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Network Activity Monitoring For Citrix Servers

Citrix develop virtualization platforms for managing cloud, server and desktop virtual infrastructures. The most popular deployment scenario is where user desktop environments are virtualized. This means that no matter where you log on to the network you always get access to the same applications and services.

Virtualization does bring some problems for IT managers. How can you monitor who is accessing what on your network. On more traditional networks, user activity can be logged by monitoring what applications and servers that their systems connect to.

In a virtual environment the user connections are all routed through network cards on the Citrix server through a process similar to network address translation (NAT). This means that traffic hitting the application servers will all come from the Citrix server IP address and not the IP address of the virtual desktops. This can make it difficult to track down what client is accessing what.

XenApp

There is a solution to this problem and it is called Virtual IP Addresses (VIP). This is a feature of Citrix XenApp 6.x where all virtual clients are given their own unique IP address. Instead of a NAT type service you end up with bridging where the XenApp server acts as a bridge between the live and virtual networks.

How to enable  Remote Desktop IP Virtualization

Note: RD IP Virtualization is installed as part of the Remote Desktop Server Session Host role service, but by default it is set as “Not Enabled”

  1. Open the RD Session Host Configuration console.
  2. Locate the RD IP Virtualization setting.
  3. Double-click the IP Virtualization link to access the RD IP Virtualization properties dialog box.
  4. To enable Remote Desktop IP Virtualization, select the Enable IP virtualization check box.
  5. Check Select the network adapter to be used for IP Virtualization drop-down to list all the enabled network adapters that can be used for RD IP Virtualization.
  6. Select the appropriate network adapter to be used for RD IP Virtualization.
XenApp with VIP

This feature is not enabled by default on XenApp 6.x. One thing to watch out for is that when you enable this you will find that your DHCP address pools will fill up quickly. It is recommended that you shorten the duration of the lease time to free up IP addresses more quickly.