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Goliath Performance Monitor OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Goliath Performance Monitor is #40 ranked solution in Infrastructure Monitoring tools. PeerSpot users give Goliath Performance Monitor an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. Goliath Performance Monitor is most commonly compared to ControlUp: Goliath Performance Monitor vs ControlUp. Goliath Performance Monitor is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 57% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 21% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the IT Infrastructure Monitoring Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is Goliath Performance Monitor?
Goliath Performance Monitor offers proactive, end-to-end IT performance monitoring for Citrix & VMware to ensure a positive end user experience. Goliath Performance Monitor provides complete support for monitoring virtual server, virtual desktop and hybrid cloud environments, and provides specialized modules for certain EMR/EHR applications and NVIDIA GRID vGPU. Goliath Performance Monitor has been architected from the ground up to help IT administrators anticipate end user experience issues, troubleshoot the root cause, and deploy remediation actions quickly before end users complain.
Goliath Performance Monitor Customers
Walmart, Facebook, Xerox, UHS, ADP, Wyndham Worldwide
Goliath Performance Monitor Video

Archived Goliath Performance Monitor Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user234705 - PeerSpot reviewer
Cslt-Sol Architect/Dev at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
I have been pretty impressed with what GPM offers. However, its GUI can use a little help.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It is a very good tool for simulated Citrix logons with actual accounts, but it would be useful if it could start an application and report the load time of certain plugins.

Part 2/3. Originally posted at https://vthoughtsofit.blogspot.nl/2015/07/proactive-management-of-end-user.html#.Va9ZZvmqpBc

In my previous blog about Goliath Logon Simulator forCitrix, I stopped just after the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop session was established. The last thing I showed you was the result of the Logon Simulator from the console. If you missed that article, it is a good start before reading this article, you can read the story here.

In this article I will go deeper in the product and show you how you can see very cool and wanted metrics within the Citrix ICA and HDX channel, and how you can monitor and debug a Citrix environment.

If we were to take a poll on the coolest report Citrix EdgeSight used to have, I'm sure #1 and #2 would be Logon Details and Session Startup Details, which gave very detailed information, step-by-step client side and server side. Logon Details gave insight in GPO load time, logon scripts and so on.

Together, these features are a killer combo, but they were hidden in a license that was hard to sell and now Citrix decided to kill all cool features to start fresh, leaving you and me thinking of the past.

No worry, those two cool reports are still there, not delivered by Citrix but through Goliath Technologies. When you do proactive monitoring with the Goliath Performance Monitor the agent measures all this data and will report this to the console. The great people at Goliath added this report in the console so life without EdgeSight is wonderful again.

Enough talk, let me show you what they have in the product.

The most important metrics you want while monitoring a Citrix environment are:

  • ICA/HDX Latency
  • GPO load time
  • Bandwidth and congestion
  • Connection time to the broker/web front
  • User profile load
  • vGPU performance (becoming more and more common)

Reports

Goliath offers several reports that will help you understand the end user experience. Just to remind you, Goliath performs simulated Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop user logon with actual user accounts. With that in mind you can understand that loads of data is gathered.

Each session is stored and can be debugged in details afterwards if needed through a search function. I started a couple of sessions over a few days to get some data.

In my last article we primarily looked at the reporting of the Citrix Logon Simulator section, now we focus on the section XenDesktop/XenApp session which is much more interesting for IT guys. In the report below you see two sessions that were active, if you look closely you see two important metrics right in the open.

The logon time and the ICA latency are reported already, giving you instant information about the user experience. So were done, right... or wait there is more, so much more.

Logon duration

If you want to see more data you click on the + mark next to the session, and you get into the reporting part. A number of tabs and sub tabs will open where you find detailed information about the session, the server and the user. First we start with the logon duration that was shown also in the main screen.

The logon duration is more than just logon, it is made up of several steps that together make up the logon time. The logon time is made up of the following steps:

  • Logon time
  • Client validation & brokering
  • Authentication
  • GPO
  • Scripts that run
  • User profile

All are shown in the report and the time they take, also per step a detail is given.


If you look at the details in the report above you see that it shows exactly what server, domain, etc. is talking to. This is the kind of detail you want in a report when you debug slowness, for instance.

