Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1

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Many organizations at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic are transitioning from a “phase 1” implementation of empowering a remote workforce, to a “phase 2” or “Day 2” operations stance. This means that you have your infrastructure in place and you are moving to a stance of supporting that infrastructure and your end users. Let’s face it, when you are moving as quickly as possible to stand up solutions as many have been tasked to do in recent weeks, monitoring is one thing that generally get pushed aside in lieu of time.

However, it is extremely important to revisit this as quickly as possible to ensure that all the now business-critical infrastructure supporting your remote workforce. VMware Horizon is an extremely popular option that organizations may be leveraging to enable remote work for business-critical resources. Today, we take a look at Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1 and see how this can easily be done.

VMware Horizon Monitoring Software with ControlUp 8.1

ControlUp has certainly grown and matured in features and capabilities for monitoring infrastructure in your environment. New with the ControlUp 8.1 release is a very welcomed addition to the mix – VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure VDI monitoring.

With the new ControlUp 8.1 release, VMware Horizon administrators have full-stack visibility into their VMware Horizon infrastructure that allows extremely effective VMware Horizon monitoring across the platform. This includes visibility into:

This leads to many great benefits when you are managing and monitoring VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) including the following:

  • Ability to troubleshooting the full stack of VMware Horizon VDI infrastructure
  • Improve your end users remote work experience with VDI
  • Simplify the management of VMware Horizon infrastructure
  • Proactive troubleshooting instead of reactive troubleshooting
  • Aggregated console for all your VMware Horizon deployments across your organization
  • Reporting and Analytics

Improve your end users remote work experience with VDI

At the end of the day, you want your end users to feel no different when working from home on the VMware Horizon platform than they would in the office. Having the tools to monitor VMware Horizon for any potential issues helps to improve the overall end user remote work experience as administrators are able to proactively correct performance and other issues in the environment.

Simplify the management of VMware Horizon infrastructure

Especially when environments are complex, large, and involve remote end users, automation is king of the hill when it comes to triaging and remediating issues in your environment. ControlUp 8.1 contains many different built-in actions and script actions that provide automation across your VMware Horizon environment. There are also built-in automated actions and security policy actions that have been developed specifically for VMware Horizon environments.

Proactive troubleshooting instead of reactive troubleshooting

We have all been there where you feel like you are simply just playing “whack-a-mole” to try and stay on top of problems or troubleshooting environments. This is not a position you want to be in when it comes to supporting your remote end users with VMware Horizon virtual destop infrastructure as you very well could be (most likely are) remote yourself.

Providing proactive troubleshooting in VMware Horizon such as basic logoff and send message functions, there are a lot of contextual management actions that allow you proactively troubleshoot end user-related issues. This includes the ability to:

Aggregated console for all your VMware Horizon deployments across your organization

No matter where your VMware Horizon deployment lives, what its version is, or how many different types of installations you are running, ControlUp 8.1 allows you to manage and monitor your VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) from a single-pane-of-glass interface. This allows you to have a single view of the health of your VDI infrastructure across your organization.

Reporting and Analytics

ControlUp has a nifty online analytics platform called ControlUp Insights that allows you to aggregate your data from your VMware Horizon environment to provide historical data for analysis. This also allows you to perform various reporting tasks across the collected data including user activity, user experience, application activity, resources, and many others.

Adding VMware Horizon 7 to ControlUp 8.1

Adding your VMware Horizon 7 EUC VDI environment to your ControlUp 8.1 management platform is easy. Simply click the Add EUC Environment button.

Adding-VMware-Horizon-EUC-environment-to-ControlUp-8.1-1 Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1

This will open the EUC Environment Connection dialog box. Here, you can choose your Solution / Platform of either Citrix or VMware Horizon. Name your enviornment name, enter the Horizon Connection server IP, port, and credentials for connecting to your VMware Horizon Connection Server environment.

Configure-your-VMware-Horizon-EUC-connection-information-in-ControlUp-8.1 Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Configure your VMware Horizon EUC connection information in ControlUp 8.1

As simple as that, you have connected to your VMware Horizon 7 EUC environment and ControlUp 8.1 will begin telling you the health of the environment. ControlUp has a very easy to read Stress Level overall metric that allows quickly assessing the VMware Horizon environment for any potential “hotspots” or issues.

Displaying-the-VMware-Horizon-key-performance-indicators-with-ControlUp-8.1 Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Displaying the VMware Horizon key performance indicators with ControlUp 8.1

Installing ControlUp 8.1 Agent

You have the option to install the ControlUp 8.1 agent into your guest VMs that are managed in your Horizon VDI infrastructure. The agent will extract machine metrics, processes, and other information and combine them in the relevant entity grid.

Installing-the-ControlUp-8.1-agent-into-guest-VMs Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Installing the ControlUp 8.1 agent into guest VMs

VMware Horizon 7 Troubleshooting and Performance Optimization

Below is a look at a VM that has a lot of memory pressure. You can easily see the offending process that is consuming a huge amount of memory – Pwsh.exe.

Narrowing-in-on-resource-usage-on-a-manual-desktop-pool-VM Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Narrowing in on resource usage on a manual desktop pool VM

You have the option to kill processes on VMware Horizon VMs, right from the ControlUp Console.

Killing-an-offending-process-with-ControlUp-8.1 Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Killing an offending process with ControlUp 8.1

This includes logging off VMware Horizon sessions.

Logging-off-a-Horizon-session Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Logging off a Horizon session

There is a wide range of actions that can be performed as you can see below, including many that are Horizon specific. The actions are in the form of downloadable community scripts that Control downloads and installs for you to be able to run from within the ControlUp console.

More-script-actions-that-can-be-downloaded-using-the-ControlUp-community-script-download Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
More script actions that can be downloaded using the ControlUp community script download
Download-and-install-community-scripts-right-into-ControlUp Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1
Download and install community scripts right into ControlUp

Wrapping Up and Impressions

Monitoring and Troubleshooting VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI with ControlUp 8.1 is a breeze. In only a few clicks you can have your VMware Horizon environment added to ControlUp and start pulling metrics.

The number of actions that you can perform on your VMware Horizon environment from ControlUp is pretty amazing, including managing and monitoring VMs down to the process level. I really like the concept of the community-driven script actions that allow you to download and install them right from within ControlUp.

Be sure to check out a free trial download of ControlUp 8.1 for your environment here.

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