Citrix acquires Comtrade Management packs

Yesterday during the keynote of Citrix Summit the news was presented that Citrix acquired Comtrade management pack for Citrix environments. They did not acquire Comtrade, just the Citrix related management packs for Microsoft SCOM.
Let me start of with being positive, it’s always good news for customers if they need to work with less vendors. So Citrix offering management packs of there own, like they used to, is a good thing. That having said I want to go deeper into this acquisition, I have my reservation to the outcome.
Citrix used to have a monitoring solution, it was called Edgesight, several years ago Edgesight was deprecated and it was reborn in a different entity later on growing with features to what it is now. For those not familiar with Edgesight, read some of my blogs about it, here and here.
Edgesight reborn was pretty limited at first but was an integrated (we love integration) in their product allowing administrators to see the health of the environment for some level. It was lacking very important things, you couldn’t monitor anything outside the Citrix environment even though that was as important as the Citrix own components. 
Slowly they made progression and more end-to-end functionality from a Citrix perspective was added. With the insight addition it was pretty neat even showing insight in the Citrix connections.
It was however lacking real end-to-end capabilities for it still didn’t monitor the world outside the Citrix components and perhaps more important can’t be used when the database is down… but that’s another discussion. 

What’s offered? (from what is known now)

From what I understand you will be able to 

  • Open director from the management GUI. 
  • The alerts of SCOM can be shown in Director
  • You will get a topology view of Citrix components in SCOM
What kind of management packs are acquired and wil be available in Q1?
  • XenApp
  • XenDesktop
  • Storefront
  • Web interface
  • Provisioning services
  • License server
  • Netscaler
  • Cloud bridge
  • XenServer
The management packs of XenMobile and sharefile will be available also soon after.
Topology view is available with the Citrix components that are in the list above.

What does it mean?

The news yesterday that Citrix offers the management packs to be used with Microsoft SCOM was a surprise for I don’t see that much adoption of Microsoft SCOM. Most customers I talk to find it expensive to implement for you need management packs to make it a workable solution. Of course it is given to you by Microsoft if you pay enough licences somewhere else but out of the box it’s just basic resource monitoring. 
As soon as we add up the management packs and consultancy hours to implement it to offer some sort of end-to-end monitoring customers ask for alternatives, which are around.. Read my blog articles for the alternatives like eG Innovation, ControlUP or Goliath. Both products and features of them have been addressed here before, read about them

What am I missing from Citrix with the acquisition?

My initial thought was that they would offer the management packs for Microsoft SCOM and that they have an integration in Director/Edgesight to get the metrics for there. That would offer an administrator a single point of view of the complete environment, Citrix and outside world. It would make the Citrix monitoring solution more complete. 
Within Director that would be the way to go, Citrix knows the setup of the components and could create a framework to allow metric to show status of those components creating an end-to-end overview of the environment combining Edgesight and SCOM metrics.
From what I understand from it, they will integrate some alerts in Director to act upon for administrators but they will not integrate the metrics of Microsoft SCOM. The topology view that you will see in Microsoft SCOM is the Citrix view that you would want to see in director, added to that you would the topology to be extended to e.g. DNS and DHCP and some other components like vCenter or Hyper-v.

It looks good that they started of with some integration, alerts, but I hope they will make sure the singe pane of glass will work from Director and not from Microsoft SCOM in the near future. Administrators work from Director to manage the environment, SCOM is only a tool in the network.
Have a great Summit 🙂

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