New Features in the SysTrack 8 Workspace Analytics Platform

Introduction

SysTrack release 8 breaks new ground with features both revolutionary and evolutionary. This document covers the major improvements and new features that expand the functionality of the SysTrack workspace analytics platform.

Interface and technology redesign

The SysTrack suite, most notably SysTrack Resolve and SysTrack vScape, has been redesigned for style, consistency and ease-of-use. New interfaces and visualizations provide easier and more intuitive access to information.

Technology update

In nearly all of the web-based products, the underlying technology has been updated to use HTML5 for better performance and accessibility. Silverlight is no longer required for these tools.

SysTrack Resolve

SysTrack Resolve has been re-architected to use HTML5 and features a redesigned interface. All of the functionality from prior Resolve versions are available, as well as additional visualizations and data access.

System Dashboard and Health pages in SysTrack Resolve

SysTrack vScape

SysTrack vScape has also been re-architected to use HTML5 and a more intuitive interface. The Health Operations and Health Investigation pages allow users to quickly understand system status at different infrastructure levels.

Health Investigation and Health Operations pages in SysTrack vScape

Time Window tool

A new Time Window tool is used throughout the SysTrack suite. This common interface gives the user more control over the time window being viewed and makes manual adjustments much easier and more intuitive. In SysTrack Resolve's Dashboard and Black Box pages, the Time Window also provides the ability to auto-play the time progression allowing users to see the changes occurring on a system.

Time Window provides easier control over the time frame being viewed

Insight on workspace analytics

Ask SysTrack

Lakeside Software introduces a new product, Ask SysTrack, which leverages IBM Watson Cognitive Services to enable a natural language interface to get information from the SysTrack Workspace Analytics platform.

With Ask SysTrack, users can interactively analyze IT data with natural-language queries, and instantly see and understand the most important insights found in the data. Users can ask questions such as:

"Is user experience getting better or worse?"

"What applications are being used most often in my organization?"

"Which users are consuming the most bandwidth?"

Ask SysTrack natural language interface

The best-match suggested resource is presented, and the user can then drill down into the actual resource to continue their investigation in more depth. Additionally, a list of related topics is displayed that may relate to the original question.

Integration with external IT solutions

Ask SysTrack has been extended to complement external IT solutions including Citrix Director, VMware AirWatch and IBM MaaS360. This combination allows user to ask questions such as, "Are there any Citrix sessions in an unregistered state?" or "How many employees use iPhones?" The first question suggests information contained in the Citrix Director Home Page, and the second questions refers users to the VMware AirWatch Hub.

Questions in Ask SysTrack pertaining to information in Citrix Director and VMware AirWatch

As with any answer suggested by Ask SysTrack, the user can click on the Suggested Resource to open the actual application.

Additionally, user experience trending information from SysTrack is integrated with Citrix Director allowing users easy access to relevant data.

SysTrack user experience trend data available from Citrix Director

Workspace Analytics for ITSM

SysTrack Workspace Analytics for ITSM provides the ability to take a snapshot of the user's system when the service ticket is created. Service desk personnel can then use this snapshot of the SysTrack database to investigate the user's system with SysTrack Resolve without needing a direct connection the child system. SysTrack Workspace Analytics is paired initially with ServiceNow, a cloud-based service desk solution.

SysTrack Workspace Analytics for ITSM integration with ServiceNow incident interface

Visualization

SysTrack Visualizer

SysTrack Visualizer is a single, easy-to-navigate interface which provides access to several modules. These include Desktop (formerly Site Visualizer), Enterprise (formerly Enterprise Visualizer), Server (formerly Data Center Visualizer), Risk, Virtual Infrastructure, and Persona.

SysTrack Visualizer's Desktop and Enterprise modules with Dashboard page displayed

Those familiar with Enterprise Visualizer and Site Visualizer will notice that drop down and flyout menus have been replaced in version 8 with a navigation pane and icons for more intuitive interaction.

Navigation pane and icons replace drop down and flyout menus

Personas

A new SysTrack Visualizer Persona module uses real-time data to assign users into pre-defined workstyles and roles to better understand user work patterns and system requirements. Having these personas gives IT the ability to define how end users do their work and how their work can be made more productive.

The Persona module in SysTrack Visualizer distills users down to a manageable number of user types defined by workstyle (Deskbound, Non-Deskbound, Shared, and Industrial) and roles (Power, Knowledge, and Task). These personas are based on actual observed data collected through the SysTrack agent.

SysTrack Visualizer Persona module displaying summary of resource usage by persona, role and workstyle

Using the Persona module, IT can determine which applications are critical for each type of persona, and get a further breakdown of system and application use and resource consumption by specific user.

Risk visualization

The Risk module in SysTrack Visualizer assists in identifying areas of potential security risk including detailed information about user accounts, applications, and systems. Trends can be easily identified, as well as abrupt changes from the previous day's score.

SysTrack Visualizer Risk module showing

Virtual infrastructure visualization

The SysTrack Visualizer Virtual Infrastructure module provides insight into how virtual hosts are performing by displaying the key data points to analyze host usage and understand which hosts are over or under-utilized within an organization.

SysTrack Visualizer Virtual Infrastructure module showing average CPU usage by host

Permission-based and data-based visualization

Access to each SysTrack Visualizer module depends on the security settings set up by the System Administrator in SysTrack Deploy. If a user does not have permission to view a module, that tab will not appear in SysTrack Visualizer. In addition, if a user does not have access to a particular dataset, that dataset will not be listed in SysTrack Visualizer.

If there is no data to show in a dataset, that dataset will not be listed in SysTrack Visualizer.

SysTrack Dashboard visualization improvements

Role based security

View access to specific dashboards can be granted based on membership in a security role. These roles are defined in the new Security Editor in Dashboard Builder which allows the builder to create roles and add active directory users or groups to the roles. If no security role is applied to a dashboard, all users will be able to view the dashboard.

Security Role Editor in SysTrack Dashboard Builder

Drill down on chart

Drill down to Site Visualizer, Resolve, a dashboard, or custom URL is now available from a chart as well as a grid. Drilldown definitions are specified in the Column Settings page of the Query Data block, so will be applied to any attached grid and/or chart.

Technical infrastructure

Mac and Linux agents

Agents for macOS and Linux are available as a Technical Preview, providing early access to certain features of SysTrack for systems running macOS or Linux. As such, features are still under development and are subject to change. For more information please contact Lakeside Support.

Older agents

SysTrack version 8.2 includes support for version 7.2 and 8.1 agents deployed on child systems. Note that data for 8.2 features will not be available for child systems that have earlier agents installed.

Conclusion

SysTrack 8 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.