Performance Monitoring Part 9 - EdgeSight vs. Resource Manager for XenApp

After several articles in this series have covered Windows server in general, I’d like to return to the topic of Windows-based terminal servers. But instead of talking about the concepts, the theory and technology of performance monitoring, this article compares two competing tools for monitoring terminal server environments: Citrix Presentation Server Resource Manager and Citrix EdgeSight.

This article is not meant to compare all available monitoring solutions as both fit in the same niche on the markets. My goal is to urge everybody to drop Resource Manager in favour of EdgeSight.

Introducing both solutions

Resource Manager is a component shipping with Presentation Server for a long time. By installing Resource Manager on a XenApp server, an additional component is responsible for collecting performance data on all servers. This data is aggregated on a daily basis and collected by the Farm Metric Server. This role has a primary and a secondary instance to ensure its availability. The Farm Metric Server stores the data inside the configured database through the Database Connection Server represented by a XenApp server.

Resource Manager data handling

EdgeSight has a very similar design. Although data is also collected on all servers, this is done by an agent independent of XenApp which allows for additional platforms to be monitored, e.g. endpoints. The XenApp agent is responsible for collecting performance data and uploading the data to the EdgeSight server on a daily basis. The EdgeSight server stores the data provided by the agent inside its database. The web-based console offers a large number of reports rendered by MS SQL Server Reporting Services.

EdgeSight data handling


After introducing the architecture of both solutions, this category presents some important properties of the components involved.

EdgeSight introduces more prerequisites than Resource Manager and is, therefore, more work to set up. But the architecture allows for additional features like client monitoring and multi-tenancy.


This category regards the administrative features of both monitoring solutions.

EdgeSight is inherently easier to manage concerning the configuration, the rollout of new agents and the automation of the monitoring infrastructure.

Data Collection

The following bullets discuss how the products collect data and what data is obtained from the monitored systems.

Concerning data collection, EdgeSight is able to score although it does not collect custom performance metrics. It rather provides a sensible set of aggregated counters by default. In addition, EdgeSight collects and analyzes more important data than Resource Manager.

Data Visualization

Although collecting data from different source on a system is a very useful feature, a performance monitoring solution must be able to visualize the data. Otherwise, humans have trouble taking in the important details.

EdgeSight clearly dominates the category about data visualization due to the numerous reports visualizing all the collected data.


Both monitoring solutions are important additions to such a XenApp environment. The fact that EdgeSight offers many reports to visualize the collected data makes it better suited. Administrator need to be able to retrieve the necessary data immediately instead of building a new report every time they require an additional piece of information.

Citrix has been offering Resource Manager as part of XenApp Enterprise Edition for a long time. But early in 2009, a basic edition of EdgeSight was released to offer customers an alternative to Resource Manager. The fully functional edition is only available in XenApp Platinum Edition. Licenses for endpoint agent must be purchased separately for both editions of EdgeSight.

Overall, I recommend that you take a look at EdgeSight if you have already licensed XenApp Enterprise Edition or above as it offers a more advanced solution for monitoring the environment.

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