Aternity Glossary

Active Time

The active time of an application is the time when it is running, in the foreground, and the user is actively interacting with it (NOT waiting for it while it is busy trying to respond). It is calculated as the usage time minus the wait time. A web application is in the foreground when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

This measurement is NOT connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications, or to the quality of Skype calls (MOS).

Activity

An activity is a user action which you monitor for performance, like a mouse click or a key press, to measure the time until the app's GUI responds, known as the activity response time. In Aternity, you can compare response times in any app across the enterprise, and troubleshoot performance by seeing when they perform slower. For example, you can monitor the launch of an application, or the time it takes for an application to respond to a menu choice.

Aternity has many predefined activities, or you can define your own custom activity for any action in any application, to monitor the performance of the key actions which users perform in your business applications.

An activity measures the time between a user action and the app's response

Activity, Predefined

Aternity comes with default predefined activities out of the box, for popular business applications. For example, there are many predefined activities for the applications in Microsoft Office, like Outlook's open mail or send mail. There are predefined activities for Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, all in English), Microsoft Skype for Business and Citrix WorxMail for mobile devices.

Activity Response (Time)

An activity response is the time taken for an application to complete an activity in seconds. The time also has a severity status based on its expected (baselined) time. For example, if the time required to launch an application is much slower than recent baselined measurements, it might be classed as Major.

Activity response is the time an application takes to perform the activity

The response times of activities are split into client time ( light blue), and the combination or union of the backend time ( dark blue) and the network time ( blue).

Activity response time splits into network, server and client time

Use the actual response times (not scores) to check the performance of chronic (long term) problems. You cannot rely on measurements based on the recent baselines, as those responses would be chronically slow for some time, thereby skewing baselines to make those times look normal.

Administrator in Aternity

An Administrator of Aternity would typically include all the capabilities of a power user, but also include adding and managing users and their privileges in the system.

Allocate, Automatic (License)

Aternity automatically allocates license units whenever a device requests to report its performance. By default, Aternity reserves your manually allocated licenses, then automatically grants requests from any device type until it reaches the total licenses allowed. You can also limit the number of licenses for each type of device. For example, if you purchase 1000 license units, you can set a limit of up to 300 B2E mobile devices.

After manually or automatically allocating license units to end user devices, they remain occupied until the user/device stops reporting to Aternity for 14 consecutive days (non configurable). After that, Aternity automatically releases the license, making it available for another user/device.

Allocate, Manual (License)

You can manually allocate a license unit to reserve it for a specific physical device (via its hostname or device ID) or virtual session (via its username), to guarantee that Aternity grants a license to monitor this device.

After manually or automatically allocating license units to end user devices, they remain occupied until the user/device stops reporting to Aternity for 14 consecutive days (non configurable). After that, Aternity automatically releases the license, making it available for another user/device.

Apdex-Inspired Formula

Our Apdex-inspired formula creates a score of activities by condensing many activity statuses into a single number between zero and 100. It is based on the Apdex measuring standard, but is enhanced to include the additional Critical status.

The formula adds together the number of activities which have the status Normal , half the number of Minor activities, zero Major activities and minus one times the number of Critical activities. It then divides this by the total number of all activities and multiplies by 100.

This final score is also given a standard Apdex status name and color.

Apdex-inspired fomula

App (Mobile, Monitored)

A monitored mobile app is a regular iOS or Android app which has Aternity's monitoring functionality inside, enabling it to report app performance like launch times, errors, crashes, network traffic, and also custom activities performance, and some mobile device data.

To add monitoring to a mobile app, you must embed Aternity's monitoring into the app itself, before it is encrypted. This automatically starts reporting a wealth of performance and usage data by default. Use the Aternity Wrapper to add monitoring without accessing the app's source code, or use the Aternity Mobile SDK if you have access to the source code, and also want to tweak monitoring with API calls.

Application (Desktop)

A desktop application runs locally on your device, and is usually launched with a file such as an exe file. You can manage native Windows or Mac desktop applications, and Java applications that run in the Java virtual machine.

Application (Discovered)

Aternity automatically discovers and monitors all Windows applications (desktop, web and virtual) with zero configuration, when they run on a monitored device. It automatically monitors their wait times, UXI, and health events. In web (cloud) applications, it automatically monitors web errors and page load times. In virtual applications it also monitors remote display latency.

Monitored mobile apps also report wait times, health events and UXI, but these first require adding monitoring functionality to the app.

To prevent the discovery and monitoring of an application, like a screensaver, contact Aternity SaaS Administration to blacklist its process name.

Application (Managed)

A managed application has enhanced monitoring over a regular discovered application, because it adds default activities which track its launch times, resource consumption (PRC), and you can further add your own custom activities. For managed apps on Apple Macs, Aternity monitors the PRC only. Regular discovered applications only monitor the default performance measures, like application health, UXI, wait times and so on. You can add any application to be managed: desktop applications, web applications, or mobile apps (iOS and Android), running locally or in virtual environments.

