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Citrix Performance Management Report 2014

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Over 600 Citrix professionals participated in the survey, and the results have been compiled into a data rich, 23-page report to provide valuable benchmarks and new insights into the challenges, technology choices, and best practices for Citrix performance management.

Download the Citrix Performance Management Report: http://www.eginnovations.com/reports/citrix-performance-management-2014/

Here are some of the key survey findings:

• Performance management is critical for the success of Citrix deployments. 97% of respondents consider performance management to be important for the expansion of their Citrix infrastructure. 86% of respondents consider performance as a key concern during migration of Citrix versions.
• Citrix gets the blame whether the problem is Citrix related or not. The biggest performance challenge respondents face is that Citrix gets blamed for all user experience problems – even if the problem is not with the Citrix tiers. However, a majority of the time (65%), performance problems are NOT directly caused by the Citrix tiers.
• Admins spend more time fire-fighting and troubleshooting performance problems. In over 60% of cases, respondents spend more than 30% of their time fire-fighting and troubleshooting performance problems. One of the key reasons is that Citrix performance management is still mostly manual.
• Proactive alerting most important to Citrix professionals. A majority of respondents (68%) are looking to make Citrix performance management proactive, so they get alerted and can fix issues before users notice.
• Most IT admins don’t benchmark their Citrix environment. Despite the interest in managing Citrix performance proactively, very few respondents have solid performance benchmarks of their Citrix infrastructure. 26% of respondents have NEVER conducted any performance benchmark. 18% conducted benchmarks only during migration.

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Citrix Performance Management Report 2014

  1. 1. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Spotlight Report
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Welcome to the 2014 Citrix Performance Management Report! With revenues of close to $3 billion, close to 300,000 customers and over 10,000 partners, Citrix Systems, Inc. (Citrix) is the market leader in securely delivering applications, desktops, data and services to any device, anywhere, any time. Over the last decade, Citrix technologies have advanced significantly. From being a provider of remote access solutions, the Citrix portfolio of solutions has dramatically expanded to include Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer, XenMobile, Sharefile, etc. The use cases of Citrix technologies have also expanded. Flexwork and telework, bring your own device, mobile workspaces, PC refresh alternatives and remote partner access, etc. are just some of the ways that organizations are using Citrix technologies. The key role that Citrix technologies play makes performance management of these technologies and their supporting infrastructure critically important. In many cases, these technologies can be successfully deployed only if the user experience is satisfactory. To deliver the best possible user experience, Citrix environments need to be not only well architected but also well monitored and managed, to identify and diagnose problems early on and prevent issues from escalating and impacting end users and business processes. DABCC and eG Innovations conducted a comprehensive survey to explore the state of Citrix performance management and to better understand current challenges, technology choices and best practices in our Citrix community. The survey results have been compiled into a data rich, easy to digest report to provide you with benchmarks and new insights into the best practices for Citrix performance management. Thanks to everyone who participated in this report. Douglas Brown Founder, DABCC, Inc. Holger Schulze VP Marketing, eG Innovations, Inc. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 2
  3. 3. Key Findings 1 2 3 4 SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS Performance management is critical for the success of Citrix deployments. 97% of respondents consider performance management to be important for the expansion of their Citrix infrastructure. 86% of respondents consider performance as a key concern during migration of Citrix versions. The biggest performance challenge respondents face is that Citrix gets blamed for all problems – even if the problem is not with the Citrix tiers. However, a majority of the time (65%), performance problems are NOT directly caused by the Citrix tiers. In over 60% of cases, respondents spend more than 30% of their time fire-fighting and troubleshooting performance problems. One of the key reasons for this is that Citrix performance management is mostly manual. In fact, 80% of respondents have to deal with two or more tools for managing their Citrix infrastructure. A majority of respondents (68%) are looking to make Citrix performance management proactive by getting automatic alerts so they can fix issues before users notice. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 3
