NetScaler Insight Center 11.0 Installation & Configuration
So what is NetScaler Insight Center. This is a high performance collector that provides end-to-end user experience visibility. It provides visibility across Web Traffic (Web Insight) and HDX traffic (HDX Insight). It uses the AppFlow technology which is the standard in NetScaler for fetching the visibility information. This is then forwarded to NetScaler Insight Center. And which at this point is integrated with Citrix Director.
In other words, it can be used as an birds eye view to gain visibility into end user experience for virtual applications, desktops as well as Web Traffic. It can be used to correlate network data with application data with real-time metrics for troubleshooting purposes.
So the flow of data will be:
NetScaler Insight Center is available in a virtual machine format only. For the following hypervisors
- Citrix XenServer
- Vmware ESX
- Microsoft Hyper-V
There are 3 types of license available for Insight (Platinum, Enterprise, & Standard) reporting differences in the licenses are explained in the following table.
Supported Software for HDX Insight
- NetScaler (10.1 build 120.13 and later)
- XenApp (6.5 build 6682 with HRP01 and later)
- XenDesktop (5.6 build 56060, 7.0 build 3018, 7.1, 7.5, 7.6)
When starting with installation of NetScaler Insight Center, there are some prerequisites you must be aware of:
- NSIP, add the NSIP address not the SNIP address of the NetScaler
- NetScaler State, the state of the NetScaler has to be up before adding to Insight
- HA, for NetScaler HA deployments, add both NetScaler appliances on Insight to get report across both the nodes.
- HTTP/HTTPS, you need to make sure that both the NetScaler appliances and NetScaler Insight Center appliances have either HTTP or HTTPS access enabled.
- NS User, the user that is used while adding NetScalers on Insight should have write level access to NetScaler.
- NTP, if you want to use NTP server time on the NetScaler Insight Center, make sure that you configure NTP before enabling AppFlow on the virtual servers
So to get started with the installation process. We need to download the right image for your system. Download the image from “MyCitrix” and select the latest image.
I am using Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2. So that is the image I am using.
Start up the Hyper-V Manager…
Select Action –> Import Virtual Machine
Click on Next to Continue
Browse to the folder where you have downloaded the image and click on “Next” to continue
Choose “Copy the virtual machine (create a new unique ID) and click on “Next” to continue
Accept the defaults, and click on “Next”
Accept this, and click on “Next”
Click on “Finish” to continue
After importing is succeeded, you can start your VM.
When the VM’s starts you can connect to the console.
At this point you need to configure the NetScaler Insight Center with an Ip address. This is no rocket science, so just proceed accordantly.
After initial Ip config, choose the “1. NetScaler Insight Server”
The system is now rebooted.
After the reboot, you can connect with a browser.
Login with the default credentials
Click on “Get Started”
Enter the IP address (NSIP) of your NetScaler and click on “Add”.
At the top of the page, select “Enable Geo data collection for Web and HDX Insight” if required.
Next step is to configure some Appflow Settings.
Select the LoadBalancing in the Application List
Right click on your configured StoreFront LoadBalancer, and select “Enable AppFlow”
At this point you need to fill in the expression field.
Next is to configure VPN, select VPN from the View list.
And select the Unified Gateway Virtual Server. Right click and enable AppFlow
In the Expression box select “true” and in the Expert Option box select “ICA”
Click on “OK” to continue
After this point you can select the “Dashboard” view.
You can configure some other things… for a basic setup….
Click on Configuration tab.
Lets change the time zone for your environment.
Select NTP Servers and click on Add.
After filling in the NTP servers, click on “NTP Synchronization”
Select “Enable “ and click on OK to continue
So at this point there is pretty much a basic configuration. You can go and configure some other things if needed. For Example
- Authentication (LDAP, Radius )
- Email notifications
- Syslog servers
Next step in the deployment is the Director Integration.
HDX Insight on Director is represented by the Network node. As shown in the example
So now we need to integrate Citrix Director with Citrix NetScaler Insight Center.
You need to do this on Citrix Director. Log on to this machine.
Run the following:
fill in the appropriate information which represents your environment.
So at this point you should see some data coming into Director. If not check the following on NetScaler.
System –> Settings –> Configure Advanced Features
And on both the Virtual Servers
Maybe you will need configure the NetScaler for Transparant mode.
At this point everything should work….