For desktop applications, Aternity monitors its Windows process (as viewed in the Task Manager). For web applications, it monitors a base URL. For mobile applications, it monitors the package or bundle ID.

Application (Web)

Web (or cloud) applications have a user interface accessed via a web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox and Microsoft Internet Explorer), like an online mail application. Aternity automatically monitors the performance of all web applications (as well as desktop and mobile applications).

Add a web application as a managed application so it appears as a distinct application in the dashboards, to monitor its performance separately from other web applications. You can create activities for specific page loads in a managed web application, or create your own custom activities.

Application Event

You can customize your own application events to count the number of times something happened in your application, like the number of errors, or the number of times people used a specific feature, or to measure the response time of a non-standard activity.

There are three types of application events:

  • Application Usage Duration is for measuring the time to complete a non-typical complex business activity, like one which includes application response times mixed with time waiting for the user. For example, use this to measure the time required for a user to identify a customer at the beginning of a call.

  • Application Usage Event is for counting the times when an event occurred, or when it is not easy to identify the end event of an activity. For example, if you want to track the number of times when people shared their desktop in Skype for Business, track this as an application usage event, and assign a Category to different types of usage events.

  • Application Error Events are for tracking the occurrence of errors. Each error has a Category, or type of error, and a Details field, which contains details of the event or error.

Count a custom application event

Contact Aternity SaaS Administration to create your own application events.

Asset

In Aternity, an asset is known as a device.

Aternity

SteelCentral Aternity™ monitors the performance of applications and devices from the end user perspective, so you can measure and improve the productivity of your workforce. It monitors your digital experience on the device by installing a lightweight Agent for End User Devices, which runs in the background on all monitored devices in your organization. Our presence on the end user's device (not remotely on a server) offers unique insights into the performance delays of applications and devices as the users themselves experience them.

Aternity builds a broader picture of efficiency across your entire organization by measuring the performance of all applications, like their wait times, and the performance of devices, like their boot times or resource usage. It also helps keep track of your inventory, and can monitor the impact of large changes or migrations. It displays these insights using simple, powerful, and intuitive dashboards, or alternatively you can access the data directly via REST APIs. This enables IT teams to proactively troubleshoot issues, by exposing delays and problems from the end users' viewpoint.

Aternity is part of the wider SteelCentral Suite. Although traditional APM products provide some aspects of EUEM (End User Experience Monitoring), only the SteelCentral Suite gives end-to-end visibility, showing the real user experience, and tracing problems all the way to the back end servers.

The types available are Aternity SaaS or Aternity on-premise.

Aternity Activity Designer

Aternity Activity Designer is a visual tool for creating custom activities for desktop and mobile applications without requiring any programming knowledge. Designer enables you to pinpoint the UI events that mark the start and end of your new activity.

You start with the Aternity Recorder, which captures the OS events when a user performs a business transaction in an application. Then, you transfer that recording to the Designer. Mark the start and end of the activity, then export it as a signature file for uploading to Aternity.

Record a business task and then create an activity

Aternity Agent

The Agent for End User Devices monitors end user experience by measuring device and application performance. It is a small background utility which runs on each monitored device, and reports its data to Aternity.

Install the Agent for End User Devices locally on a Windows desktop or laptop. Install the SteelCentral Agent for Mac on an Apple Mac laptop or desktop. On virtual desktops (VDIs), install the Agent inside the desktop image which is dynamically created for every session. Monitor virtual applications (even if you do not monitor the device which runs the virtual session) by installing the Agent on the virtual application server. Mobile devices (iOS and Android) report data from a monitored app which has Aternity Mobile embedded inside.

Types of monitored devices

The Agent for End User Devices runs several services and processes on your Windows device:

  • A180AG.exe is the Agent's core process, performing most of the data collection, operations, and configuration.

  • A180CM.exe manages communication between the Agent and Aternity.

  • A180RS.exe runs under the user's name and collects user experience data.

  • A180WD.exe is the Agent watchdog, a Windows service which checks the Agent is functioning and communicating properly with Aternity. If it detects a problem, it restarts the Agent.

  • A180AA.exe is the back end Windows service of the Aternity Recorder. It only records if an end user manually starts the Recorder (when creating a custom activity).

Agent Management Component

The Agent Management is responsible for displaying and operating the Agents Administration page in the Aternity console. It allows Aternity admins to start/stop Agents, analyze status, upload logs, and more. To access the Agents Administration, login to Aternity, select the Gear Icon > Agents > Agents Administration.

Aternity Dashboard Gateway Server

The Dashboard Gateway acts as the interface between the Dashboard Server and the Aternity Management Server, performing background tasks like preprocessing the data for display in the dashboards, and maintaining logs, audits and cleanup. It must be on the same computer as the Dashboard Server. While it has no user interface of its own, it is crucial to the proper functioning of Aternity.

