NetScaler Management and Analytics System (MAS) 12

Last Modified: May 6, 2017 @ 10:44 am

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Planning

NetScaler MAS is a replacement for NetScaler Insight Center, Command Center, and Control Center. It’s a combination of these three different tools.

MAS Licensing – appliance instance management is free (unlimited). Analytics and Application monitoring are free for up to 30 vServers. Beyond 30 vServers, licenses can be purchased in 100 vServer packs. See NetScaler MAS Licensing at Citrix Docs.

MAS version – The version/build of NetScaler MAS must be the same or newer than the version/build of the NetScaler appliances being monitored.

HDX Insight Requirements (AppFlow Analytics for ICA traffic):

  • Your NetScaler appliance must be running Enterprise Edition or Platinum Edition.
  • NetScaler must be 10.1 or newer.
  • HDX Insight works with the following Receivers:
    • Receiver for Windows must be 3.4 or newer.
    • Receiver for Mac must be 11.8 or newer.
    • Receiver for Linux must be 13 or newer.
    • Notice no mobile Receivers. See the Citrix Receiver Feature Matrix for the latest details.
  • For ICA Session Reliability with AppFlow: NetScaler 10.5 build 54 and newer.
    • For ICA Session Reliability, AppFlow, and NetScaler High Availability: NetScaler 11.1 build 49 and newer.
  • Internally, when a user clicks an icon from StoreFront, an ICA connection is established directly from Receiver to the VDA, thus bypassing the internal NetScaler. To produce AppFlow statistics, here are some methods of getting ICA traffic to flow through an internal NetScaler:
  • For ICA round trip time calculations, in a Citrix Policy, enable the following settings:
    • ICA > End User Monitoring > ICA Round Trip Calculation
    • ICA > End User Monitoring > ICA Round Trip Calculation Interval
    • ICA > End User Monitoring > ICA Round Trip Calculation for Idle Connections

Citrix CTX204274 How ICA RTT is calculated on NetScaler Insight: ICA RTT constitutes the actual application delay. ICA_RTT = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +5 +6:

  1. Client OS introduced delay
  2. Client to NS introduced network delay (Wan Latency)
  3. NS introduced delay in processing client to NS traffic (Client Side Device Latency)
  4. NS introduced delay in processing NS to Server (XA/XD) traffic (Server Side Device Latency)
  5. NS to Server network delay (DC Latency)
  6. Server (XA/XD) OS introduced delay (Host Delay)

Import MAS Appliance

You can use either the vSphere Client, or the vSphere Web Client, to import the appliance. In vSphere Client, open the File menu, and click Deploy OVF Template. vSphere Web Client instructions are shown below.

  1. Download NetScaler MAS for ESX, and then extract the .zip file.
  2. In vSphere Web Client, right-click a cluster, and click Deploy OVF Template.
  3. In the Select source page, select Local file, and browse to the NetScaler MAS .ovf files. If vCenter 6.5+, select all three files. Click Next.
  4. In the Review details page, click Next.
  5. In the Select name and folder page, enter a name for the virtual machine, and select an inventory folder. Then click Next.
  6. In the Select a resource page, select a cluster or resource pool, and click Next.
  7. In the Select storage page, select a datastore. If a single appliance, or if a database appliance, due to high IOPS, SSD or Flash is recommended.
  8. Change the virtual disk format to Thin Provision. Click Next.
  9. In the Setup networks page, choose a valid port group, and click Finish.
  10. In the Ready to Complete page, check the box next to Power on after deployment, and click Finish.
  11. Before powering on the appliance, you can review its specs.
  12. If you see a message about Invalid guestid in Configinfo, then you’ll have to upgrade the VM hardware version first. VM hardware version 4 seems to be too old.

