Application Performance Management in a Citrix environment
The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways: NS) is one of Ymor’s first clients. The IT chain that is managed by the NS’s ICT department is highly complex. Initially, Ymor was hired to create insight into the performance of the Citrix workplaces, but now there are lots of projects running. Charles Rijken, Problem Manager at Nederlandse Spoorwegen, tells us about the collaboration with Ymor.
At a national level, NS works within a Citrix environment. All workplaces are linked to a large NS-managed data centre where the Citrix environment runs. Being able to log on, send emails and start applications quickly are high priorities. In addition, the speed at every workplace has to be the same. For these reasons, NS was keen to make the operation of the workplaces insightful: is the performance sufficient and is it being experienced equally throughout the organisation?
“We were looking for the simplest and most informative form of chain monitoring. None of the suppliers had any knowledge or experience with the Citrix environment with which NS was working. Ymor was the only one that suggested conducting a pilot. The pilot went well. Furthermore, our architects had already examined a number of options during the preparatory phase. Here too, Ymor came out on top: a stable company with enough experience and they have a good name. Obviously the cost aspect played a part in our choosing Ymor. In the end, the choice wasn’t difficult.”
Ymonitor measures user experience objectively
An Ymor performance engineer was engaged to set up Ymonitor at NS. “Ymor made excellent use of the implementation of their chain monitoring to improve their own know-how in the area of monitoring for Citrix. In my view, they addressed the issue reasonably quickly.”
Scripts were used to simulate various user actions such as starting Outlook, emailing or opening a document in Word. These actions were continually measured from the user perspective. Rijken: “The monthly report they give us, based on their measurements, determines the satisfaction factor for our internal customers. As this is conducted by an independent party, there is no argument about the integrity of the figures.”
“It is great working with Ymor and I am delighted with their services. There are always dedicated people available, so in terms of effort they score very highly indeed. For example, although we only make limited use of their alerting service, someone at Ymor always calls whenever they see that something is not quite as it should be. Flexibility is certainly Ymor’s great strength. Extra work or modifications that are not immediately covered by our contract are never a problem. I am also happy with their level of knowledge. Not only are they exceptionally well informed about their own material, they have also developed genuine know-how of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen environment. They quickly address our business issues and that is something you don’t see often!”