If we look at the break down of all of this, what I used very much in EdgeSight was the Start Detail Report because it showed all aspects of the connection. If you never worked with EdgeSight you might think it a silly name with lots of letters but they all actually stand for something.

CASD for instance is Credentials Authentication Server Duration. In plain English, that translates to how long it takes to get your credentials verified. On the client side you have LPWD. It’s not a police force, it's Launch Page Web Server Duration, which means how long does it take to launch the web page (Storefront or Web Interface). Depending on your environment you get different values and more or less values. There are lists on the Internet to tell you what the abbreviations mean, I've included one that was written for Edgesight.


ICA Channel

A detailed report about the ICA Channel delivers metrics that are important to understand the end user experience. The ICA channel performance will be different from normal network performance. Latency for the ICA channel and network latency can be different.

Here you also find ICA Latency, a very very important metric to be measured. Together with the bandwidth and network latency, this gives a good indication whether the user is having some issues. Latency is the time it takes for a package to travel from one point to it’s destination. The higher the number, the worse your user experience gets.

Next to latency there is available bandwidth, not to be mistaken with speed. The available bandwidth has a direct influence on the latency, so if your pipe gets congested, latency goes up.

This has nothing to do with the speed of your connection. You can have a 100M connection but when it's congested, it will not perform. To solve congestion you add more pipes. Unfortunately that doesn't mean latency will go down at the same rate, latency can have more influencers.

Goliath offers a report that shows these metrics together so you see the relation between them.

Virtual machine

There is an option also to look at the virtual machine and see numerous metrics that will help you understand the performance of the user session and the machine it lives on. This virtual machine metric dashboard has many other tabs showing relevant information about the server. The following tabs are shown:

  • CPU and Memory
  • Disk use
  • Disk Peformance
  • Disk Space use
  • Network Throughput
  • Storage & VM Limit
  • Agent Up&Down
  • Graphics Metrics
  • Storage Trends
  • Storage Allocation
  • Storage Usage

Well if that doesn't give you enough information I don't know what will, let's take a look at some of them.


If we look at server disk performance, we see the performance of the disks, throughput and IOPS being displayed. In my lab with one or two users there is no issue but in a live environment this might be valuable and show if the user is having issues because of a lack of IOPS.

A minor report is the Disk space use which allows you to identify conditions where there is unchecked disk space growth on your diff and identity disks.

Network throughput is important in solving issues with end user experience. If for some reason your network speed is low, it might impact the end user experience.

As I said before speed is not the most important factor in end user experience. but a lack of speed also doesn't help. All metrics work together to deliver the best performance. Think about the E1000 versus the vmxnet3 NIC and the performance difference it gave.


vGPU Performance

One of the cool features I think is the ability to monitor the usage of vGPU with their Performance Monitor for NVIDIA GRID vGPU. Goliath is working closely with NVIDIA to capture the data of the cards that need to be captured. I borrowed some screen shots from Goliath because my home lab is not equipped with a grid card. If you monitor an environment without a vGPU this tab won't be visible.
Metrics you find here are;

  • Frames per second
  • vGPU Compute Utilization
  • vGPU Memory Utilization


Application performance

When debugging or monitoring sessions you need to know the context of the issue the user is experiencing. The context of the user experience is to know which other processes are running and using resources. The application performance report is doing just that; it shows the other processes running with metrics per process.

Session properties

A good start is always the overview of the session you're debugging. Without a good sense of the session the metrics say nothing. Together with Citrix Director, which does a good job of showing information about a session, and this report also shows the session properties.
Here you can verify versions, networking details and so much more, so I think it's a good starting point and a good report to end this article with.

I think Goliath offers a very good tool to do simulated Citrix logons with actual user accounts and that the reports are useful to monitor and debug a session. If you look for a monitoring tool to look at the user logon performance of your Citrix environment, Goliath would certainly be able to fill that gap.
The addition of vGPU is something that will be needed more and more, even Citrix XenApp servers will get graphic cards in the near future.

Final Thoughts

I spoke to Goliath about the next versions of the tool and as I wrote in my previous article. Starting an application is something that might be useful because that is a user action that might also vary in time. If they could start an application (e.g. Word) and report time it takes to load certain plugins, that would be useful.

Another addition would be to be able to do exactly the same as they do with Citrix in a VMware Horizon View environment. It all depends, of course, on VMware opening up the API's to allow them to ge the data from the channel. In my job, I see a 50/50 in deploying Citrix and Vmware, and for VMware there are less options to do simulated monitoring.