Aternity Dashboard Layouts

The Aternity dashboard layouts contain the names, calculations and layouts of the system's dashboards for this Aternity version. Customers of Aternity on-premise run this setup from the Aternity Management Server to plant them in the Dashboard Server via the Dashboard Gateway.

Add the dashboard layouts ONLY from the Management Server.

Aternity Dashboard Server

The Dashboard Server displays Aternity's intuitive dashboards using Tableau as its engine. It presents the data from the Aternity Vertica Database Server.

Aternity Data Server

The Data Server component is an internal module of the Aternity Management Server, integrating contextual data into the measurements which came from the Aggregation Servers, like device details, user names, error messages, and so on, and then it passes on to the Aternity Analytics Server.

Aternity Data Source for Portal

Configure the SteelCentral Portal™ to connect to your Aternity Data Source to view Aternity data in the Portal alongside data from other products in the SteelCentral Suite. It is available automatically in Aternity SaaS, or you can optionally set it up in your Aternity on-premise.

Aternity Data Warehouse Server

The Data Warehouse Server is part of the Aternity data flow and responsible for the initial analysis and processing of the data. It is a central piece in the Aternity architecture.The Data Warehouse Server stores the raw data gathered from the Aggregation Servers, and aggregates (summarizes) it for the Oracle Database Server and the Aternity Vertica Database Server. It constantly aggregates and re-summarizes data in the main database in the background, replacing older, more detailed data with summary data as it ages. Therefore older data typically has limited drill-down capabilities.

Aternity Docker Components

The Aternity Docker Components Server is one of the Aternity on-premise components containing a range of containers which add functionality to Aternity. Most components are mandatory, but you can choose to add or omit some of those Docker containers from your deployment.

SteelCentral Enterprise License (SaaS)

A SteelCentral Enterprise License offers complete flexibility to monitor end user devices or backend servers. You can also use predefined activities AND create and monitor your own custom activities in business applications which are critical to your enterprise.

SteelCentral Essentials License (SaaS)

SteelCentral Essentials License offers a ready-to-go version of SteelCentral™, with a focus on Aternity SaaS's monitoring of end user devices. You can add applications for enhanced monitoring, but you can only use predefined activities. To add monitoring for backend servers and create your own custom activities in business applications which are critical to your enterprise, upgrade to SteelCentral Enterprise Licenses.

Aternity Extension for Chrome

The Aternity Extension for Chrome enables Aternity to monitor web applications which run in the Google Chrome browser. The Agent for End User Devices adds this automatically, but for older versions of the Agent, you must add this manually from the official Chrome web store. Search for the Aternity Information Systems Extension. Administrators can deploy the extension as a standard Group Policy Object (GPO).

Using Aternity Extension for Chrome to monitor web applications in Chrome

Aternity Management Server

The Aternity Management Server acts as Aternity's central server, which manages and integrates all the components. When users access Aternity to view the dashboards or configure it, they access this server via a browser.

Aternity on-premise

Aternity on-premise offers all the features of Aternity with the full control of housing its servers in your own enterprise network. Aternity on-premise updates approximately once a year with the features from Aternity SaaS at that time. To keep up with the very latest in Aternity's (monthly) updates and innovations, switch to Aternity SaaS.

Aternity Oracle Database Server

The Aternity Oracle Database Server is an Oracle database which hosts the Aternity system settings, data model and performance data, after the Data Warehouse Server summarized (aggregated) it.

Aternity Recorder

The Aternity Recorder, which is part of the Agent for End User Devices, collects the events which the Agent detects during an activity, such as mouse clicks or changes in the GUI, while recording a video of the user's actions.

Use the Recorder as the first step in creating a new custom activity, by recording the OS events and video of an end user who performs that activity. Transfer the recording to the Aternity Activity Designer and create an activity by pinpointing its start and end events. You can also use the Recorder to validate that the Agent identifies the start and end events accurately.

Note

The Recorder is a dormant component of the Agent. The device's end user must manually enable it.

Aternity REST API Server

The Aternity REST API Server is a component in Aternity on-premise which allows authorized users to send REST API queries to directly extract and analyze Aternity's data without Aternity's dashboards. You can combine the data with other data sources if needed, or transform it as required, then view it in Microsoft Excel, Power BI, or your own data application.

Aternity SaaS

Aternity SaaS offers the full functionality of Aternity with the convenience of housing the product's servers in a secure cloud environment, for extremely fast and simple deployment in your enterprise. With Aternity SaaS you automatically receive monthly updates and innovations of the product, and the chance to shape future features by signing up to each beta program. There are two variants of Aternity SaaS: the full SteelCentral Enterprise License and the lighter SteelCentral Essentials License.

Aternity Vertica Database Server

The Aternity Vertica Database Server stores the performance data from the past 31 days in the Vertica format, which is most efficient for displaying in Aternity dashboards. It receives its data from the Aternity Docker Components Server.