  4. 4. 1 What Citrix products do you use in your environment? Not surprisingly, Citrix XenApp is the most widely deployed Citrix product. 69% of users have XenApp 6.5 deployed. 23% of users have already migrated to XenApp 7.5 which was released only in April 2014. There is still a lot of XenApp 6 and previous versions out there. 29% of respondents still have Citrix XenApp 4.5 or lower running in their infrastructure, despite these products reaching end of life. From the results, we infer that many companies have multiple Citrix XenApp farms and are running newer versions on some farms, but still have older versions on others. 69% 48% 38% 35% 29% 29% 29% 28% 26% 23% 23% 13% 12% 4% 2% 11% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% XenApp 6.5 Netscaler Provisioning Server Storefront XenDesktop 7.x XenDesktop 5 .x XenApp 4.5 or lower XenServer XenApp 5.0 XenApp 6.0 XenApp 7.5 ShareFile XenMobile Citrix Cloud Platform XenDesktop 4 or lower Other / Not sure • The growing importance of Netscaler in Citrix infrastructures is apparent from its popularity. • Compared to XenApp, XenDesktop is less widely deployed. Less than a third of respondents have XenDesktop. • Despite its lack of importance within the Citrix product portfolio, XenServer has as many deployments as XenDesktop. • Deployment of XenMobile and ShareFile are still in their infancy. 12% of respondents have these technologies deployed. • Only 4% of respondents are deploying the Citrix Cloud Platform. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 4
  5. 5. 2 What type of Citrix Licenses do you have? Not surprisingly, only 17% of respondents have the standard/advanced Citrix edition. The value-added capabilities of the Enterprise and Platinum editions are clearly in demand (e.g, provisioning services, vGPU processing, delegated administration, etc.). Responses in % 44% 17% 10% 5% 50% Enterprise Platinum Standard Not sure Other 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% • The platinum edition adds AppDNA functionality, historical performance monitoring with EdgeSight, Netscaler Insight monitoring support and SSL VPN support, besides others. • 50% of respondents have Citrix enterprise licenses, while 44% have platinum licenses. • The responses also indicate that some respondents own a mix of licensing options. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 5
  6. 6. 3 For what use cases are you using Citrix technologies? There are many use cases of Citrix technologies. Providing remote employees access to centralized resources in the enterprise (76%) and allowing workers in remote branch offices to connect to the head office (54%) are the most common use cases. 36% of our respondents are using Citrix technologies to support BYOD initiatives. Remote employees access 76% 54% 52% 49% 36% 35% 35% 20% 18% 18% 14% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Branch office access Consolidation & centralization of desktop management Secure access to desktops Remote partner access Bring your own desktop/laptops /smartphones (BYOD) Mobile application access Offer remote desktops as a service provider PC Refresh Call centers Virtualizing graphics processing Not sure CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 6
  7. 7. 4 What virtualization platforms do you use for your Citrix environment? It is well understood that a majority of organizations are using virtualization technologies to support Citrix access. A whopping 76% of respondents are using VMware vSphere as the virtualization platform. 37% are using Citrix XenServer and only 22% are using Microsoft Hyper-V. As expected, only 4% of respondents are still running Citrix products on physical servers. VMware vSphere 76% Citrix XenServer 37% 22% 4% 1% 1% 3% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Microsoft Hyper-V No virtualization (we use physical servers only) Oracle VM RedHat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Not sure Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 7
  8. 8. 5 How soon are you likely to migrate fully to the latest versions of Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop? Migrating from Citrix XenApp 4.5 to 6.5 took a long time. As the response to question 1 shows, 29% of respondents are still using XenApp 4.5 or lower. So it is surprising to see that 44% of respondents believe they will be migrating to XenApp 7.5 or XenDesktop 7.5 within the next year. Given that 69% of respondents are already using XenApp 6.5, this answer points to an interesting trend - of administrators moving to the latest versions of Citrix more rapidly than they did in the past. will migrate within 6 months to a year 12% 19% 25% 13% 5% 21% 5% 25% 19% | Already migrated | Within 6 months | Within 1 year | Within 2-3 years | When my current version reaches end of life | Not sure | Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 8