    1. Right-click the NetScaler MAS appliance, expand Compatibility, and click Upgrade VM Compatibility.
    2. Select at least hardware version 7.
  13. Now you can review the default specs.
  14. Citrix Docs How to Attach an Additional Disk to NetScaler MAS: power off appliance, add a second disk that’s larger than the first, then power on the appliance. Note: you can only add one disk. Use the MAS storage calculator to determine the recommended size of the disk.

    • Enabling more features on MAS means more disk space. MAS features that consume large amounts of disk space include:Web/SSL Insight, and Advanced Analytics. SNMP/Syslog/Network Reports have a configurable purge interval.
  15. Power on the VM if it’s not running already.
  16. If you see a message about freeBSD not being supported, then you might have to upgrade the VM Hardware Compatibility Level. VM hardware version 4 seems to be too old.

    1. Right-click the NetScaler MAS appliance, expand Compatibility and click Upgrade VM Compatibility.
    2. Select at least hardware version 7.

Appliance IP Configuration and Deployment Modes

  1. Open the console of the virtual machine.
  2. Configure an IP address.
  3. Enter 7 when done.
  4. When prompted for Deployment Type, enter 1 for NetScaler MAS Server. The first appliance must always be NetScaler MAS Server.
  5. Other deployment options:
    1. Notice the option for Remote Backup Node.
    2. Also notice the new Telemetry Node for Advanced Analytics. For the telemetry node, the root password for this system is freebsd. Advanced Analytics requires NetScaler 12.
    3. Scale-out mode is currently not supported, so don’t select Connector NodeDatabase Node, or MAS Agent.

    4. For Advanced Analytics (Telemetry Node), when enabling AppFlow on a vServer, select Logstream.
    5. On the NetScaler instance, this adds the telemetry node as a logstream AppFlow collector.

MAS High Availability

For the initial release of MAS 12.0, Citrix does not recommend enabling HA mode due to increased resource usage. This issue should be resolved in the next MAS version released around June 2017. An alternative to HA is the Remote Backup Node.

  1. If you want to deploy two NetScaler MAS appliances and HA pair them, enter no for Standalone, and yes for First Server Node.
    1. Note: HA is only for database redundancy. All other traffic (SNMP, AppFlow) only goes to one node.
  2. Enter Yes to reboot.
  3. Deploy another appliance.
  4. This time, when asked if First Server Node, enter no. You will then be asked for the IP address of the first node. Enter the nsroot password.

MAS Maintenance

Getting Started

  1. Once you’ve built all of the nodes, point your browser to the primary NetScaler MAS IP address, and login as nsroot/nsroot.
  2. If you see CUXIP, either Skip or Enable the Customer User Experience Improvement Program.
  3. Click Get Started
  4. If you did a standalone deployment, select Single Server Deployment, click Next, and skip to the next section to Add Instances.
  5. If you deployed high availability appliances, select Two servers deployed in High Availability Mode, and click Next.
  6. It should show both nodes. Click Deploy on the top right.
  7. Click Yes to reboot the appliances.
  8. If you login to one of the appliances, at System > Deployment, you’ll see the performance of each node. Notice the Break HA icon on the top right.

  9. You can manage the pair by logging in to either node.
  10. Or you can load balance the pair. Load Balancing is only useful for administration. All other communications (e.g.  SNMP, AppFlow) go directly to one of the nodes. See High Availability Deployment at Citrix Docs for load balancing instructions.

Add Instances

NetScaler MAS must discover NetScaler instances before they can be managed. Citrix Docs How NetScaler MAS Discovers Instances.

  1. On the Add New Instances page, click + New near the top right.

  2. Enter the NSIP address of a NetScaler appliance.
  3. Click the pencil next to ns_nsroot_profile.
  4. Enter the password for the nsroot account.
  5. Enter an SNMP v2 community string or SNMP v3 Security Name that NetScaler MAS will configure on the appliance.
  6. The NetScaler Profile defaults to using https for instance communication. You can change it by unclicking Use global settings for NetScaler communication. Click OK.
  7. Then click OK to add the instance.
  8. A progress window will appear.
  9. You can add more instances, or just click Finish.
  10. To add more instances later, click the top left hamburger icon, go to Networks > Instances, select the Instance type, and on the right, click Add.

