Troubleshooting XenApp with the Citrix Diagnostic Toolkit

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When problems occur, support engineers need data points, debug tracing and context information to help determine root causes. Preparation and organization of commonly used tools has always been a ...

When problems occur, support engineers need data points, debug tracing and context information to help determine root causes. Preparation and organization of commonly used tools has always been a time-consuming challenge, especially during outages. The Citrix diagnostics toolkit (CDT) addresses these challenges by rapidly deploying a suite of tools and options in an easy-to-use structured format.

What you will learn:
• What is the Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit?
• How and when to use the CDT?
• How the CDT helps Citrix deliver better technical support?

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  • Set the stage Present key session takeaways Time is money One download …. Over 20 tools ! Introduce data collection as primary talking point How do Citrix Engineers approach troubleshooting ? Questions admins are faced with during troubleshooting sessionsThe Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit What it is and what its not The install The look and feel The Packager Integrating 3rd party tools The uninstall Wrap up Comments from the field CDT and TAAS Applicable Products Key session takeawaysResources Now that you’ve seen the concept, Go download and share your thoughts with Frank Marzullo Use conference survey Use feedback link at bottom of KB articleQ&A
  • The keys to saving time in most situations, not only in technology but in life and business as well come from efficiency. Efficiency comes from organization and execution.
  • When a tradesman, like a carpenter or plumber arrives on a job site. If he has all the tools and parts needed to complete the job and they are organized on his truck. There is a good chance the repair will go quickly and get done correctly. Conversely, if he is unprepared and unorganized the job will likely take much longer and will not get done correctly.
  • What do we do with all these tools? We collect data !
  • When problems occur, data points, debug tracing, and context information are things that support engineers will collect to help determine root cause.Later this same information can be used to affect product change if applicable.The preparation and organization of commonly used tools has always been a time consuming challenge especially during outages.  We have all experienced this at least once in our careers but one time is all it takes to create that painful memory. Trying to coordinate the download and setup of multiple diagnostic tools to aid in troubleshooting or sometimes just enabling the logging functionality of a product can be a cumbersome and extremely time consuming task.If my opening thoughts have hit home, let me take you on an exiting journey into a concept were “You and I” the people responsible for supporting the environments our companies and customers deploy for business agility. Get something that makes us agile in those critical moments when things go wrong.Who’s interested ?
  • The Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit addresses this challenge by rapidly deploying a suite of tools and options in an easy to use structured format.The format closely resembles the look and feel of any standard Windows application, even though each tool is an independent standalone application itself. 
  • It’s a suite of individual standalone applications, tools and/or utilities. It address the pain of organizing, configuring and executing complex data collection scenarios by automating and simplifying these steps, with the familiar look and feel of a standard windows application and installer.Think of it as an agility platform for you the software support specialist, system admin or IT professional. Just like the carpenter and plumber we discussed earlier, this is your toolkit !
  • This is done intentionally. DO NOT NESTthe default install path. Nesting will cause some or all of the task automation to not work properly. If your system drive is not detected, change the drive letter only. For example, if your system drive is “H” then you may enter H:\ as the install destination but not H:\mytools\tempNOTE: The %SystemDrive% is were the windows “system32” directory lives. Be sure this is were you install CDT to guarantee proper functionality of all components.
  • You must still run the install and tools as Administrator.If UAC or lockdown policies are applied to your windows OS simply use the “Run as” option in windows.Some tools included or downloaded after CDT is installed may have software pre-requisites or require reboots.Reference each tool’s readme for more details or ask your Citrix Support representative for guidance. In most cases you will be working with support and they will be leveraging the toolkit to assist you.
  • All tools are categorized by function or use case.
  • Same concept applies to the following products. You get the tools specific to scenarios that match your product selection during install. XenApp Web Interface XenDesktop VDA/Receiver Provisioning Server
  • The data folder is a temporary repository were active trace data is stored. Once the “Stop Trace” shortcut is clicked the packager will compress and move all the data to the upload folder were it is staged and ready for delivery to Citrix or other vendor support resources.
