG, Highland Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bridge Bank, BMC Software, DFJ, GSV Capital, Morgan Stanley,, JMP Securities, InterWest Partners, HP, Bullpen Capital, IVP, Bessemer Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital, Accel Partners, Sapphire Ventures (SAP), USVP, IBM Ventures, Focus Ventures, Madison AlleyGlobal Ventures, Microsoft, Jafco Ventures, NEA, RWI Ventures, Jefferies, Alsop Louie Partners, Golden Seeds, Samsung Ventures, AT&T, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Emergence Capital.

6 Key Points of ADDM Evaluation

June 18, 2015 | By: Steve

Dennis Drogseth, VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), has recently posted a three-part series on APMdigest discussing parts of his book, CMDB Systems: Making Change Work in the Age of Cloud and Agile. The third post is titled, 6 Key Points of ADDM Evaluation, and he offers a concise checklist when evaluating and investing in Application Discovery and Dependency Mapping (ADDM).

 His six points are labeled:

1.       Deployability

2.       Agent or Agentless

3.       Scalability

4.       Functional Power and Outreach

5.       Currency

6.       Domain breadth

You can read his full descriptions of each of the six points here. I think it’s a great read for anyone considering an ADDM investment.

Applications + Operations = Intelligence

June 10, 2015 | By: Steve

When the two IT worlds of Operations and Applications meet, great business benefits can be achieved including increased revenue and improved end-user productivity. However, sometimes when the two are not properly integrated, it can have a negative effect on application performance and response time.

The AppEnsure solution focuses on Applications and Operations giving IT organizations the needed Intelligence to perfect the performance of applications. AppEnsure provides real-time, dynamic application analytics that deliver visibility into data, streaming events and how applications are impacting business operations. With proper use and application, organizations utilizing operational intelligence can reduce risk, streamline operations and immediately act with these analytic insights.

AppEnsure automatically learns from live data across the entire infrastructure, defines normal application behavior, uses unique analytics to identify deviations, and identifies root causes for those deviations. AppEnsure enables IT organizations to proactively improve application performance management by understanding the underlying infrastructure supporting business applications. Currently, AppEnsure enables you to address these challenging questions:

  • What is normal in your environment in terms of number of applications active or inactive, users of those applications and their experience?
  • Which applications are not delivering service levels expected of them and why?
  • Who is using what application and when?
  • Why do some applications misbehave only at certain times?
  • What is the root cause behind the slow response time experienced by certain users of certain applications?
  • Where are the issues with remotely delivered applications and desktops/VDI environments?
  • How are applications performing before and after updates?

Read more about the AppEnsure solution and the intelligence it offers IT Operations.

AppEnsure Feature: Automatic Application Discovery

June 4, 2015 | By: Steve

Many Citrix users who try the AppEnsure solution say, “Wow! I had no idea those applications were running in my production environment. If I don’t know about them, how can I know how they are affecting other applications and resources?” It’s once they deploy AppEnsure that they start to see how the solution automatically detects and identifies all of the applications on their infrastructure—and their impact.

Watch the video discussing the AppEnsure feature: Automatic Application Discovery

AppEnsure supports a wide range of application environments in which it automatically can discover all of the applications running within them. Here is the broad list of delivery methods and application architectures AppEnsure supports.

AppEnsure can automatically discover and name multi-tiered applications, standard applications and any Windows-packaged applications. It supports multiple delivery methods including XenDesktop, XenApp and VMware Horizon View.

AppEnsure can also discover multi-tenanted applications and custom applications. The AppEnsure solution will automatically discover all transacting processes and a simple one-step configuration allows you to define and name those processes.

If you want to see all of the applications running on your infrastructure and their impact, start by registering for our full evaluation download.