Licenses

Virtual Server License Packs

Without licenses, you can enable analytics features on only 30 Virtual Servers. You can install additional licenses in 100 Virtual Server packs. More info at NetScaler MAS Licensing at Citrix Docs.

  1. Go to Networks> Licenses > System Licenses to see the number of currently installed licenses, and the number of managed virtual servers.
  2. On the left, go to Networks > Licenses.
  3. On the right, notice the Host ID.
  4. At mycitrix.com, allocate your NetScaler MAS licenses to this Host ID.
  5. Then use the Browse button to upload the allocated license file.
  6. Click Finish after uploading the license file to apply it.
  7. The License Expiry Information section shows you the number of installed licenses and when they expire.
  8. You can use the Notification Settings section to email you when licenses are almost fully consumed or about to expire.

Allocate licenses to Virtual Servers 

You can manually unassign a MAS Virtual Server license and reassign it to a different Virtual Server.

  1. Go to Networks > Licenses > System Licenses to see the number of Allowed Virtual Servers.
  2. On the top right, click Modify licensed Virtual Servers.
  3. In the top row, select the type of Virtual Server you want to unlicense or license.
  4. Select one or more Virtual Servers, and click the Mark Unlicensed button. Only the licensed Virtual Servers are listed.
  5. Click Yes when asked to mark unlicensed.
  6. The unlicensed Virtual Servers won’t be removed from the list until you click the Finish button.
  7. Back in Modify licensed Virtual Servers, to allocate a license to a Virtual Server, click the Add Virtual Servers button.
  8. Select the Virtual Server(s) you want to allocate, and click Select.
  9. Click Finish when done.

Enable AppFlow / Insight

  1. Go to Networks > Instances > Instance type (e.g. NetScaler VPX).
  2. Right-click an instance, and then click Enable/Disable Insight.
  3. At the top of the page are boxes you can check.
  4. With Load Balancing selected in the View list, right-click your StoreFront load balancer, and click Enable AppFlow.
  5. Type in true.
  6. if you want Advanced Analytics, change the Transport Mode selection to Logstream instead of IPFIX. This assumes you have a MAS Telemetry Node.
  7. Select Web Insight.
  8. If App Firewall is enabled on the vServer, then also select Security Insight.
  9. HTML Injection injects JavaScript in HTTP responses to measure page load times.
  10. Click OK.

  11. Use the View drop-down to select VPN.
  12. Right-click a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server, and click Enable AppFlow.
  13. In the Select Expression drop-down, select true.
  14. For Export Option, select ICA and HTTP, and click OK. The HTTP option is for Gateway Insight.
  15. The TCP option is for the second appliance in double-hop ICA. If you need double-hop, then you’ll also need to run set appflow param -connectionChaining ENABLED on both appliances. See Enabling Data Collection for NetScaler Gateway Appliances Deployed in Double-Hop Mode at Citrix Docs for more information.

  16. By default, with AppFlow enabled, if a NetScaler High Availability pair fails over, all Citrix connections will drop, and users must reconnect manually. NetScaler 11.1 build 49 adds a new feature to replicate Session Reliability state between both HA nodes.
    1. From Session Reliability on NetScaler High Availability Pair at Citrix Docs: Enabling this feature will result in increased bandwidth consumption, which is due to ICA compression being turned off by the feature, and the extra traffic between the primary and secondary nodes to keep them in sync.
    2. If you still want this feature, on a NetScaler 11.1 build 49 and newer appliance, go to System > Settings.
    3. On the right, in the Settings section, click Change ICA Parameters.
    4. Check the box next to Session Reliability on HA Failover, and click OK.
  17. AppFlow (e.g. HDX Insight) information can be viewed in NetScaler MAS under the Analytics node.