  • This shortcut sets up 22 categories, 350 counters, sample intervals, labels and specifies file destination in less than 4 seconds.
  • Who remembers how to enable logging for Web Interface? Drawing a blank? Now we can setup logging on multiple sites in seconds. Without having to manually edit multiple XML files manually.
  • This is how we used to trigger multi-vector tracing before. Now with C.D.T. one shortcut does it all and there is no file fishing because we know all our trace data will be in the “data” directory.
  • In the next release of CDT these options will also be available for VDA, XenDesktop and PVS.1st Image is Xenapp2nd Image is Web Interface3rd Image is Receiver
  • The packager, handles collecting all the context data a Citrix support engineer and other vendor support representatives would need to compliment, the trace and debug data you captured. This mean you will never forget a context item again. The data will help Citrix and other vendors identify the point of failure and then Citrix and/or other vendors will determine the next steps, including but not limited to: impact mitigation, temporary workarounds, product code changes and product enhancements.
  • Exports Windows Application & System Event logs in CSV formatCaptures a Qwinsta command output to a .txt file. (XenApp & Receiver setups )Captures a Routeprint command output to a .txt fileCaptures a SystemInfo command output to a .txt fileCaptures a Cpatch command output to a .txt file (XenApp only – Hotfix list)Creates an .NFO file leveraging MSinfo32.exe (useful in PVS, XenDesktop and Receiver related cases, provides in-depth system details like NIC make model and driver, Video and Audio codec and much more.)The packager then compresses the contents of the Data folder and clears the contents of the Data folder to prevent file sprawl and disk space over usage.The “Upload” folder and a browser window pointing to the Auto Support (TaaS) site will be launched for your convenience and speedy upload of the data.Displaying the zip file with all your data inside allows the opportunity to sanitize any files or scrub the contents prior to sending to Citrix Support for analysis. This is most valuable for Government agencies and high security environments.
  • Thisfunctionality can be toggled by typing the commands below at the RUN line.taaslaunchofftaaslaunchon – on by default.
  • More than just downloading a tool.No waiting, No searching, no browser and nothing to unzip.Everything is done programmatically for us.
  • Additional benefits when we use the Download Menu, are the “Ready to use” script templates along with runnable executable that will disable and enable the Windows Paging Executive which is a required step for capturing stack walk profile using Xperf. These templates make it quick and easy for any Citrix Support engineer or any IT professional to jump right into a complex debugging scenario like, using Procdump and Xperf combined for CPU spike issues or memory leak diagnostics. Or just using procdump to capture multiple sequential dumps of a process based on a particular trigger state.These templates have simple notes inside them and pre populated parameters with “fill in the blank” type examples as highlighted above. This takes the burden of figuring out how, when, what commands, how do I automate this, from the support professionals task list and in doing so we ….. Save time again !
  • Intelligent shortcuts. Some shortcuts that represent third party tools will check to see if a tool exists inside the C.D.T. file structure first and if the tool is not found. You will see the Download More tools menu. Once you’ve downloaded the desired tool…..the subsequent click of the same shortcut will launch the desired tool. This is another example of how C.D.T. creates that comfortable “Windows App” look and feel, that makes it easy for anyone to leverage the tools included, regardless of there previous experience with collecting debug data for vendors.
  • Start Menu shortcut or Control Panel Both options are exactly the same.Everything in the \CitrixDiagnostics including the directory itself will be removed.3rd party tools or applications “installed” (wizard driven) separately must be removed separately using their respective Add Remove Program applet.
  • We introduced Scout and TAAS last year in San Francisco. it’s a great proactive tool that can provide tailored recommendation for your specific environment based on Data collected by Scout.C.D.T. is not a replacement to TAAS or Scout, in fact, it is a recognized delivery source for the Scout tool. After all it in the name, Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit. So rightfully, Scout should be included.As we saw earlier C.D.T. can launch your default browser directly to the TAAS site and although the data you upload will be analyzed by Support staff it does provide confirmation of upload and notifies your case owner that data has arrived for processing. Again reducing cycles and saving time.The combination of C.D.T. and Scout will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your Citrix environment.
