Citrix Brings Mobile, Web App Monitoring To NetScaler Controller

Citrix's NetScaler Insight Center, unveiled Tuesday, lets administrators pinpoint issues behind sluggish application performance, whether they're happening inside or outside the firewall. It uses Citrix's AppFlow analytics technology to change policies in real time to ensure that mission-critical apps stay up and running when problems arise, Graham Melville, director of the Cloud Networking Group at Citrix, said in an interview.

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NetScaler Insight Center can prevent the finger-pointing that often happens when application performance bogs down and allows organizations to gather data for business intelligence purposes, Melville told CRN. "You can buy compute resources from Amazon et al but they don't allow you to sniff the network to see what's going on," he said.

Cloud computing has disrupted business intelligence, Melville said, and data center tools geared for three-tier architecture don't work in the same way as they did before. With NetScaler Insight Center, Citrix is addressing the need for simpler analytics in environments where boundaries are blurred by virtual infrastructure and Web apps.

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"IT groups need better tools because putting agents into devices, and dealing with the mass of data that comes back, and trying to do analytics on that data is hard and expensive," Melville said.

Citrix, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is offering two modules for NetScaler Insight Center. The first, HDX Insight, is for monitoring and troubleshooting XenApp and XenDesktop environments along with the apps running on top of them.

"When apps slow down, desktop administrators can determine whether the issue is on the network side or the application side. This could be used by the customer itself or by a reseller that's providing services to its customers," Melville said.

The second module, Web Insight, adds monitoring of Web applications served in NetScaler environments, including application and client traffic, according to Melville.

"There is a lot of information in the packets coming through we can analyze and tell you what's going on in the network," he said. "We can see what apps and OS are running and also see what latency in the network looks like and what roundtrip times are."

NetScaler Insight Center is available now through the Citrix software download Website.