  9. 9. 6 When you migrate from one version of Citrix XenApp to another, performance is one of the key concerns Migration between Citrix versions can be a significant effort. Applications that worked in the lower version must continue to work in the higher version. In addition, there is the expectation that new functionality must work seamlessly. Often, a migration involves changes not just in the Citrix applications but also changes in the underlying infrastructure - e.g., changes in the virtualization platform, server or desktop operating system, etc. 86% of our respondents are concerned about what happened to user perceived performance of the Citrix service after a migration. 86% agree that performance is a key driver 46% 40% 6% 1% 6% 1% 46% 40% | Agree | Strongly Agree | Disagree | Strongly disagree | Not sure | Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 9
  10. 10. 7 What are some of the common complaints you receive about your Citrix environment? Several years ago, Brian Madden and Kevin Goodman created a chart describing in detail the complexity of the Citrix logon process. Given the number of steps involved in the logon process, it is no wonder that slow logons are the most common complaints received by Citrix admins (48%). Frozen sessions (43%) and long application launch times (41%) are the other two issues that make up the top three common performance complaints. Logins are slow 48% Frozen sessions 43% 41% 38% 36% 31% 26% 26% 20% 14% 7% 5% 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Applications are slow to launch Printing does not work Slow remote sessions Poor user experience Users get disconnected often Application access was faster on the physical desktop than the virtual desktop Cannot log in Screen is slow to paint None Other Not sure The chart also shows that only 26% of the time, users are complaining that applications were faster on their physical desktop - signifying a growing maturity of Citrix technologies. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 10
  11. 11. 8 What are the biggest performance management challenges in your Citrix environment? For years, the biggest complaint of Citrix admins has been that they get blamed for everything. Over all these years, this situation has not changed. 53% of our respondents face this issue regularly. Two other observations are interesting: 53% 49% 46% 45% 45% 40% 36% 27% 24% 20% 16% 7% 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Citrix being blamed for everything Users often notice issues before you do Lack a single dashboard to monitor all Citrix tiers (Provisioning server, XenServer, Netscaler, StoreFront, etc.) Not able to measure the user experience Need better / deeper monitoring of the Citrix XenApp servers Diagnosis / troubleshooting is too slow & complex Lack of correlated, integrated end-to-end performance view No visibility outside of the Citrix tiers (VMware, network, storage, etc.) Too many silo tools / expert tools to look at No simple way to forecast/plan for future growth No visibility inside the virtual desktops Not sure Other • There is now increasing awareness of the need to be proactive. The second biggest challenge that our respondents faced is that users were noticing problems before they did (49%). This points to an increasing need for better proactive performance management. • Also of interest is the increasing need for a single dashboard across the Citrix tiers (46%). As we pointed out, Citrix is no longer a single product company. With the many products in the Citrix suite, customers are struggling to cope with the different administration and monitoring interfaces for each technology. Today, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, XenServer, Netscaler, XenMobile, ShareFile, VDI in a Box all have different administration and monitoring tool. Our respondents see an increasing need for unifying the monitoring, diagnosis and reporting of these technologies. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 11
  12. 12. 9 What performance management features are most important to you? The performance management features considered most important are a direct reflection of the biggest challenges experienced in Citrix environments. Proactive alerts (68%) are the most important performance management feature, followed by a single interface to view the state of all Citrix and non-Citrix tiers that impact performance (66%). Proactive alerts 68% 66% 60% 52% 52% 51% 47% 37% 32% 30% 4% 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Single interface to view the state of all the Citrix and non-Citrix tiers that impact Citrix performance Ability to measure and alert on end user experience Simple interface that even the helpdesk can use to troubleshoot a problem and call the right expert Intuitive dashboard In-depth metrics that help you troubleshoot problems quickly Ability to generate reports for your management Capacity planning and forecasting reports Reporting for post-mortem diagnosis of problems Capability to generate reports for compliance Not sure Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 12
