Citrix Edgesight and Citrix Director Alternatives

Here at RDPSoft, we’re doing more and more business with small to medium sized Citrix shops who need insight into XenApp and XenDesktop performance data. Why? Many of these company server admins have been struggling with the way Citrix phased out “traditional” Citrix Edgesight in favor of Citrix Director and Netscaler HDX Insight.

Let’s discuss a few of these sticking points in depth to find out why they’re turning towards our Remote Desktop Commander Suite as an viable alternative.

Citrix Director’s Performance Data Set is Not Granular Enough

Yes, Citrix Edgesight was always a bit of a bear to get running, and even more of a bear to maintain, but when it worked, it was great at providing in-depth analysis and reporting of how individual user activities could impact server performance and health. Citrix Director was more of a help-desk, lightweight monitoring tool first and foremost, so as Citrix has integrated Edgesight features into Citrix Director, admins are finding that some of the historical session data they liked to examine has gone missing and/or is harder to drill into. Moreover, as we’ll see in a minute, you can only get this more granular historical session data if you are a Citrix Platinum customer. And for most small to medium sized organizations, that’s a very expensive proposition!

With our Remote Desktop Commander Suite, we capture historical session data with our agents, and can do so with whatever level of granularity you want. The default is every 30 seconds, but this can be increased or decreased based on your database storage capabilities.

With Remote Desktop Commander, it's just a mouse click from seeing broader performance metrics like this...
With Remote Desktop Commander, you’re just a mouse click from broad performance dashboard metrics like this…
.. to this level of granular Citrix user session detail, seeing how different apps in different sessions are impacting performance over time.
.. to granular user session details, seeing how different apps in different sessions are impacting performance over time.

Citrix Director (for Non-Platinum Customers) Only Provides a Week Worth of Data Retention

Another big gotcha is that even if the non-Platinum, non-Edgesight Citrix Director monitoring data sets are enough for an organization, they cap you at 7 days worth of data retention. Believe it or not, Citrix is not the only vendor in this space that uses this technique upsell more expensive licensing tiers.

We just wrote a detailed blog post on why most RDS/Citrix monitoring tools’ licensing models are bull$h!+ a week ago, and “pay for extended data retention” is at the top of our pet peeve list.

We don’t play those games over here. As long as you have available storage on a Microsoft SQL Server in your network, you can retain detailed Citrix session performance data for as long as you like.

Citrix Platinum Licensing – To Get Citrix Edgesight Granular Performance Data – Is Hella Expensive

This simple fact, which has been true even before Citrix integrated and overhauled the Edgesight product into Citrix Director, has done more to single-handedly create the market for third-party vendors that do this type of monitoring. And there are a ton of them in this space, as they all attempt to capitalize on that nearly $300 per concurrent user delta in pricing from Citrix Advanced Edition to Citrix Platinum. These third-party vendors’ feature sets and reporting depth are varied, as is their cost of implementation and ongoing upkeep.

This nearly $300 per concurrent user delta is the reason we have a third-party Citrix monitoring tools market.
This nearly $300 per concurrent user delta is the reason we have a third-party Citrix monitoring tools market.

At RDPSoft, our focus has been on delivering the top 60% of reporting and monitoring features that 100% of Citrix and RDS shops need, while we couple the most affordable price point in the industry with the most flexible licensing model. Certainly, there are vendors in the space that offer thousands of out-of-box reports with super sexy graphs for management. And if you want to pay $50 to $200 per concurrent user for that luxury – plus consulting packages to install and integrate their tools – be our guest.

But, if you’d like to easily stand up a Citrix monitoring and reporting solution that can quickly track user session performance, user activity monitoring / idle time, application and concurrent user licensing trends, session screenshot recording, plus provide you active session management tools, AND do it for the super-affordable price of only $9 per XenApp server monitored per month / $1 per XenDesktop virtual desktop monitored per month, we are simply your best play in the market.

Add Remote Desktop Commander to your existing Citrix Director monitoring platform as an overlay, or use it in lieu of those tools. Either way, we think you’ll be quite satisfied.