Basic Citrix Troubleshooting Steps | Parallels Insights

Basic Citrix Troubleshooting Steps

basic citrix troubleshooting steps

Citrix is undoubtedly one of the most delicate IT solutions out there. A lag or interruption in any of its processes can immediately impact hundreds or thousands of users. To make things worse, it can be challenging to troubleshoot.

The 2018 Migration Survey conducted by eG Innovations found that slow logons are the number one issue with Citrix. The second most issue that people experienced with Citrix systems was frozen sessions. Slow application launches was touted to be the third most experienced issue with the Citrix product. Here are three basic steps you can follow to resolve an issue when you encounter one.

1. Obtain the specifics of the problem

Start by gathering relevant information about the problem. What are your users complaining about? Is it a slow logon? Is an application failing to launch? Are users unable to print? Did an application hang?

Once you’ve identified the specific issue, you should then determine the extent of that issue. Does it only affect one user? If multiple users, are they from the same geographical location? Are they using the same version of Citrix Receiver? Does it affect just one application? If multiple applications/desktops, are they from the same server or domain? Is there something wrong with the network? These are some of the many questions you need to ask to gain a complete understanding of the issue.

2. Construct a hypothesis of the most probable cause

This part requires a good knowledge of Citrix architecture. This enables you to make an educated guess about where the source of the problem most likely lies.

A typical Citrix infrastructure has many components with several interdependencies, so the problem can be practically anywhere. It can be in the client-side (e.g., in the Citrix Receiver); the server-side, in one of the main Citrix components (e.g., ADC, StoreFront, Delivery Controller, License Server or NetScaler); or it could even be in one of the supporting components (e.g., AD, RDBMS, storage devices, hypervisor(s), etc.).

In addition to the various components, you also need to be familiar with the various phases that make up a particular process. For example, a simple application/desktop login process consists of many steps: authentication, authorization, enumeration, launch, session brokering, GPO processing, script execution, and more. Knowledge of the various components in the Citrix architecture and how they work will enable you to formulate educated guesses and proceed with the verification process.

3. Verify your hypothesis

Once you have a hypothesis, you can then check its validity through various tools. One of the usual places to check is Citrix Director. However, it’s usually only suitable for preliminary troubleshooting. In many cases, you’ll have to dive into the logs. You can check the event logs in the Delivery Controller and VDA.

Sometimes, you’ll have to enable certain logging services that provide more detailed information, such as Controller Service Logging, Broker Agent Logging, and PortICA logging. You’ll also likely need to pull out diagnostic tools like Citrix Scout, which allows you to obtain even greater detail on environmental data, perform XDPing, and collect CDF traces.

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