Citrix Blog Post – NetScaler Insight Center – Tips, Troubleshooting and Upgrade

Enable Syslog on Instance

MAS can configure Syslog on the NetScaler instances, including sending Syslog to MAS.

  1. Go to Networks > Configuration Jobs.
  2. On the right, click Create Job.
  3. Give the job a name.
  4. Change the Configuration Source drop-down to Inbuilt Template.
  5. On the left, drag the NSConfigureSyslogServer blue text to the right side of the screen. Notice that this job uses variables.
  6. On the bottom, click Next.
  7. On the Select Instances page, click Add Instances.
  8. Select one or more instances, and click OK.
  9. Click Next.
  10. In the Specify Variable Values page, switch to the Common Variable Values for all instances tab.
  11. Enter the Syslog server IP address (e.g. MAS IP address). Click Next.
  12. In the Job Preview page, review the commands it’s going to run, and click Next.
  13. In the Execute page, click Finish.
  14. The job will eventually say Completed.

Nsroot Password

  1. In MAS, go to Users > User Administration > Users.
  2. On the right, right-click the nsroot account, and click Edit.
  3. Enter a new password.
  4. You can also specify a session timeout. Click OK.

Management Certificate

The certificate to upload must already be in PEM format. If you have a .pfx, you must first convert it to PEM (separate certificate and key files). You can use NetScaler to convert the .pfx, and then download the converted certificate from the appliance.

  1. Go to System > System Administration.
  2. On the right, in the Set Up NetScaler MAS section, click Install SSL Certificate.
  3. Click Choose File to browse to the PEM format certificate and key files. If the keyfile is encrypted, enter the password. Click OK.
  4. Click Yes to reboot the system.

System Configuration

  1. Go to System > System Administration.
  2. On the right, modify settings (e.g.Change Time Zone) as desired.

  3. To change the Session Timeout, click Change System Settings.

  4. Configure SSL Settings lets you disable TLS 1 and TLS 1.1 by clicking the Protocol Settings section in the Edit Settings section on the right side of the screen.

  5. In the right column, under Policy Administration, are additional settings. For example, System Prune Settings, which defaults to deleting system events, Audit Logs, and Task Logs after 15 days. System events are generated by the MAS appliance, which contrasts with Instance events (SNMP traps) that are generated by NetScaler appliances.

  6. System Backup Settings lets you export MAS backups to an external file server.

  7. On the left are Instance Settings.
  8. Events prune Settings controls when instance SNMP traps are pruned, which defaults to 40 days.

  9. Instances Backup Settings lets you configure the number of backup files to retain for each instance. There’s also an option to backup the NetScaler config whenever the configuration is saved.

  10. If you are sending Syslog from instances to MAS, Syslog Purge Settings controls when the log entries are purged. You can even configure different purge intervals for different types of NetScaler Gateway log entries.

  11. There are more settings under System > Analytics Settings.
  12. ICA Session Timeout can be configured by clicking the link. Two minutes of non-existent traffic must occur before the session is considered idle. Then this idle timer starts.

  13. On the left, click System > NTP Servers.
  14. On the right, click Add.
  15. Enter an NTP server, and click Create.

  16. After adding NTP servers, click NTP Synchronization.
  17. Check the box next to Enable NTP Synchronization, and click OK.
  18. Click Yes to restart.
  19. Go to System > Auditing > Syslog Servers.
  20. On the right, click Add.
  21. Enter the syslog server IP address, and select Log Levels. Click Create.
  22. You can click Syslog Parameters to change the timezone and date format.

System Email Notifications

  1. Go to System > Notifications > Email.
  2. On the right, on the Email Servers tab, click Add.
  3. Enter the SMTP server address, and click Create.
  4. On the right, switch to the Email Distribution List tab, and click Add.
  5. Enter an address for a destination distribution list, and click Create.
  6. On the left, click System > Notifications.
  7. On the right, click Change Notification Settings.
  8. Move notification categories (e.g. UserLogin) to the right.
  9. Check the box next to Send Email. Select a notification distribution list. Then click OK.

