Top Citrix troubleshooting tools that will save you a lot of headaches!

With my extensive experience troubleshooting Citrix Products (Starting as a Citrix Administrator for over 6 years, then as a Technical Relationship Manager for Citrix Systems, and now an Architect for Anexinet) I want to share with you my favorite Citrix tools that has saved me from a lot of headaches. They are very helpful in troubleshooting issues that occur in your environment as well as being proactive so you can prevent disasters from happening.  I would highly recommend to run some of these tools on a monthly basis to see if you are compliant with Citrix Best Practices. 

1.   Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit -64bit Edition

One of my good friends from Citrix developed this tool.  A lot of Administrators are unsure of what data to collect when an issue occurs.  This tool delivers a suite of tools and automation options in an easy to use structured format that closely resembles the look and feel of any standard Windows application, even though each tool is an independent standalone application. 

2.  HDX Monitoring
(Used to troubleshoot or run proactively)

HDX Monitor provides detailed information about the various HDX Technologies, their performance, and diagnostic information.  The tool is designed for ICA session HDX experience diagnostics.  The following are the HDX technologies covered by this tool:

•Thinwire (Graphics)
•Direct 3D (Graphics)
•Media Stream (aka RAVE)
•USB Devices
•Mapped Client Drives (CDM)
•Branch Repeater
•Smart Card

3. Print Detective
(Used to troubleshoot or run proactively)

Print detective is a great tool when you are troubleshooting Citrix related print drivers. Citrix leading practices state that you should uninstall non-native printer drivers since they can cause issues.  This utility will gather all printer driver information for a specified XenApp server. 

4. StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms

Many printer driver problems in Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Services environments revolve around poor multi-threaded performance, which in turn can cause print spooler instability. Problematic multi-threaded performance is usually exposed when multiple users connect to a Terminal Server simultaneously using the same printer driver. Symptoms include the failure to autocreate client printers, increased thread count of the printer spooler and/or Citrix Print Manager services, and possibly the unresponsiveness and/or unexpected termination of these services (stop responding).

This tool can be used to simulate multiple sessions auto-creating printers using the same printer driver.
It can also be used to compare the following among various drivers:

• CPU load incurred while creating a printer using a particular driver
• Time required to successfully create a printer using a particular driver

Note: The current version of the tool does not test concurrent printer capabilities, settings, or actual printing calls, which are also possible causes of failing to print. Therefore, good/passing stress results do not always mean that printers are actually working or certified.

5. Citrix Scout
*Note* I HIGHLY recommend to run this tool on a monthly basis. 

This tool is my favorite tool.  When you run Citrix Scout from a single XenDesktop controller (DDC) or XenApp server, it captures key data points and CDF traces for selected computers followed by secure and reliable upload of the data package to Citrix Technical Support.

So once this data is uploaded to Citrix Insight Services, the data will be auto-analyzed against a list of known issues and best practices. A personalized report, including next step resolution recommendations, will be displayed.

6. XDPing Tool

The XDPing tool is a command-line based application which automates the process of checking for the causes of common configuration issues in a XenDesktop environment. The tool can be used to verify configuration settings on both the XenDesktop Broker and VDA machines, both from the console and remotely.

There you have it!  My favorite Citrix tools that I recommend for all you Citrix Administrators out there to use.

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