Aternity Wrapper (for mobile apps)

The Aternity Wrapper is a command line tool which quickly and automatically adds monitoring features to your mobile app, without requiring access to the app's source code. A monitored mobile app is a regular iOS or Android app which has Aternity's monitoring functionality inside, enabling it to report app performance like launch times, errors, crashes, network traffic, and also custom activities performance, and some mobile device data. With the Aternity Wrapper, you can sign the app at the same time as applying Aternity's monitoring functionality, all in a single command.

Attribute

An attribute (or dimension) is a static property of an object which Aternity reports, like a hostname, or a username.

This is different from a dynamic quantifiable measurement, like an activity response time, or boot time.

Attribute, Contextual

Contextual attributes are descriptive properties of a measurement or activity, like a username, window title or application name.

Backend Time

Backend time is the time required by all the servers to process data on the backend, which is part of the overall response time of an activity. It starts when the client sends a request to the target server, when the last message of that request arrives at the target server side. It ends when the server sends out the first message of its response.

The backend time for a single request-response pair is from the last send to its first response minus the round trip time. If the activity calls a server more than once, or several servers, the reported time is the combination (union) of all the individual times together. If the target server calls other back-end servers, Aternity's backend time is the total (union) of all network times and server times of all back end servers in that chain, ending when the activity's target server sends its response to the client. For more server-side visibility, view the transaction details in SteelCentral AppInternals™.

Definition of backend time in a client-server application

Baselines

A baseline is a threshold which judges whether an activity's response time is performing as expected, or if it is too slow. Aternity automatically defines two baselines around the expected response time: a minor baseline which constitutes a minor departure from the expected performance, and a major baseline which constitutes a major departure from the expected response time.

The baselines determine the status of an activity. An activity has a normal status when it is faster than the minor baseline. It has a minor status if it crosses the minor baseline, and a major status if it crosses the major baseline.

Aternity's baselines use average response times for a specific activity from the past 10 days (or seven days if there are too many readings), and requires at least 100 measurements to be defined. It uses data from either one location or all locations, whichever is slower, and relies on a normal distribution curve, discarding any data which is too erratic.

Response times from one user have a major status if they are slower than the major threshold

Bookmark

Add a bookmark to indicate the beginning and end of an activity in the Aternity Recorder. Use one bookmark for each occurrence of an activity in your recording, to mark the approximate time when each activity begins and ends. Later, when you export the recording to the Aternity Activity Designer, the bookmarks enable you to quickly locate each activity in the recording.

Boot Times

Aternity monitors several parallel boot times for Windows devices, some from the Windows Event Log (ID 100), while others are Aternity's proprietary calculations. Event ID 100 lists the main path boot duration, the post boot duration and their sum: the total boot time. However, the Event Log does not log all boots. For example, boots from virtual consoles are not logged.

Therefore, Aternity's proprietary boot measurements are more robust, as they log the boot times regardless of speed or virtual consoles. They include the machine boot time and the user logon time.

Boot time definitions

Breadcrumbs

(Mobile only) Breadcrumbs are the events leading up to a crash in your monitored mobile app. Aternity Mobile SDK captures these events and reports them after you restart the app after the crash. You can view the breadcrumbs for each crash in the Crash Details dashboard.

Monitored apps collect several breadcrumbs by default, including the launch time of the app, the timestamp when the app was last in the foreground, the timestamp when the app was last moved to the background, and the names of the last 20 screens shown in the app since its launch. As a mobile app developer, you can also create your own customized breadcrumbs by inserting leaveBreadcrumb() in the source code, with your custom text message to later help troubleshoot the cause of the crash.

Business Activity or Business Transaction

A business activity (or transaction) is an action performed in your business application which you want to monitor. Use the business transaction as the basis for creating an activity. For example, a business transaction of opening a customer record in your application can produce two Open activities, one in version 2 and another in version 3. You create the activity by specifying exactly how to do this in your application, like clicking on a menu item, or pressing a key on the keyboard. Once defined, you can upload the activity to Aternity to monitor its performance across your organization.

Business Location

A business location refers to a site (an office building, campus, or even a part of a building) in your organization which contains monitored devices. Each location has a city, state, country, and (optionally) region, and has specific geographic coordinates to display it on a map.

View an application's performance per location, or all locations in a city to determine if a problem is common to everyone in that location, to hint at the cause of the issue. Usually the system automatically determines the location of a device. If it does not identify a location correctly, manually map locations in the system with the Active Directory's Site field. If it cannot pinpoint a location name, it displays as it as Off-Site or Not Mapped.

On virtual deployments (virtual applications like Citrix XenApp and virtual desktops like Citrix XenDesktop), Aternity always tries to report the location of the end user's front-end device by detecting its subnet.

