SCOM vs Citrix Director?

Citrix Director is a great tool for providing day to day end user support with real-time health information about the infrastructure and user sessions. However, there are a few important differences between the capabilities of Citrix Director and GripMatix's Management Pack bundle for System Center Operations Manager (SCOM): MetrixInsight for CVAD.

  • Citrix Director is a point solution and only provides information that is available within the CVAD database. This means it does not provide information for the whole stack. For instance, it lacks monitoring for StoreFront and Provisioning Services which are crucial tiers in a common CVAD stack.

  • Furthermore, it does not monitor the Windows Server Operating Systems, Hypervisors, Physical Hardware, Storage and Network components your CVAD stack components and user workloads are running on. Nor does it monitor infrastructure services like Active Directory, DNS, DHCP and File Services which CVAD heavily depends on.

    An Enterprise Monitoring Platform, such as SCOM, can monitor all components of a CVAD stack, as long as you have the right set of Management Packs installed. It is built for operators, tasked with the overall health of data centers and clouds with multiple vendors representing multiple software and hardware products.

  • An Enterprise Monitoring Platform is a standardized Role-based Event Management system maintained by a dedicated team to support your event management process. It is a system the whole IT organization heavily relies on when it comes to event detection, before actual incidents occur that affect user experience.

    Events are handled according to an event life cycle and the system is also responsible for making user experience measurable (KPIs) and show trends over time. It can be used in every layer in the organization; by datacenter operators, system engineers, IT managers, CIOs etcetera, due to its role-based event management features (views, dashboards, event life cycling).

    At the other hand a monitoring point solution, like Director, is typically a tool system engineers maintain themselves and use if they think they need too. Director has some role-based access, but because of its concept, there is no Role-based Event Management that groups events and dashboards into teams and manages event life cycles, like a typical Enterprise Monitoring Platform would.
  • With SCOM you can have an unlimited retention time for your metric data. This enables you to baseline and do trend analyses over time spans you require for your organization.

    Citrix Director only provides a maximum history reporting of 7 days for Standard and 1 month for Advanced license customers. If you want historical data beyond 1 month you would need a pricy Premium (previously called Platinum) license for CVAD. This increases data retention to 1 year only.

  • Using MetrixInsight for CVAD on a SCOM platform enables you to trigger Incident Management processes based on events that occur within your Citrix SBC and/or VDI stack by automatically creating and assigning incident records within your ITSM system (Microsoft System Center Service Manager, TopDesk, ServiceNow etc).

  • Citrix Director is not an Enterprise Monitoring Platform. It is a point solution built for a specific task. But, because a point solution is built for a specific task, you can often zoom in and get generally more detail than an Enterprise Monitoring Platform provides.

    Therefore you should use an Enterprise Monitoring Platform like SCOM to detect and manage events and let Citrix Director excel in further deep-diving to solve it. This is crucial to understand when monitoring Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) stacks to get in control of your daily operations.

Also check out this article or this webinar video replay.

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