De-risk Digital Transformation projects and Cloud Adoption (Server Virtualization)

UXp is a new form of Real User Monitoring for end user sessions in the Windows® Desktop environment. UXp’s agent captures events directly from the User Interface (UI), recording an accurate “user eye view” of how well desktop and web applications are performing for actual users. Armed with a new class of objective Digital Experience (DEX) , also known as End User Experience Management (EUEM), performance metrics, UXp reliably provides “before” and “after” comparisons (aka A/B Testing) for Digital Transformation projects.

The adoption of today’s Cloud based solution brings a new level of complexity for IT management. UXp gives IT a clear view of Cloud and SaaS services. A top benefit of UXp data is in helping IT right-size expensive resources.

Risk can be significantly reduced when decisions are based on actual instead of derived user experience data.

UXp provides eight distinct DEX/EUEM metrics

These UXp metrics help your organization to successfully manage Windows Desktop transition and deployment projects while providing “deep dive” DEX forensic data for investigating periods of degraded performance.

  • User Experience Rating (UXR)
    the ratio of User Wait Time to User Active Time (expressed as a %). A UXR value can be calculated for each desktop application, web application, user session, computer, user group, etc.
  • User Active Time
    the period of activity on a desktop. Note: no keyboard, mouse activity, screenshots or passwords are recorded
  • App Response Time (ART)
    the time between a user’s action on a keyboard or mouse and the app’s response.
  • Cursor Wait Time
    the length of time the Wait Cursor (typically a spinning wheel) is displayed on the screen.
  • Windows Not Responding Time
    the time that a foreground window is unresponsive
  • User Wait Time
    App Response Time plus Cursor Wait Time plus Window Not Responding Time.
  • Program Load Time
    the period/interval between a process starting and its appearing in the foreground window. Note: this applies only to Windows Desktop applications.
  • Logon Delay Time (LDT)
    is the time, in seconds, from when the user authenticates a new desktop.

Compare among different UXp metrics

VDI transitions can be measured from different “angles” to ensure UXp is meeting expectations

You can compare among different:

  • Time Periods
  • User Groups
  • Desktop Applications
  • Websites
  • Other Operations

UXp provides reliable A/B testing for digital transformations

A/B testing allows you to precisely compare the impact on DEX/EUEM of:

  • Physical Desktops vs Virtual or Remotes Desktops
  • Different VDI Configurations and Hardware Configurations
  • Antivirus and Antimalware apps from different vendors
  • Alternative Desktop Apps (incl. Web Browsers)
  • Alternative Web Apps and Web Services

UXp supplies continuous monitoring in ongoing operations

In ongoing operations for the continuous monitoring of:

  • Desktop App SLA Performance and ROI
  • Web App SLA Performance and ROI
Comparison of the UXp Metrics of two VM’s over the same 7-day period

UXp Transforms Helpdesk/Service-desk Support using Data directly from the User Interface

  • UXp’s User Session Explorer
    captures all DEX performance metrics – from log on to log off, in chronological order as unique User sessions. UXp tightens support feedback loops, identifying the series of actions or apps that triggered bottlenecks and increased wait times. UXp makes systems easier and less costly to support. For example, it is especially helpful in pinpointing DEX issue(s) that may have started days or weeks before the User noticed a problem and reported it.
  • Web App SLA Performance and ROI
    visualizes the information in the User Session Explorer, offering detailed “deep dive” analysis and forensics for any individual session. It allows a support specialist to step through each event as it happened, seeing all relevant performance metrics, whether or not the window is visible and, if so, where it appears on the screen; whereas an invisible window may indicate the presence of malware or a virus.

Server Virtualization Deployment and Optimization

UXp enhances and complements traditional Server Virtualization latency measurement with UXp’s eight new metrics supporting Virtualization delivery success:

  • UXp provides accurate “before” and “after” DEX comparisons for assessing POCs and Virtualization trials.
  • Server Virtualization Delivery Assurance – Our Data will show if additional tuning exercises should be conducted and/or additional hardware is needed in order to achieve the expected/desired performance.
  • UXp provides objective metrics in support of Ongoing Monitoring of Application SLA performance.
  • UXp empirical data shows what is real, not what is guessed at or suspected.

An MSP’s perspective

Virtualization is widely viewed as the best route to improved flexibility and reduced dependence on hardware. But it is also known for performance problems and as a costly technology to deploy and maintain. Moreover, diagnosing virtualization traditionally is difficult for a variety of reasons.

To deal with these issues, OctoInsight has introduced its new fast, simple-to-use, end-user experience tool. Service providers can now install the lightweight agent, UXp, into the virtualization images to monitor end-user experience. “The beauty of this solution,” one MSP CEO observed, “is that whether you are using customized or uniformly sized VMs, you can pinpoint data bottlenecks, down to a single VM.”

This new technology provides a straight forward and easy-to-understand method for conveying crucial information very quickly, a function that ordinarily requires time-consuming troubleshooting. In this as in several other ways, it saves a lot of time that would otherwise be consumed diagnosing performance issues. Once UXp has collected sufficient data to be reflective of a computer’s typical workload, its User Experience Rating (UXR) becomes an essential guiding metric.

As shown in the screenshot above, UXp tells you precisely how much latency is being incurred and by what application and or website. It also identifies whether the problem is based on CPU, disk, memory, or a network connection.

UXR provides an objective basis for determining how a migration or system change (hardware, software) has affected User Experience. Use UXR to both compare exceptional/poor performing computers and also to compare a computer to itself over time as its usage, hardware and software change.

One MSP found that upgrading the disk drives on their customer-facing machines significantly reduced wait times and disk bottlenecks. The ROI of this improvement provided the basis for prioritizing upgrades to internal-facing machines as well, a double benefit.

In another familiar example, a global information technology consultant described a case in which customers had been made aware of a migration that was supposed to happen after hours on a Friday. The migration did not happen, and yet Monday morning a customer called to complain about how bad everything had become. UXp is useful in preempting this common “reverse placebo effect” by providing a factual basis for determining the validity of such claims and whether further investigation is needed.

The bottlenecks identified by the application
The same system showing the overall user experience rating (UXR) identified by program

We can see in the dashboard image above that x2jobtvh.exe is causing a significant lag compared to the other programs running. For example, in relative terms, it has incurred almost 44 times the latency vs Powerpoint. That is significant. UXp helped IT quickly to recognize the specific .exe as a Xerox print utility which notifies the user when print jobs are sent.

Since this was a non-essential service, IT could simply remove the unnecessary application that was inducing latency in the system. Without UXp revealing the performance impact, the company would not have known about this app and the quick fix would not have been made.

In isolation, this kind of issue is not a crisis. However, in a virtualized environment, having access to relevant information is often critical. Even one or two outlier programs can have a profound impact on your entire virtual deployment, especially when they occur in high-density deployments. Instead of buying additional hardware in the hope of fixing underlying performance problems, as is often done, OctoInsight’s UXp allows you to pinpoint them. In this case, it was quickly determined that the physical resources were fine and that the issue was simply a poorly written utility.

Using this solution to monitor and diagnose your virtualized environment makes practical sense and provides a high ROI by eliminating IT managers’ guesswork while improving your end users’ productivity and morale.