Call Mode

There are two types of calls in Skype for Business or Lync: Direct between two devices, or Conference, where more than two devices connect to a bridge to participate in a call. Each connection to a call appears in the dashboards as a separate entry.

Call Type

There are two modes of calls in Skype for Business or Lync: Audio only or Audio/Video.

Callee

A callee is Microsoft's term for the other participant in a Skype for Business or Lync call.

Capture Device

A capture device is a microphone, either built-in or standalone, used for collecting audio input to a Skype / Lync call.

Client Time

Client time is the time used by the device itself as part of an activity to process data before sending its first message request to the server and after the last message response arrives back from the server. For example, if an activity requires rendering graphic elements, or running JavaScript on the client side, this would be part of the client time. The Agent for End User Devices calculates the client time as the total activity response time minus the infra time.

Client time is the time on the device side to process data as part of the activity response

Crash (Mac Application)

Aternity reports a native Mac app crashing only if it registers the crash in the MacOS system log.

Crash (Mobile App)

Aternity reports a crashing monitored mobile app if it experiences an unhandled exception, or if the operating system (iOS or Android) tells it to abruptly stop (abort signal).

For every mobile app crash, Aternity collects the exception code and type of exception, the app's stack trace, and a summary of the crash information. It also collects any breadcrumbs leading up to the crash. You can download the memory dump file if needed.

Crash (Windows Application)

Aternity registers a Windows app crash when the Event Log issues event ID 1000 (a process or DLL ends unexpectedly), event ID 1001 (.NET process ends unexpectedly), event ID 1002 (a user stops a Not Responding process), or event ID 1026 (.NET runtime error).

Crash Rate

The crash rate of an application is the average number of crashes which occurred in that application during an hour of active usage. It is calculated as the total number of crashes divided by the total usage time in hours.

Critical (Activity Status)

Critical is when the status of an activity is reported to Aternity as unavailable. It is colored red .

Custom Activity

You can create your own custom activities for any business app by monitoring any user action, like a mouse click or a key press, and measuring the time until the app's GUI responds. In Aternity, you can compare response times in any app across the enterprise, and troubleshoot performance by seeing when they perform slower. For example, define a custom activity to measure a search for a customer in your CRM, from selecting Search until displaying the results. Or you can monitor the time check an item in your inventory, or save an invoice in your financial system. Create a custom activity in the Aternity Activity Designer or the Aternity Web Activity Creator (early access) to measure the application's response time. Then you can export the custom activity as a signature file to upload it to Aternity.

Create multiple action-response pairs, known as activities, in web apps which run inside browsers, desktop apps which run locally on your computer, or mobile apps on Android or iOS.

An activity measures the time between a user action and the app's response

Custom Attribute

A custom attribute is a property of a device, location or user that you define, which Aternity does not normally detect. You can use a custom attribute it to easily group together the items which share this property, to monitor their performance. For example, you can configure Aternity to report if a device has disk encryption, to compare the performance of encrypted versus regular devices.

Custom attributes only display in dashboards if you defined them for your enterprise. You can define one of the six placeholder fields (Custom Attribute 1-6), or use one of the predefined attribute names, like a device's Image Build Number.

Contact Aternity SaaS Administration to configure Aternity to report your custom attribute.

Dashboard

A dashboard in Aternity displays performance data intuitively according to different criteria (break-downs). Each dashboard typically contains multiple sections, known as widgets, where each section contains one or more graphs.

Data Center Locations

Data Center Locations in Aternity lists the locations of any virtual application servers (like Citrix XenApp) and VDI hypervisors (like in VMWare vSphere) which run the application. If the application is deployed both locally and virtually, one of the locations displays as Local.

Degradation (Inbound, for calls)

Inbound degradation is the amount of reduction in the inbound MOS score which was due to a poor network connection. A high degradation indicates that the poor network MOS (packet loss, network jitter) played a significant role in lowering the audio experience.

Degraded Boot Component

The list of degraded boot components is a collection of processes launched during boot (drivers, applications, optimizations) which took more than five seconds to load. Aternity collects this information from the Windows Event Log (event IDs 100-199) in the Application and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostics-Performance > Boot Performance Monitoring section. Windows records the slowdowns while it boots, shuts down, hibernates or returns from sleep, in the Windows Event Log.

For example, Event ID 100 shows if a Windows built-in application or service caused a slowdown; event 101 reveals if an application caused the slowdown; event ID 102 details any drivers causing a delay; event 106 means that background optimization took longer than usual, and so on.

Department

The Department of a user is their place in the organization, as per their entry in the Active Directory. The Department of a monitored device is the department of the user who last signed in to the device. The Agent for End User Devices accesses this information only from the device itself, by accessing the network user information from Windows, and from there to the associated user object, and then to its associated data in the Microsoft Active Directory.