  13. 13. 10 How important is performance management to the expansion of your Citrix environment? Most respondents see their Citrix deployments growing in the next few years. A vast majority (97%) say that performance management is very important or somewhat important to the expansion of their Citrix environment. Based on the response to this question, performance management is important for normal operation of the Citrix infrastructure, during migration and for scaling of the infrastructure. 97% think performance management is important 65% 32% 3% 32% 65% | Very important | Somewhat important | Not important CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 13
  14. 14. 11 What tool(s) do you use for managing Your Citrix environment? Citrix EdgeSight/Director is the most commonly used management console for Citrix infrastructures (56%). This is no surprise given that a very high percentage of respondents has access to Citrix platinum licenses, which includes EdgeSight. 24% of respondents are using Microsoft SCOM with third party plugins to manage Citrix applications. 19% of respondents indicated that they are NOT currently managing their Citrix environment with any tools. Citrix EdgeSight / Director 56% 24% 22% 19% 9% 8% 29% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Microsoft SCOM Citrix Netscaler Insight None Solarwinds Not sure Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 14
  15. 15. 12 How many tools do you use to manage the performance of your Citrix infrastructure? The answer to this question explains why Citrix admins have to spend a long time troubleshooting issues. 55% of respondents have to use two to five management tools to manage Citrix performance. 25% of respondents are using six to ten tools. 80% are using more than 2 tools to manage the performance of their Citrix infrastructure 4% 55% 25% 7% 3% 6% 55% | 1 | 2-5 | 6-10 | More than 10 | None | Not sure use between 2-5 tools CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 15
  16. 16. 13 How often DO you find out after extensive investigation that the problem is not Citrix? Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop provide application and desktop virtualization services to users. The performance of these services is determined by the Citrix applications that are involved. However, many non-Citrix tiers – for example, the network, the SQL datastore, the virtualization platform, the storage tier, profile servers and Active Directory – can also affect the user perceived performance of the Citrix service. 65% of respondents believe that in over 50% of cases, after extensive investigation, they find out that Citrix performance problems are NOT due to the Citrix tiers. This points to a growing need for end-to-end performance management that includes the Citrix tiers and the non-Citrix tiers of the infrastructure. Responses in % 3% 9% 8% 65%performance problems are NOT due to Citrix. 7% 7% of respondents find that in over 50% of cases, 2% 15% 15% 11% 11% 11% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Problem is not Citrix [%] CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 16
  17. 17. 14 How Often Does the Helpdesk Resolve User Complaints without involving the Citrix Expert Team? The more user complaints the helpdesk can resolve without involving Citrix experts, the faster the problem resolution and the lower operations costs (experts can perform more productive tasks than fire-fighting). 78% of respondents indicate that less than 50% of the time, the helpdesk is able to resolve user complaints without involving the Citrix expert team. The results indicate that there is a significant opportunity for organizations to optimize the way that they are doing Citrix performance management. By leveraging tools that empower the helpdesk to do more, organizations can reduce the workload on their Citrix experts, lower their support costs and improve user satisfaction. Responses in % 9% say that the helpdesk resolves less than 50% of user 78%complaints without involving the Citrix expert team. 15% 7% 14% 13% 9% 2% 5% 5% 3% 18% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% User complaints resolved without Citrix expert [%] CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 17
  18. 18. 15 HOW MUCH time does your IT team spend on troubleshooting performance problems? The responses to this question are not surprising given what we saw in the response to question 14. 60% of respondents indicate that they are spending more than 30% of their time troubleshooting performance problems. Organizations can gain significantly by enabling the key experts to spend time on productive tasks rather than on routine fire-fighting activities. of respondents spend more than 30% of their time troubleshooting performance problems 4% Responses in % 60% 7% 18% 16% 12% 9% 6% 5% 20% 1% 1% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Dont Know 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Time spent troubleshooting [%] CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 18