  • KB articles provide important usage details and have cross links to readme’s for all the included citrix and 3rd party downloadable tools. Blog provides insight to the conceptual design behind CDT like, What was Frank thinking? What pain points is he trying to address with CDT?
  • At Citrix Services - we’re Citrix consultants, teachers and support engineers and we’re all about one thing: making sure you succeed.With our help, you’ll deploy high-performance, robust virtualization and networking projects, faster – with dramatically lower risk and higher return.The best Citrix architects and administrators are the ones who never stop learning – and Citrix Education is here to help you learn those skills.Citrix Consulting gives you direct access to our most experienced virtualization and networking experts.When it’s complex; when it’s mission-critical; when it’s big; That’s when Citrix consultants can really help.On your virtualization journey, you’ll want always-on support from people who really care about your success.There’s no better insurance for your Citrix investment than with Citrix Support.
  • Secrets of the Citrix Support Ninjas is a FREE eBook available next week.The eBook contains 40 insider troubleshooting tips for administrators.So the purpose of the eBook is to help administrators like you keep your Citrix deployments on track.We’ve collected some of their best tips and tricks for running robust Citrix environments and packaged them up into a free eBook.In it, you’ll discover some of the little-known tricks that our own support people use every day to tune, tweak, troubleshoot and test Citrix solutions. You may know a few of these tips. But you probably don’t know them all.And – you never know – you might discover just one that will change your life as an administrator.Let me give you a sneak peak now.

Troubleshooting XenApp with the Citrix Diagnostic Toolkit Troubleshooting XenApp with the Citrix Diagnostic Toolkit Presentation Transcript

  • Troubleshooting XenApp with the Citrix Diagnostic Toolkit Frank Marzullo Lead Escalation Engineer, Critical Situation Management Team July 25, 2013 Citrix Support Secrets Webinar Series
  • © 2013 Citrix About the presenter…… 2 Joined Citrix June 14, 2004 Started on Frontline Support Promoted to Escalation October 2008 Promoted to Critical Situation Management team October 2010 Additional details Subject matter expert on Independent Management Architecture and Microsoft SQL Server Architect & developer of the Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit
  • © 2013 Citrix Agenda 3 Set the stage The Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit Wrap up Resources Q&A
  • © 2013 Citrix Lets set the stage….. C.D.T. saves you time C.D.T. consolidates and organizes all your tools Never forget the context information again !
  • © 2013 Citrix Time is Money 5
  • © 2013 Citrix One download ….. Over 20 tools ! 6 Citrix ScoutCDF ControlReceiver Clean Up ToolQuick LaunchMedEvacIMA helper Citrix Scout CDF Control Receiver Clean Up Tool Quick Launch MedEvac IMA helper Print Detective LBDIAG System Dump Stress Printers CDF Marker Dump Checker PVS Data Tools XDDBDiag XDPING WireShark Dump Configurator Procdump Process Explorer Process Monitor Debug View Debug Diag Windows SDK Visual Studio Performance tools Xperf 123 Seamless config Tool Citrix Web Interface Tracing Task Automation ProcdumpProcess ExplorerProcess MonitorWireSharkCitrix Web Interface Tracing
  • Collect Data
  • © 2013 Citrix How does Citrix support approach troubleshooting? PHASE 1 Engage Assess Collect Data PHASE 2 Mitigate Disengage Follow up COLLECT DATA 8
  • © 2013 Citrix Questions we ask ourselves…. What data do I collect? How do I collect it ? What tools am I going to use ? Where do I get the tools? What context info do I need ? 9
  • Video Demo
  • Video Demo
  • The Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit
  • © 2013 Citrix is not an application is not a tool is not a new product it’s a concept What it is and What its not The Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit 13
  • © 2013 Citrix Install Note The installer is configured to detect %SystemDrive%. The system drive should appear by default. 14
  • © 2013 Citrix NO REBOOT REQUIRED ! NO PREREQUISITES ! 15
  • The Look and Feel
  • © 2013 Citrix XenApp on Windows 2003 17
  • © 2013 Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008 18
  • © 2013 Citrix19 To confirm data collection, use the Desktop shortcut and browse to the “data” folder using windows explorer.
