Optimizing Citrix MetaFrame

The latest upgrade includes monitoring and performance management tools from several vendors.

Users of Citrix Systems Inc.s MetaFrame will be seeing a big boost in performance optimization on several fronts, with releases of monitoring and performance management tools from several vendors.

Compuware Corp., Aurema Inc., PremiTech Inc. and RTO Software Inc. are targeting enterprises using the MetaFrame server, which has an installed base of about 750,000 and new server shipments of nearly 100,000 annually.

The enterprise consolidation boom is fueling interest in maximizing Citrix resources with end-to-end and server-specific optimization offerings, said David Friedlander, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

Compuware this week will dive deeper into the operation of Citrix servers with a new version of its Vantage application service management tool for MetaFrame. The new tool provides a better understanding of Citrix workloads across the network and server infrastructure, said Compuware officials in Detroit.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here for more on the MetaFrame suite.

The latest release can show how traffic is divided among Citrix applications in a data center or how traffic is split among the various classes of service that Citrix uses. It uses that data to predict performance and to troubleshoot transactions.

Vantage for Citrix Version 9.5 also allows users to predict Citrix WAN workloads, allowing them to assess bandwidth requirements for remote offices and to validate bandwidth consumption after a new Citrix application is deployed. It can show total bandwidth consumption as well as how much bandwidth individual transactions are consuming.

Compuware added more granular troubleshooting to Vantage, allowing users to view performance from the client to the server farm.

During a migration from MetaFrame 1.8 to MetaFrame XPE, users at Aurora Health Care used the Compuware tool to learn why half of their servers took 20 seconds to log on to, while the other half took 10 seconds, according to Joe Shapiro, IS project leader at the Milwaukee-based nonprofit.

"It helped me pinpoint in the implementation a setting that we missed that had a dramatic effect on the log-in," Shapiro said.

Pricing for the release, due next month, starts at $25,000.

While Compuware looks at Citrix performance from the user perspective, Aurema focuses on better management of the workload on Citrix servers with its ARMtech for Citrix MetaFrame tool. Aurema, in Cupertino, Calif., will announce the next major release of ARMtech for Citrix next week. The release adds virtual memory optimization to its CPU optimization.

The new version, available now, includes an enhanced centralized console that allows users to deploy policies. It is priced starting at $595 per CPU.

PremiTech, of Morristown, N.J., just launched Performance Guard Module for Citrix, which provides performance monitoring from the user perspective as well. And RTO Software, of Suwanee, Ga., in January released Version 3.0 of its TScale terminal server optimization software, which adds CPU management on top of its virtual memory management functions.

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