Perhaps integration with vCops, or as it is now called, vROps (vRealize Operations) would be interesting because all data is collected there already although not all our customers have that running.

If I had to make a choice, it would be both ways. Integrate and be independent as well to accommodate both customers.

I think Goliath offers a very good tool to do simulated Citrix logons with actual user accounts and that the reports are useful to monitor and debug a session. If you look for a monitoring tool to look at the user logon performance of your Citrix environment, Goliath would certainly be able to fill that gap.
The addition of vGPU is something that will be needed more and more, even Citrix XenApp servers will get graphic cards in the near future.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
IT Infrastructure Monitoring
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Goliath Technologies, ControlUp, eg Innovations and others in IT Infrastructure Monitoring. Updated: September 2022.
632,611 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It has limitless scalability, which is key in production environments with multiple branch offices, but application profiling is unavailable.

Part 1/3. Originally published at https://vthoughtsofit.blogspot.nl/2015/05/goliath-logon-simulator-for-citrix.html#.Va5lKfmqqko

In my line of work, I come across a lot of products that offer similar features or come close to each other. To make sure I know the differences between the good, the bad and the ugly, I test all of them.

In my home lab, I setup a product and do a functional test. In that test, I try to look for similarities with other products and features that are exceptional. As I work for PQR, the products we sell is not in my hands. I can advise in favor or against but nothing more than that. Still, I think for any consultant, it is valuable to know the competitors’ products and have a basic understanding of them.

The same goes for the product that I'm currently testing, Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix. There are other logon simulators and products which offer similar features. I also wanted to see what Goliath is offering because they are a company whose name I hear more and more, so I added them to my bucket list.

This post will show you how to setup the Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix and what it does. You will see the results you get from the simulation, and in which scenarios it would benefit. Last but not least, to show the value of the product I will shed light on aspects like licensing and scalability.

My personal review concludes this post.

An intro to Goliath Technologies

Goliath Technologies is an US company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with two development centers in other locations in the US. With over 400 clients, they are an ever growing company and their business is all about being proactive.

Enough about the company, let's take a look at the software they make. If you look at their software catalog you see the following list:

  • Goliath Performance Monitor for Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware Horizon view
  • Goliath Performance Monitor for vSphere, Hyper-V and XenServer
  • Goliath for NetScaler
  • Goliath End User Experience Monitoring and Management
  • Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix

It's quite a list and I can't handle it all at once, so I’ll start off with the newest software, the Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.

The Goliath Logon Simulator for Citrix

There are many products that provide a logon simulator for Citrix, so what is a logon simulator? With a logon simulator you logon with a real user on a real Citrix server and therefore get real results on what the performance looks like

Components

For a logon simulator to work properly you need to setup some components. Goliath’s Logon Simulator uses the following components to do the job:

  • Management server
  • Agent
  • Database
  • Client to start the session from

Of course a working Citrix environment is a nice to have if you want to do some testing (it's a must have of course). My lab is setup with a working Citrix environment. It uses one server as the Controller, Storefront and license server and one server as the XenApp server.

The Goliath server is the Management server and is also the server from where the tests are run. I try to keep my lab small so I can run many products at once; no need for performance, functionality is king to me.

Setup

Setup of the Logon Simulator is done with assistance of Goliath. In a GoToMeeting or WebEx session they walk you through the setup and familiarize you with the product. I have to say they are great people to talk to and you learn while installing and configuring.

When you set it up you need to take care of a couple of things:

  • UAC has to be disabled. If it is not disabled you won't get it to work
  • The user account you test with should be Administrator to run the agent
  • A demo user account with access to the application or desktop
  • The Management server needs pretty steep hardware, 4vCPUs and 8GB RAM
  • Internet Explorer 11 or newer on the system will execute the Citrix session
  • There are more small requirements, like .Net 3.51 SP1, but that is minor
  • There are some other setup things to do but not worth to mention, just tuning to make sure your users logs on fine and logs off even better
  • After you install the agent on the server(s) you are ready to setup a test.