  • © 2013 Citrix20 Creating Perfmon Data Collector sets.
  • © 2013 Citrix21
  • © 2013 Citrix Web Interface log Enabler 22
  • © 2013 Citrix23
  • © 2013 Citrix If you chose to configure Perfmon counters and installed the provided version of WireShark then you will see multiple files in the Data folder appear when you click on “Start XXX Tracing” from the Start Menu. 24
  • The Packager
  • © 2013 Citrix The Packager 1 of 3 Data collection, context info and clean up. Runs automatically when the “Stop Tracing” or “Data Packager” shortcuts are used. Opens the “Upload” folder and launches a browser to the Auto Support site. 26
  • © 2013 Citrix The Packager 27
  • © 2013 Citrix Toggling TAAS launch 28
  • The Download More Tools Menu
  • © 2013 Citrix30 Download More Tools Menu
  • © 2013 Citrix31
  • © 2013 Citrix Download More Tools 32
  • The Uninstall
  • © 2013 Citrix The Uninstall 34
  • Wrap up
  • © 2013 Citrix “I have used the CDT on several occasions with great success. The time savings alone are worth its weight in gold. Great job in putting this together.” Thanks, David Holliman Technical Relationship Manager, Technical Support CCA CCAA CCEE CCSP “Using CDT is like one-stop shopping for all of your tracing and data collection needs. I don’t have to synchronize several tools to troubleshoot an issue. One click to start and another to stop, and I have everything I need to start analyzing an issue.” Kai Hernández Technical Relationship Manager, Technical Support Comments from the field….. 36
  • © 2013 Citrix C.D.T. combined with Tools as a Service https://taas.citrix.com/AutoSupport/ Auto analysis health check for Scout data 2 3 Data Collection Recommendations tailored to YOU 1 Quickly collect and upload your data 37
  • Applicable Products 12.x and higher Windows XP - 8 Desktop Delivery Controller Virtual Desktop Agent Provisioning Server 4.5 - 6.5 on Windows & Web Interface
  • © 2013 Citrix39 Key session takeaways: “Time is Money” – C.D.T. saves you time. C.D.T. consolidates and organizes all your tools Never forget the context information again !
  • © 2013 Citrix40 Resources • CTX135075 - Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit - 64bit Edition • CTX134966 - Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit - 32bit Edition • Blog Post - Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit
  • Questions
  • © 2013 Citrix About Citrix Services Citrix Services make sure you succeed with your virtualization programs. How we can help Citrix Education – The fastest, most efficient way to get your team the virtualization skills they need. Online, on-site or in class. citrix.com/training Citrix Consulting – Intensive engagements for complex, critical or just plain massive projects. citrix.com/consulting Citrix Support – Always-on support services that leverage everything we know about best-practice deployment and maintenance. citrix.com/support Educate | Guide | Support | Succeed
  • © 2013 Citrix • 40 insider troubleshooting tips • Covering XenDesktop, XenServer, XenApp and NetScaler • Citrix Support top engineers • FREE eBook • Citrix Auto Support • Now available! Secrets of the Citrix Support Ninjas
  • © 2013 Citrix Premier Support Calculator Check it out
  • © 2013 Citrix Next Webinar: August • Title: Configuring and Troubleshooting XenDesktop Sites • Description: Citrix XenDesktop introduced a number of new concepts and processes for desktop administrators. The goal of this session is to demystify these concepts and provide a tactical approach to deployment and troubleshooting of a XenDesktop environment. In this session we will demonstrate the core configuration that is required, and also cover proven troubleshooting approaches to the top three problems we see in customer deployments. • When: Aug 29th • Registration Now!
  • Work better. Live better.