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21Feb/0918

Farm Monitor Gadget for XenApp

So I have been toying around with this idea for a long time.  I actually started this project roughly 1 year ago but never got around to actually finishing it.... until now!

The function is simple; A very basic vista gadget that uses MFCOM and pulls back a few stats from a single farm.

The use case is mostly a novelty but I thought it would be fun to create!

Enough with the background, onto the gadget!

Requirements:

OS: Vista
Citrix XenApp SDK:  4.0,4.5,5.0
Server: Windows 200x
Citrix XenApp: 4.0, 4.5, 5.0

Download the gadget using the link at the bottom of this post.  Once downloaded simply open the file and it will prompt to install.

Once installed you should see the gadget appear in your lists of gadgets:

It does require the XenApp SDK from Citrix which can be download here.

Once you have the gadget and the SDK installed you can add it to your sidebar.  From there open the settings menu (wrench icon when hovered over the gadget), input the name of a server in the XenApp farm you want to monitor and select your refresh interval.  Depending on the size of the farm the lower settings may take too long to return values before the next refresh occurs.  If this happens adjust the setting with what works best.

Please keep in mind that the gadget must be running within the context of a user that is a XenApp farm admin AND has the proper DCOM permissions on the server you configure within the settings.

Updates

I am working to update the gadget which will make it a bit more useful.  Expect to see flyouts for each stat section.

  • Servers flyout: Will show a list of all servers in the farm and allow quick export of the list
  • Sessions flyout: Will show a list of the session in the farm along with basic details.
  • Farm Load flyout: Will show Farm load by Server and/or Zone

Also working to pull back the total license count and the licenses in use.  This is a bit more difficult since this requires some parsing of the data to properly ensure only XenApp licenses are returned.

Future Gadgets

  • Quick User Search : Allow a quick search for a user in the farm
  • XenServer Gadget:  Pull back basic stats for XenServer

Future Applications

Don't want to give away all of the secrets but I am working on a number of other useful (free) utilities, more on this soon!

Download

FarmMonitor.gadget:

  FarmMonitor.gadget (27.8 KiB, 3,074 hits)

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Comments (18) Trackbacks (4)
  1. Really cool tool. I have linked to it via Citrix blogs…I can’t wait for the future gadgets :)

  2. Good Gadget, I include and Linked this reference to my Citrix Spanish community. :-) http://www.ctxdom.com

  3. On Windows 7 Beta, installing the SDK results in error “The system does not have a supported C++ compiler installed, you may not be able to compile the exaple program.”
    I went and got the free C++ compiler here – http://www.microsoft.com/express/vc/#webInstall
    but I still get the same error – anyone know how to install in Windows 7 yet?

  4. Also, I see no wrench to configure the Gadget in Windows 7… I might be pushing my luck. Thanks!

  5. @Mark Verhagen
    I actually did a quick test with Windows 7 but had the same issue. I planned to dedicate more time to figuring out the differences in the API between Vista and Win7 but wanted to get the ‘Vista’ version out now.

    I’ll see what I can come up with, thanks for the interest!

  6. Good Tool, congratulations, I have add in my Citrix Community your site and linked ;-)

  7. @Xavi Sánchez
    Thanks. There is much more to come!

  8. Wow, brilliant idea. I want to use this but can’t get it to go. What am missing? Using domain admin account on local client (Vista), which means full DCOM access on farm and added account to farm admins. The title for the gadget has changed to the name of our farm though so I am getting some connectivity but just no usage stats? The servers are 4.5 and the SDK I used was 5.0 although it gave the missing compiler error on install. Is the missing compiler the issue? I must be close.

  9. @Mark Verhagen

    I have found an issue when running in windows 7 that I have fixed9not yet uploaded) This introduced a number of other errors that need to be handled properly and I am working on that. i am to have a version that will function on Windows 7 soon!

  10. @Keith Hedley
    Keith, Are you using multiple Zones? If so you will likely need to share load information between zones.

  11. Hey Nick, just dropped by to say that I’m digging your apps. Nice work man! ;-)

  12. @Gus Pinto

    Thanks Gus!
    Much more to come, I promise!

  13. Very nice Nick

    Can you share how you are calculating ‘Farm Load’? it’s not a standard metric but if you have a good rule of thumb for this I’d be interested to know.

  14. @Simon Bramfitt
    Thanks Simon. To answer your question:

    I take the number of online servers in the farm and multiply it by ‘Full Farm Load’. Full farm load is dictated by a value of 10,000. This gives the maximum load that can exist in the farm.

    I then get the actual load value from each server and add them together.

    From that point I take the current sum of the load values and divide that by the maximum. After that I multiply that by 100 to get a percentage. To make things a bit cleaner I round the value.

    While this does not take into account load evaluators of different criteria (which you may have in a silo based farm), it is a good indicator of farm load as a whole.

    Hope that clarifies things?

  15. Thanks for writing this great blog I really enjoyed.

  16. It would be great if there is an option to add the default user account to use when connecting to the individual farms. In an Enterprise environment we often use a seperate admin account to manage servers.

    Thanks,
    Glen

  17. @Glen Orenstein
    Glen,
    Thanks for the feedback. The plan is to update this gadget for Windows 7 and in doing so add a number of other features. I will do my best to try and incorporate your suggestion into the next release!

  18. How do I get the mpssdk.msi to install properly on vista x64? It always fails on the install and does not copy all the files properly. There is no good information using search engines to find a fix on the internet. I can’t use any fancy scripts or gadgets until I can get the MFCOM installed properly on x64 vista.


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