Scenarios

There are two possible scenarios to setup with Goliath’s Logon Simulator:

  • Testing the Citrix Delivery infrastructure
  • End user troubleshooting

The second scenario is used when you deploy the agent to a user’s home computer and see where the issue is. You would get data where the logon is not working fine. We won't look into that scenario here right now, we will begin with scenario one. We'll get back to the second scenario later on.

Scenario1: Setting up the logon simulation

Start the MonitorIT website with the icon on the desktop of the management server. The main screen will start.

Goliath’s MonitorIT is a tool that allows you to add monitoring rules to test numerous things. When you open monitoring rules you see a vast list of rules that are available. If you can't find the rule you are looking for (which is hard to imagine) you can create one yourself.

With the help of the team from Goliath, I created a rule called Citrix Logon Simulator test Launch of Desktop to test my Citrix environment.

When you create a new rule you have a couple of options, and the screen that pops up is shown here. In addition to testing a Citrix logon you could periodically test if a service is still running or watch a file or something similar.

There are many more options for monitoring a specific thing rather than building and end to end solution. All these options are nice to have extras that come with the product when you run the Logon Simulator. I did not test these because the logon simulations was priority.

If you click on the item Citrix XenApp Watch you see drill down and monitoring options that are Citrix specific. In addition to running a periodic logon simulation, you might be interested in doing some other tests on your Citrix environment like watching the load on the server or keeping an eye on the latency. Again, nice options to have that come with the package, but probably will cost you a few extra licenses.

In the rule we just created, there are a few items to be configured:

  • The Site URL is the website user’s type into the browser to access the Citrix environment.
  • The Authentication User Name is a demo user that you use to access the resources. I didn't configure storefront yet so the domain name is needed in front of the username, but in a production environment you wouldn't need this.
  • App & Title Names is the name of where the resource is found on the website, so if you configured tabs with applications and desktops this is where you configure how Goliath sees the resource.
  • Script name, the script name is a default script to test the logon.


  • Make sure you select one server where the session is started from. I selected the management server because that was easiest in my lab. In a real time environment you would have a couple of virtual machines that are dedicated to test the Citrix environment.

    If you have multiple locations and you want to test access from those locations it might be a good idea to start a session from there periodically. If you want good data and proactive signals that there might be an issue you would need to attend to, you would schedule the simulation to run periodically as best fits your organization.
    If you want the notification to be sent out by email, SNMP or log to a Syslog server you can set this up on the notification tab. You can integrate the Logon Simulator with any other monitoring tool and combine the results with an end-to-end monitoring solution.

    On the schedule tab you can select when and how often the job is run. I selected every 1 hour so I had time to look around in the console after each run. There are many options to be configured and depending on your setup or needs you would configure them accordingly.

    There is also the remediation option that gives you the option to start a remediation action if an error occurs. You need to think this through and configure it for your needs, it's just a five-step-click to get it up, but it will take some testing and tuning to make it yours.

    After you set it all up you sit and wait. At the specified time, you will see an Internet Explorer tab appear and the Storefront site appear. The user you specified is automatically entered as well as the password, so you don't need to do anything there. Just sit back and relax and see the process do the job.

    The resource is displayed like you would expect, here we only had one desktop as a resource, so the Goliath Logon Simulator had to start that one. As expected the Simulator starts the application (the desktop) and the logon process starts. Behind the Internet Explorer screen you notice the session is being started, but it went too fast for me to change the screen and capture it.

    After a few seconds the session is logged on, the session will stay like this for a few seconds to make sure everything is finished. After that period, the log off is initiated automatically. The XenApp server is landing on a basic install with Office 2003. It’s nothing fancy, just a very fast logon

    After the session has logged on successfully this is shown in green, when it is red you will see that there is something wrong. When you have scenario two, you would see what is going wrong for that user in the logging shown there. More on that soon.

    In the next screenshot below, you will see the details of the logon session.

    As you see below every step is displayed in detail and you will see where something went wrong if there is a performance issue.


    In the View tab you get more details about the session you launched and some of the metrics of the server. It will give you a reference as to what the environment was like when the session was run. Logon times might be longer during the day, but that doesn't have to be alarming because a server might be a bit busier during those hours.




    If you look at the XenApp/XenDesktop session tab you will see all the user session data in the XenApp environment. Because the agent is running there, you will also get detailed information about those logons. There will be a breakdown of how long the authentication took, how long GPO loading took, and so on. I think that's a nice to have extra with the tool.