Device (Monitored)

A monitored end user device is a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet which reports monitoring data to SteelCentral Aternity™. You can monitor the performance of Windows devices (laptops, desktops, tablets), Apple Mac devices (desktops, laptops), mobile devices (iOS, Android) and virtual sessions (VDI and virtual applications). Aternity gathers data about the performance of applications and devices using its Agent for End User Devices which runs in the background.

Install the Agent for End User Devices locally on a Windows desktop or laptop. Install the SteelCentral Agent for Mac on an Apple Mac laptop or desktop. On virtual desktops (VDIs), install the Agent inside the desktop image which is dynamically created for every session. Monitor virtual applications (even if you do not monitor the device which runs the virtual session) by installing the Agent on the virtual application server. Mobile devices (iOS and Android) report data from a monitored app which has Aternity Mobile embedded inside.

Types of monitored devices

Device ID (for Apple Mac)

An Apple Mac's device ID is its Hardware UUID (universally unique identifier), as displayed in About This Mac > System Report.If some Macs have the same name, use the device ID to pinpoint a specific device.

Device ID (hardware UUID) of a Mac

Device ID (for Mobile)

A monitored mobile app reports the device ID as one of the device's attributes to Aternity.

For monitored Android apps, the Device ID is made up of two parts: the first is the WiFi mac address, and the second is the software-based ANDROID_ID.

For monitored iOS apps the Device ID is only unique per vendor ID. If your enterprise uses a single vendor ID to create several apps, then whenever they are on the same device, they report the same Device ID. But an app from a different vendor ID (like Citrix WorxMail) on the same device would report a different Device ID.

Device Name (Mobile)

A monitored mobile app reports the device name to Aternity as one of the device's attributes.

You can manually set the device name in the Aternity Mobile SDK. If not, in iOS, the device name is from Settings > General > About > Name. In Android:

  • (Since Android 8) Use the device's Bluetooth name, if modified from the default.

  • (Since Android 8) Otherwise, use the account name of a mail app like Exchange. Requires end user approval and enabling GET_ACCOUNTS in the app's manifest.

  • (Android 7 or earlier) Use the account email which registered the device with Google.

  • Otherwise, use the device ID.

Device Type

You can view if performance changes when using the same application from different types of devices.

Types of monitored devices
  • Desktops are monitored Windows devices without a fitted battery, or for Macs, any monitored MacBook running macOS or OS X.

  • Laptops are Windows devices with a battery and a built-in keyboard (including all Windows hybrid tablet/laptop models), or for Macs, any monitored laptop running macOS or OS X.

  • Remote Devices have applications accessed remotely via an RDP protocol, for example, with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection.

  • Smartphones run monitored mobile apps on a small touch screen within a mobile operating system environment.

  • Tablets have larger touch screens, and no built-in keyboard, running iOS or Android. If it runs Windows, it is defined as a tablet if it is a known model of a Windows pure tablet (like Microsoft Surface models).

  • Virtual App Servers offer multiple users access to a single instance of an application, for example, with Citrix XenApp.

  • Virtual Desktops offer the ability to run an application within a VDI environment, which is a virtual instance of the entire desktop operating system (usually Windows).

Disconnected (Device Status)

(For Windows and Macs) The status of a device is Disconnected if Aternity has not received monitoring data for more than five minutes from this device, but it has received data within the last 7 days.

This could be caused by powering off the device (may be company policy to switch off every night), or it may not have a license to report to Aternity, or it could point to a problem with the device, like no network connection.

The device continuously tries to reconnect to Aternity in ever-increasing intervals, after ½ minute, one minute, two minutes, four minutes, eight minutes, 16 minutes, 32 minutes, and if it still fails, the Agent restarts itself and tries again to connect, restarting this cycle again.

Drill down

You can drill down on most items in the system's dashboards to jump to another dashboard with more details about that item. Hover your mouse over a part of a graph to view its pop-up window containing more information, then select a drill-down link to switch to another dashboard containing more detail.

See more by drilling down from an entry in one dashboard to open another dashboard

Dropped Call

A call is dropped if Skype for Business or Lync ended the call unexpectedly, without the user manually ending the call. Aternity reports the failure and its reason.

Data Processing Server (Device Resources)

The DPS is the data processing component. The DPS (Device Resource) is responsible for parsing and aggregating the device resource measurements, such as CPU, Memory, Disk usage and WiFi measurements. This data is later stored to Vertica Database Server for use in the Analyze dashboards and REST APIs.

Data Processing Server (Installed Software)

The DPS is the data processing component. The DPS (Installed Software) is responsible for parsing and aggregating the Installed Software measurements, enabling analysis tasks, such as “who does not have the latest version installed” or “who already installed the latest OS patch”.

End Point (or Endpoint)

See device.

Error (for mobile apps)

When a monitored mobile app running on iOS 9.x or earlier reports an error (not warning) to the system log, Aternity collects it, along with the text of the error message and its severity level.

