How to monitor Citrix NetScaler using SquaredUp

Jasper Van Damme

We’re pleased to present another guest blog from rising star of the SCOM community and all round good guy, Jasper Van Damme.

Jasper’s been busy publishing loads of great, new content on his blog including a step-by-step guide on how you can supplement your SCOM data with insights into the performance of your Citrix NetScalers by using SquaredUp’s WebAPI tile.

We’ve provided a copy of Jasper’s awesome work below, but if you’d like to read the original or take a look through Jasper’s other posts, you can access his blog directly here.

If you’d like some additional insight into what other systems and tools customers are integrating into SquaredUp via WebAPI, we recommend checking out the following thread on our Community Answers platform.

Enjoy!

Extending monitoring with SquaredUp Web API – A Citrix NetScaler example

By Jasper Van Damme

Today I will talk about an interesting use case for Citrix NetScaler monitoring with the SquaredUp Web API tile. Keep in mind that this is only used for visualization purposes, as the Web API tile will not alert on anything. I am using the Web API tile to supplement the NetScaler management pack with additional data.

The example I’m showing today is fairly straight forward, I had a few Citrix NetScaler counters missing in SCOM, which are available through the NetScaler API.

I wanted to see the current connections and data throughput for each load balanced service. As NetScaler licensing is based on throughput, it is interesting to know which load balanced service is consuming most bandwidth.

Keep in mind that you’ll need the Citrix NetScaler Management Pack (which was previously owned by Comtrade) if you want a virtual server specific statistic perspective. But, depending on how you set it up, this is not a requirement.

I have tested and implemented this with Netscaler v11.0 and up.

Configuration

To get API data in SquaredUp, the first thing you’ll have to do is create a read-only user in NetScaler. I’m not going to cover this as this process is fairly straight forward.

Once the user is created, we can create a new Web API Provider in SquaredUp.

Creating the provider

Visualizing the NetScaler API data

Once the provider is added, let’s create a dashboard!

In this case, I want statistics for all my virtual servers created on the NetScaler.

The API returns JSON data in this case, and the values we need are contained in lbvserver. If you want to show statistics for other types of objects, an overview can be found here.

After fiddling with the columns and giving the column headers a more friendly name, it looks like this:

Show data using the scalar view

Let’s add CPU Usage:

This reflects the first value that is returned for percpuuse

The end result loos like this:

Creating a perspective for each load balanced virtual server

The last thing I want to cover is creating a perspective for each load balanced virtual server in SquaredUp. This does not require the Comtrade Citrix NetScaler MP!

The end result should be a list containing all your monitored NetScaler appliances – something like this;

Configuring the perspective

Now create two columns in the perspective. I’ll walk you through creating this perspective:

To achieve this result, we’ll create seven Web API (Scalar) tiles. You can download the configurations required to get this data here.

Once configured and published, you should see this data for each virtual server.

The {{displayName}} value will make sure that the statistics are changed based on the virtual server you drilldown into. The ‘0’ in the response data represents the first value of the API response.

Summary

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the usefulness of the Web API tile. Remember you can combine SCOM data and Web API data as well, like this:

Obviously this is merely scratching the surface of what is possible with the NetScaler API, I just thought I’d share my insights with a few possibilities.

Best regards,
Jasper

Jasper Van Damme