New Features in the SysTrack 7.0 End-User Analytics Platform

Introduction

SysTrack 7.0 provides a wide set of product enhancements to both improve the ease of reporting and vastly extend the amount of data available. This document covers the major improvements and new features that expand the functionality of the SysTrack enduser analytics platform.

Data Visualization and Reporting Enhancements

Real-Time Graphing

The real-time reporting available in Resolve has been extended into Site and Enterprise Visualizer to allow for more advanced data presentation for individual endpoints, groups of systems, and across the enterprise. With this feature, functionality that previously depended on use of an installed application – the SysTrack Analysis Tools – can be performed entirely through a web browser. This offers a much more complete method for harvesting performance parameters, health characteristics, and session details for all systems as well as many infrastructure components – all easily through an intuitive web tool. Now multiple systems can be selected and graphed to show trends across platforms to easily find correlated events and issues (see figure 1). This data can also be exported directly into an Excel compatible format for simple analysis in an outside application. Reporting objects include:

  • SysTrack Collections
  • Virtual Infrastructure Servers
  • Storage Devices
  • Endpoints

Figure 1: A screenshot of the Analysis engine in Site Visualizer

SSRS Integration

SysTrack 7 provides advanced web based reporting leveraging SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to provide advanced reports in most of the SysTrack web tools. These reports include detailed software inventory analysis, system configuration, virtual infrastructure, and a wide variety of other important pieces of environmental information (see figure 2). All of these reports can be exported directly into an Excel spreadsheet, word document, or PDF file. Additional reports can also be easily imported into the tool on demand as new analytical requirements arise.

Figure 2: Embedded SSRS reporting in Site and Enterprise Visualizer

Dashboard Customization Tech Review

Dynamic Content Construction

The new Dashboard web application provides a dynamic method to construct customized views of any data in SysTrack. Using a simple drag and drop interface with an array of different information presentation components the SysTrack Dashboard tool can be used to create complex, real-time views into critical information on demand. These dashboards can also be saved, either within SysTrack or with a direct export to

SharePoint, and shared easily to provide a quick sharing. As an additional benefit this can also provide a method of presenting additional data from external sources in the context of SysTrack data. For example, information relating to GPU performance with hourly activity details from SysTrack to provide valuable trending information (figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3: The building blocks of a dashboard in SysTrack's Dashboard Builder

Figure 4: A sample dashboard for NVIDIA GPU utilization built in SysTrack's Dashboard Builder

Root Cause Analysis Enhancements

Comparative Analysis

A large component of the insight provided in SysTrack is based around first understanding the contextual performance of a system. Essentially, identifying how one system is performing relative to others in the enterprise or in a specific group provides a wealth of insight into the cause of issues that a system may be experiencing. In SysTrack 7 the Comparative Analysis engine provides a way to quickly compare an individual system to sets of other systems in the enterprise for most key performance metrics (figure 5).

Figure 5: An example of comparative analytics in SysTrack Resolve.

Real-Time Application and Health Reporting

One of the largest architectural changes implemented in SysTrack 7 is the introduction of a simple, continuous child system feed of real-time application usage and health to the master system. This makes use of a single UDP packet to condense information about current application activity and system health in an extremely efficient periodic stream. This adds a host of extremely valuable information for troubleshooting co-scheduled issues and potential resource conflicts as well as general trending for enterprise consumption of software and resources (figure 6).

Figure 6: Real-time application information in vScape showing aggregate impact of software in use in the enterprise

Virtual Infrastructure Monitoring

vScape: Host Performance Analysis

A newly introduced tool specifically targeted at monitoring virtual infrastructure and identifying the sources of environmental issues, vScape allows for partitioning health into a guest operating system view and an infrastructure view. The host infrastructure performance is now trended and given a health score calculated by SysTrack to provide an infrastructure health view to augment the guest health and usage analysis to quickly determine which layer of the environment is the cause of potential problems. This root cause differentiation makes use of the real-time health and application information in SysTrack to find which applications may be driving issues that result in guest system performance limitations based on concurrent resource demand and activity (figure 7).

Figure 7: A view of the virtual machine (VM or guest OS) health separated from the infrastructure health in vScape

Host Reporting Dataset

A newly introduced dataset provides a wealth of information about the virtual infrastructure in place in the environment. Summarizing the topology with datacenter and virtual machine manager references as well as detailing the host configurations (figure 8) and utilization, this dataset provides an at-a-glance reference to identify infrastructure components and oversubscription.

Figure 8: Some of the host information available in Enterprise Visualizer

Data Collection

Full Unicode Compliance

A critical design improvement introduced in SysTrack 7 is standardized support for Unicode in all aspects of data collection and reporting. This provides reporting for languages requiring double-byte character support, such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and many others (figure 9).

Figure 9: An example of a system name and OS requiring double-byte characters presented in Site Visualizer

UTC Utilization

All times captured by SysTrack now make use of UTC for standardization of timings. This prevents issues with systems that have time zone changes or potential configuration issues with an improper system time setting.

File Size Information

SysTrack 7 introduces the capture of space utilization by file types to provide insight into what types of files are most prevalent on endpoints. This also provides a way to further analyze the storage utilization on each system to see what the source of potential allocation issues may be.

Application Focus History

Another added data collection point as part of the standard set of application data is a record of what windows are in focus and active utilization by a user. This provides detailed analytical data to analyze how various applications are actively utilized and to watch workflows to plan out potential delivery option optimization.

Usability Enhancements

Enterprise and Site Visualizers

Advanced Filtering

The new advanced filtering options in Enterprise Visualizer and Site Visualizer provide a way to present complex sets of options to search for in datasets. Multiple criteria may be used for any filter, and any field in a dataset can be set up as a criteria for a filter operation (figure 10).

Figure 10: An example of an advanced filter with multiple criteria

Exportable Drill-ins

SysTrack 7 increases the total number of drill-in values to include most fields, and it also provides a mechanism to export the drill-in information directly to Excel (figure 11).

Figure 11: An exportable drill-in for software package utilization

Resolve

Time Markers

The currently selected time in the BlackBox Data Recorder in Resolve is now shown with a vertical bar to make the time in focus more clear (figure 12).

BlackBox Panel Customization

An additional feature in the BlackBox area is the ability to customize the panels available to select what data is displayed. Numerous options are available, like open connections, system resource utilization, active alarms, and many others. This provides a level of customization to make it easier to work with data presented in BlackBox for ease of analysis (figure 12).

Figure 12: BlackBox customization options available to present various datasets with graphical information

Exportable Dependency Chart

The Dependencies chart that lists intersystem connections for a given endpoint in Resolve is now directly exportable.

Transform

Additional Drill-ins

All reports in Transform have been greatly expanded with the ability to drill-in and access additional information for items like user readiness and package requirements. This makes it easier to identify limiting pathway items and what specific package needs user may have.

Master Collection Server

Architectural Update

In order to improve system performance and scalability the master agent has been changed to a 64-bit process to take fuller advantage of available system resources.

Virtual Machine Planner

Database Oriented Architecture

The Virtual Machine Planner has been completely migrated to a SQL database oriented architecture to optimize scalability and performance. This now provides the ability to run very large scale models (7k systems or more) much more efficiently to present reports in very short timeframes.

Conclusion

SysTrack 7 introduces a great deal of new features both for the collection and advanced presentation of critical end-user and infrastructure information. This provides an even more complete set of tools for proactive health management, utilization reporting, and end-user experience characterization for thorough understanding any environment.