Authentication

  1. Go to System > Authentication > LDAP.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. This is configured identically to NetScaler. Enter a Load Balancing VIP for LDAP. Change the Security Type to SSL, and Port to 636. Scroll down.
  4. Enter the Base DN in LDAP format.
  5. Enter the bind account credentials.
  6. Check the box for Enable Change Password.
  7. Click Retrieve Attributes, and scroll down.
  8. For Server Logon Attribute, select sAMAccountName.
  9. For Group Attribute, select memberOf.
  10. For Sub Attribute Name, select cn.
  11. To prevent unauthorized users from logging in, configure a Search Filter. Scroll down.
  12. If desired, configure Nested Group Extraction.
  13. Click Create.
  14. On the left, go to System > User Administration > Groups.
  15. On the right, click Add.
  16. Enter the case sensitive name of your NetScaler Admins AD group.
  17. Move the admin Permission to the right. Click Next.
  18. On the Select Applications page, click Next.
  19. You can optionally configure a session timeout, which defaults to 15 minutes. Click Finish.
  20. On the left, go to System > User Administration.
  21. On the right, click User Lockout Configuration.
  22. If desired, check the box next to Enable User Lockout, and configure the maximum logon attempts. Click OK.
  23. On the left, go to System > Authentication.
  24. On the right, click Authentication Configuration.
  25. Change the Server Type to EXTERNAL, and click Insert.
  26. Select the LDAP server you created, and click OK.
  27. Make sure Enable fallback local authentication is checked, and click OK.

Analytics Thresholds

  1. Go to System > Analytics Settings > Thresholds.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a name.
  4. Use the Traffic Type drop-down to select HDXWeb, or Security.
  5. Use the Entity drop-down to select a category of alerts. What you choose here determines what’s available in the Rule section.
  6. Check the box to Enable Alert.
  7. Check the box to Notify through Email.
  8. In the Rule section, select a rule, and enter threshold values. Click Create.

Geo Map

  1. Download the Maxmind database from http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCity.dat.gz.
  2. Extract the .gz file.
  3. On the left, go to System > Advanced Settings, and click Geo Database Files.
  4. On the right, click Upload.
  5. Browse to the extracted GeoLiteCity.dat file, and click Open.
  6. You can also define Geo locations for internal subnets. Go to Networks > Sites > Private IP Blocks.
  7. On the right, click Add.
  8. Enter a name for the subnet.
  9. Enter the starting and ending IP address.
  10. Select a Geo Location (Country, Region, City).
  11. Click Create.
  12. On the left, go to Networks > Sites.
  13. On the right, click Add.
  14. Give the site a name.
  15. Click Add IP Block.
  16. Select one or more IP Blocks and click Select.
  17. Click Create.

Instance Email Alerts (SNMP Traps)

You can receive email alerts whenever a NetScaler appliance sends a critical SNMP trap.

  1. On the left, go to Networks > Events > Rules.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the rule a name.
  4. Move Severity filters (e.g. Major, Critical) to the right by clicking the plus icon next to each Severity.
  5. While scrolling down, you can configure additional alert filters.
  6. On the bottom of the page, click Add Action.
  7. Select an Action Type (e.g. Send e-mail Action).
  8. Select the recipients (or click the plus icon to add recipients).
  9. Optionally, enter a Subject and/or Message.
  10. Emails can be repeated by selecting Repeat Email Notification until the event is cleared.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Then click Create.
  13. See the Event Management section at MAS How-to articles at Citrix Docs.

Director Integration

Integrating NetScaler MAS with Director adds Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views. Citrix Blog Post Configure Director with Netscaler Management & Analytics System (MAS)

Requirements:

  • XenApp/XenDesktop must be licensed for Platinum Edition. This is only required for the Director integration. Without Platinum, you can still access the HDX Insight data by going visiting the NetScaler MAS website.
  • Director must be 7.11 or newer for NetScaler MAS support.
  • NetScaler MAS must be 11.1 build 49 or newer.