Aternity monitors all errors from your iOS app in the Apple System Log (ASL), while for Android, it checks errors reported using the android.util.Log class and monitored using the logcat tool.

If your iOS app sends debug and error messages using the NSLog function, they appear in the Apple System Log (ASL) as a warning (not error), so by default Aternity does not capture these messages. You can configure the Aternity Mobile SDK to also collect warnings if required.

Error (for pages in web applications)

Web errors are errors experienced by applications which receive an error as a response to their HTTP request for a page load, like HTTP 40x errors (like Error 404 Page Not Found), and 50x errors (like unauthorized access messages) for the whole page (not a missing element like an image).

Error Rate (for pages in web applications)

The web page error rate is the percentage of errors out of all web page loads which cause the page not to load (HTTP error 40x or 50x). This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

For monitored mobile apps, the web error rate is the percentage of web errors (HTTP error 40x or 50x) out of all HTTP requests.

External (SLA Threshold)

The External threshold represents the maximum response time (in seconds) of an activity as defined in your official service level agreement (SLA) with your customers. Any response longer than this threshold is colored red in the SLA dashboard, since it breaks the official SLA commitment for this activity. You can configure the thresholds in Managed Applications > Managed Activities > Edit.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Failed Call

A call fails if Skype for Business or Lync could not successfully establish a connection and start. Aternity reports the failure and its reason as the SIP code and SIP string.

Hang Time

Hang time measures the time when an application is listed as Not responding in the Windows Task Manager while it is in the foreground (in use). This measurement is used to calculate the wait time of an application, and the overall UXI.

Health Event (for Applications)

A health event for an application occurs if it crashes, or for web applications, if it encounters a web error (like if the requested page is not found). The system monitors application health events for all discovered applications.

Health Event (Hardware)

A hardware health event for a device is a significant hardware problem on a device which impacts its overall health, like memory paging, or disk related errors and so on.

Health Event (System, for Devices)

A system health event for a device is a significant problem at the level of the operating system which impacts on the device's overall health, like BSODs or other system crashes. On a remote VDI session, the system reports these events only while the user is logged in.

Health Index

The health index is a value (0-5) which measures the time an application hangs, crashes or (for web applications) experiences web errors. If users experience frequent or severe crashes in the application, this index is lower.

Definition of health index

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not use baselines which may vary between applications or locations. However, it is cumulative, not a spot measurement, as each reading relies on and contains those which came beforehand. Absolute measures allow Aternity to accurately use a single consistent dimension across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

HRC (Host Resource Consumption)

The host resource consumption (HRC) is a monitored device's usage of its resources as a whole, including CPU usage, RAM usage, virtual memory usage, number of send and receive messages to the network (network I/O), and the amount of data read and written to the disk (disk I/O).

HRC focuses on the whole device's resource usage, in contrast to monitoring an application's process resource usage (PRC), which focuses on a single application's resource consumption.

The Agent for End User Devices reports a device's highest resource consumers (top processes) only if one of the HRC measurements exceeds its predefined threshold. By default, the Agent collects the device's resource usage every two minutes.

Incident

An incident is a call to action about many users suffering poor performance on one activity in an application, indicating it is a widespread problem. The system creates incidents automatically, so you can proactively troubleshoot an issue before users even report it.

This is different from service desk alerts which refers to issues on the device level triggered by device health events, not an application's activity.

Configure an activity's incident settings to change the proportion of suffering users which trigger an incident flag, and define the email address which receives the automatic alert notifications. Set the system to trigger an incident if BOTH:

  • There are at least this number of unique Windows usernames in this deployment group which suffer poor performance (activity status is major ).

  • There is at least this percentage of unique Windows usernames in this deployment group which suffer poor performance (activity status is major ).

An incident for an activity indicates several devices in a group are responding slowly

Incoming Traffic

Incoming traffic is the average amount of data downloaded from the network to the device during the performance of an activity (between its start and end). Aternity reports the total volume of network traffic in KB in both directions while an application performs an activity.

Incomplete (Activity)

An Incomplete activity is interrupted and discarded by the Agent, because it does not report reliable performance data. Aternity Activity Designer creates default events that set your activity to Incomplete, and you can add to those events. For example, you may not want to report performance data for a failed login, so you can create an incomplete event for that possibility.

Some examples of events that indicate that an activity is Incomplete are:

  • A user clicks a mouse in that Windows process before the activity completes.

  • A user types a function key in that Windows process before the activity completes.

  • The application loses focus (moves into the background) before the activity completes.

  • An expected event within the activity timed out (internal timer), or the overall activity response took too long (default overall timeout is 180 seconds).

Infra Time

Infra time is the total time spent outside the client. It starts with the first request to the server and ends when the final response arrives at the client. The infra time is calculated as the total of network time and backend time. If there are multiple overlapping calls to one or more servers, the total infra time is the combination (union) of all server and network times.