  19. 19. 16 How often do you do a performance benchmark of your Citrix infrastructure? Despite the interest to manage Citrix performance proactively, very few respondents have solid performance benchmarks of their Citrix infrastructure. 26% of respondents have NEVER conducted any performance benchmark. 18% conducted benchmarks only during migration. Clearly, there is awareness of the need for performance baselines. Yet, given the time they spend troubleshooting routine issues, Citrix administrators are ending up being very reactive. 13% 15% 11% 18% 26% 13% 3% 26% | Monthly | Every 6 months | Once a year | Once during migration | Never | Not sure | Other never conduct a performance benchmark. CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 19
  20. 20. 17 Who do you rely on for recommendations on performance optimizations and trends? We asked respondents to indicate who they rely on for performance recommendations and tuning. Given the profile of our respondents, it is not surprising that a majority of them (58%) rely on in-house expertise. Citrix consulting services are used by 37%. 33% also use independent consultants to help. Inhouse citrix experts 58% 37% 33% 27% 15% 11% 5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Citrix Consulting Independent consultants Vendors VAR Not sure Other CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 20
  21. 21. 18 How many Citrix concurrent users do you support across XenApp/XenDesktop? To better understand the size of typical Citrix deployments, we asked our respondents to indicate the number of concurrent users they support. 36% of respondents are supporting less than 500 concurrent users. 16% 14% 11% 8% 5% 3% 6% 36% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 0 to 500 users 501 to 1,000 users 1,001 to 2,500 users 2,501 to 5,000 users 5,001 to 10,000 users 10,001 to 25,000 users 25,000 to 100,000 users More than 100,000 users Not sure 49% of respondents have between 500 and 10,000 concurrent users CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 21
  22. 22. Demographics & Methodology This survey was conducted from June through August 2014. We collected 640 responses from Citrix professionals. JOB TITLE 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% CITRIX ROLE 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Specialist Consultant Manager Director CTO, CIO, CMO, CFO, COO Owner / CEO / President Vice President Other Citrix admin Citrix architect Citrix consultant Citrix service provider Citrix VAR / reseller Other Not sure COMPANY SIZE (EMPLOYEES) 4% | Fewer than 10 15% | 10-99 26% | 100-999 19% | 1,000-4,999 12% | 5,000-9,999 13% | 10,000-49,999 6% | 50,000-99,999 4% | more than 100,000 CITRIX PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 22
  23. 23. About eG Innovations eG Innovations provides intelligent performance management solutions that automate and dramatically accelerate the discovery, diagnosis, and resolution of service performance issues in virtual, cloud, and physical service infrastructures. Managing some of the largest Citrix deployments in the world, only eG Innovations offers 360-degree service visibility with virtualization-aware performance correlation across every layer and every tier - from desktops to applications, and from network to storage. This unique approach delivers deep, actionable insights into the true causes of cross-domain service performance issues and enables administrators to pre-emptively detect, diagnose, and fix root-cause issues - before end users notice. More: www.eginnovations.com DOWNLOAD the White Paper “Performance Assurance for Virtualized Citrix XenApp Infrastructures” and find out how to overcome performance challenges and deliver better service uptime and user satisfaction while reducing cost and complexity. Watch the Demo Get a Tour of eG Enterprise: Performance Monitoring, Diagnosis and Reporting. Watch the webinar Learn how to achieve total performance visibility, enhance user satisfaction and realize the ROI you need for your Citrix environment. Free Trial of eG Enterprise Learn how eG Enterprise can help you radically simplify and accelerate application performance management to boost user experience and ROI - across your Citrix environment and beyond. Download the Solution Brief Learn how to stop guessing what causes performance challenges. With eG Enterprise you can you can monitor, analyze and correlate metrics across every layer, every tier of the infrastructure to really understand the root cause of performance slowdowns. Download the Case Study Learn how a leading commercial services company boosts user productivity and reduces support costs with eG Enterprise. More about the benefits of eG Innovations for Citrix © 2014 eG Innovations Inc. All rights reserved.

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