    You can visually see the logon performance in a graph. Of course, with just one task running it's a simple graph. With multiple tasks running for days it will show how your environment is running and you can take action if needed.

    Extra functionality

    Because the Goliath Logon Simulator is part of an actual monitoring tool you get more information about servers than just the logon performance. With the agent running and the management server seeing all the servers around him or her, you will get some extra data. See this as a benefit.

    So if you look in the monitor tab you will see several options that might be interesting if you want to know how your servers are performing.


    There are several options, and I'm not going to talk about all of them, but you can monitor the CPU, memory or the storage of the servers. If you want to monitor servers, you can get an instant quote using Goliath’s online pricing calculator.

    Scenario 2

    Before we head for the review section let's talk about scenario 2. Scenario 2 is the scenario where you can use the Goliath Logon Simulator as a debugging tool. Let’s say you have a remote or local user who has issues logging on to the Citrix environment. You have no clue why and can make no sense out of her story.

    Take a look at the screenshot you saw before. It is the result screen of the session that is started, and every step along the way is there. If for some reason anything with her Citrix receiver was wrong it would show up here.

    The Goliath Logon Simulator starts up, opens the web site, and is stuck on being unable to find the receiver. In my test, we did a fairly easy setup with just the client connecting to the Storefront and the controller getting to the XenApp server.

    In a more serious scenario you would connect through NetScaler as well with 2FA implemented and you are testing that one periodically from each of your branch offices. In my setup the Controller, License Server and Storefront are one server. In production that will never happen and thus will it be more complex and more meaningful to test.

    Personal Review of the Logon Simulator

    Now that you've seen how the product works let me talk about what I think about it. First let’s look at the pricing model. Pricing is easy as you license per instance. There’s nothing difficult about that.

    Licensing

    Many products are not open about their license costs, but Goliath is very easy about licensing. If you visit https://goliathtechnologies.com/pricing/ you will be able to enter the number of a certain license you want and request the quote.

    The Goliath Logon Simulator is priced between $3000 and $4000 per simulated user with even lower prices for enterprises with over 20 users.

    Scalability

    Scalability is key in production environments with multiple branch offices. With Goliath there is no limit to scalability as the sessions are started from machines you setup to do sessions. If you have 20 branch offices and you deploy 20 machines to logon periodically, that's just fine.

    The management server is set up with such steep hardware that you should be able to handle 20 agents reporting.


    Support

    Support is a very important factor in any IT environment, with all dependencies getting software running, you sometimes need a little support. While we were installing the software and did a test run, we encountered an issue. In these occasions, you get to know the company and they passed with all regards.


    We had a couple of sessions to troubleshoot and after a session with Heather from Goliath’s Tech Team, I knew things would be solved quickly... resulting in an e-mail this morning with a fix.

    Functionality

    When you look for a logon simulator to test your Citrix environment Goliath is a solution that can help you. What are pro's and what are con's?
    Pros:
    • Setup is easy and guided by Goliath. Setup and guidance by them is surely a plus for me, I do look at companies a lot how they handle customers. If they are unreachable they are off my bucket list. Goliath stays on :)
    • Process is visible so any errors are easy detected. The logon process is done while you watch it, so if something goes wrong you will notice instantly which makes setup a breeze.

    Cons:

    • No application profiling is available. It is not possible to create an application profile like you see in competitive products. Often that is used to test logon and startup of one or more default applications, to get application startup times as well as logon times.
    • Hardware requirement of the management server are kind of steep, 4cpu is quite a number.

    Conclusion

    Overall, I think Goliath’s Logon Simulator is a good product with a few things to work on (Logon dashboard with big shiny circles showing numbers).

    I would like to see a dashboard with a number showing the current average logon time. I think enterprises would love to have a dashboard at their office showing the current status, logon time, latency, startup time of storefront and so on.

    My overall conclusion is that it is a valuable product for simulating Citrix logons because it does it with minimal effort and with a real user account. Details about the logon process are displayed but not in a fancy matter.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IT Infrastructure Monitoring Report and find out what your peers are saying about Goliath Technologies, ControlUp, eg Innovations, and more!
    Updated: September 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IT Infrastructure Monitoring Report and find out what your peers are saying about Goliath Technologies, ControlUp, eg Innovations, and more!