Ensuring a problem-free user experience is arguably the most important part of delivering a successful virtual desktop service. It is also quite often the most time-consuming, costly and difficult part of the administrator’s job, given the complexities involved in most virtual desktop and application deployments.
At any moment in time, a user may experience a number of issues related to connectivity, poorly performing applications, slow logon or session latency, all of which negatively impact their overall experience. It is a multi-layered problem, that may result from a combination of insufficient or underperforming resources, poor connectivity, inadequately optimized images or incorrectly configured protocols, among others, which makes it difficult to diagnose these problems in an efficient and timely manner. To further exacerbate the issue, greater adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments have created more complex, geographically dispersed deployments that require a more unified monitoring approach than ever before.
When you talk to Horizon administrators about these challenges, you invariably hear them describing their pain in the following ways:
1. I need end-to-end visibility into all my deployments within in a single pane of glass, in real-time.
2. I am responding to service tickets rather than preventing them. I need a more proactive approach to resolving issues and reducing the number of tickets.
3. Problem identification is only half the battle. The more difficult part is knowing where to start when troubleshooting. I need a solution that not only identifies the issue, but also helps to sift through metrics and synthesize data to zero in on the root cause.
4. I need a solution that scales as my environment grows, reduces MTTR and helps meet key SLAs.
In short, organizations struggle to implement a monitoring and troubleshooting strategy that is scalable and dynamic, and that enables them to proactively isolate and prevent problems, instead of reacting to them.
With the launch of the Horizon Cloud Service, VMware introduced the Cloud Monitoring Service (CMS) – a built-in solution containing a rich set of monitoring, reporting and helpdesk features that enable customers to monitor all their deployments from a single console.
Today, we are adding to that portfolio by announcing a new partnership with our existing TAP partner, ControlUp – an advanced monitoring and troubleshooting tool for virtual environments. With this new partnership, customers will be able to purchase Advanced Monitoring for Horizon Universal License powered by ControlUp as an add-on to their VMware Horizon universal licenses, directly from VMware, with the benefit of VMware support and services backing their deployment.
Advanced Monitoring offers a single unified console with which to monitor desktops, applications and the Horizon infrastructure across on-premise and cloud deployed pods, with out-of-the-box automation and remediation workflows that reduce the time and effort involved in identifying, troubleshooting and remediating a problem. Customers can consume it as a cloud service or deploy it on-premises for cases where data must remain within their environment.
With Advanced Monitoring, customers are able to monitor in real-time, proactively track user experience issues and take advantage of guided troubleshooting and built-in actions for speedy resolution of problems within their environment.
Real-Time Monitoring – Customers can see a wide array of metrics from across their Horizon deployment covering user sessions, VMs, hosts, clusters and datastores, delivered at 3 to 30 second interval. The console is simple and easy to follow with color coded baselines that help to reduce noise and help focus on the issue.
User Experience Scoring & Stress Levels – Advanced Monitoring tracks a rich set of metrics during logon and throughout the user session, including logon duration, application load times, user input delay, latency, resource contention and others, to assign a unique User Experience Score for each user within the environment. Stress levels are also assigned to resource groups, VMs, hosts and clusters to help identify outliers and take timely corrective action.
Built-in Actions and Guided Troubleshooting – A set of built-in actions can be performed at the host, session, VM and process level to help troubleshoot and eliminate issues with a single click. A recommendation engine is able to analyze the problems and provide a series of steps designed to guide admins through the troubleshooting process and identify the root cause.
Automation & Script Actions – With Incident Triggers and Script Actions, admins can set up KPI based triggers that invoke a series of actions from notifications to script-based automations, that help develop an automated framework with which to prevent and remediate issues. Admins can also benefit from a list of pre-built powerShell scripts curated from a community of the ControlUp users that provide an easy way of setting up automated remediation actions for a wide variety of commonly occurring problems.
Organizations realize that delivering a powerful and seamless experience for their remote workers is essential in building out a truly productive, distributed, digital workforce. Implementing a monitoring framework that helps proactively manage and optimize user experience is critical to achieving this goal.