To link Citrix Director with NetScaler MAS:

  1. On the Director server, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /confignetscaler.
  2. Enter the NetScaler MAS nsroot credentials.
  3. If HTTPS Connection (recommended), the NetScaler MAS certificate must be valid and trusted by both the Director Server and the Director user’s browser.
  4. Enter 1 for NetScaler MAS.
  5. Do this on both Director servers.

Use NetScaler MAS

The AppFlow Analysis tools (e.g. HDX Insight) are located under the Analytics node.

NetScaler MAS also includes all previous Command Center functionality, which you can find on the Networks nodes. For example, at Networks > Instances, select an instance, and view its Dashboard.

Backups are available by right-clicking an instance and clicking View Backup.

Networks > Network Reporting > NetScaler let you view Instance performance data.

Dave Bretty Automating Your Netscaler 11.1 Vserver Config Using Netscaler Management and Analytics System: use a Configuration Job to deploy StoreFront load balancing configuration to an instance.

Applications > Dashboard automatically includes all licensed vServers in the Others section. On the top right, click Define Custom App to group vServers together into an application. The grouped vServers are removed from the Others list.

The Applications Node has quite a bit of functionality. See Application Analytics and Management at Citrix Docs for details.

Links:

HDX Insight

HDX Insight Dashboard displays ICA session details including the following:

  • WAN Latency
  • DC Latency
  • RTT (round trip time)
  • Retransmits
  • Application Launch Duration
  • Client Type/Version
  • Bandwidth
  • Licenses in use

HDX Insight can also display Geo Maps. Configure NetScaler MAS with Data Center definitions (private IP blocks). More info at Geo Maps for HDX Insight at Citrix Docs.

Gateway Insight

In the Analytics node is Gateway Insight.

This feature displays the following details:

  • Gateway connection failures due to failed EPA scans, failed authentication, failed SSON, or failed application launches.
  • Bandwidth and Bytes Consumed for ICA and other applications accessed through Gateway.
  • # of users
  • Session Modes (clientless, VPN, ICA)
  • Client Operating Systems
  • Client Browsers

More details at Gateway Insight at Citrix Docs.

Security Insight

The Security Insight dashboard uses data from Application Firewall to display Threat Index (criticality of attack), Safety Index (how securely NetScaler is configured), and Actionable Information. More info at Security Insight at Citrix Docs.

Troubleshooting

Citrix CTX215130 HDX Insight Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Guide: Syslog messages; Error counters; Troubleshooting checklist, Logs

Citrix Blog Post NetScaler Insight Center – Tips, Troubleshooting and Upgrade

See Citrix Docs Troubleshooting Tips. Here are sample issues covered in Citrix Docs:

  • Can’t see records on Insight Center dashboard
  • ICA RTT metrics are incorrect
  • Can’t add NetScaler appliance to inventory
  • Geo maps not displaying

Upgrade NetScaler MAS

  1. Download the latest Upgrade Pack for NetScaler Management and Analytics System.
  2. Login to NetScaler MAS.
  3. Go to System > System Administration.
  4. On the right, in the right pane, click Upgrade NetScaler MAS.
  5. Browse to the Software Image Upgrade Pack .tgz file, and click OK.
  6. Click Yes to reboot the appliance.
  7. After it reboots, login. The new firmware version will be displayed in the top right corner.

3 thoughts on “NetScaler Management and Analytics System (MAS) 12”

  1. Hi Carl, when i try and log in with my ad account after following your instructions, i get “User not authorized for any operation” are you able to shed any light?

    1. It the group assigned the admin role? The second page of the add group wizard lets you assign MAS entities.

      The MAS group name matches the AD Group name (case sentsitive)?

Leave a Reply