Definition of infra time

Internal (SLA Threshold)

The Internal threshold is the response time (in seconds) of an activity which would be your early warning, showing you are at risk of exceeding your official service level agreement (SLA) with your customers. Any response longer than this threshold is colored yellow in the SLA dashboard, as it warns you risk breaking the SLA commitment for this activity. A customer service representative can configure this threshold in the activity's monitor.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Laptop

In Aternity, Laptops are Windows devices with a battery and a built-in keyboard (including all Windows hybrid tablet/laptop models), or for Macs, any monitored laptop running macOS or OS X.

Latency (for remote displays)

The remote display latency is the average time taken for the round trip of a network data packet to travel between the front line user and a virtual server (both ways). Practically, it is the time between performing an action in a virtual session on the front line user's machine, then sending that action to the virtual desktop server (VDI) or virtual application server, and then viewing that action back on the front line terminal again. This does NOT measure the time for the application to respond. The Agent retrieves the session latency from Windows every 15 seconds and sends an average to Aternity every minute.

For example, if a user types the character 'g' in a text editor which runs on a virtual application server, when the remote session sends this action to the virtual server, the remote display latency is the lag time between typing 'g' to seeing the 'g' on the screen.

Remote display latency is the time in both directions from the front line user to the virtual server

Launch Time

An application's launch time, which Aternity measures automatically for all Windows applications and monitored mobile apps, starts when the process begins, and ends when it is ready to receive user input. In Windows, this is also when it finishes creating a window with a title bar. If a user double-clicks a document which also launches the app, the launch time would include BOTH opening the application AND the time to open the document, which may be significant if the document is on a slow network or it is a large or complex file.

License Units

Aternity automatically allocates license units whenever a device requests to report its performance. There are several types of devices which use different license units:

Types of monitoring licenses depending on the type of reporting device

By default, Aternity reserves your manually allocated licenses, then automatically grants requests from any device type until it reaches the total licenses allowed. You can also limit the number of licenses for each type of device. For example, if you purchase 1000 license units, you can set a limit of up to 300 B2E mobile devices.

Type Units Description
Physical devices

1 unit

This license monitors the performance of a single end user device by deploying the Agent for End User Devices locally, which reports metrics to Aternity. It can be Windows or Mac, as a laptop, desktop, or surface PC. It requires a single license unit.

Monitor physical end user devices with the Agent for End User Devices locally
Virtual desktop users (VDI)

1 unit per username

This license reports the performance inside a single end user virtual desktop (VDI) to Aternity, where the VDI desktop image contains the Agent for End User Devices. All VDI sessions for a single user require one license unit.

Embed the Agent for End User Devices in a virtual desktop image to monitor its performance
Virtual app sessions

¼ unit per session (or one unit for four sessions)

This license reports the performance of a frontline end user virtual app session to Aternity. Deploy the Agent for End User Devices on a virtual app server like Citrix XenApp. Each named user running one or more monitored sessions requires a quarter (¼) of a license unit.

(From Agent 11) To monitor virtual app sessions (not VDI), you must also add the Virtual App Servers license (five units) to connect to this server.

Monitor activities in virtual apps
Virtual app servers (from Agent 11 only)

5 units per server

(From Agent 11 only) This license reports the resource usage and latency of a Citrix XenApp server as a whole to Aternity. Deploy the Agent for End User Devices on a XenApp server, where each server requires five license units.

Monitor virtual app server resources
Mobile devices B2E / B2C

B2E: 1 unit for one device

B2C: 1 unit for 100 devices

This license reports performance of one or more monitored mobile apps to Aternity, where each iOS or Android device reports a unique device ID. One B2E device requires one license unit, but for B2C apps, one device requires one hundredth (1/100) of a unit.

JVMs on app servers

35 units per JVM process

This license allows the Backend Agent to monitor the performance and usage of JVM processes and report metrics to AppInternals. Each monitored JVM process on a server requires 35 license units. For example, if one server hosts five monitored JVM processes, it requires 35 x 5 = 175 license units.

Deploying this also includes the Backend server license for this computer.

App servers with .NET

35 units per server

This license allows the Backend Agent to monitor the resource usage and performance of all running .NET processes on this server and reports metrics to AppInternals. Each server requires 35 license units, for all .NET processes on that server. For example, a single server hosting five monitored .NET processes requires the license units for just one server: 1 x 35 = 35 license units.

Deploying this also includes the Backend server license for this computer.

Containers

5 units per container

This license allows the Backend Agent to monitor the performance of sever-side app components within a single Docker instance (known as a container), and reports metrics to AppInternals. It requires five license units.

Deploying this also includes the Backend server license for this computer.

Flow Generation

3 units per server

This license allows the Backend Agent on a server to monitor traffic and generate network flows (known as SteelFlow Net) for reporting to NetProfiler.

This is especially useful for cloud servers, where you may not have access to routers which would normally generate those network flows for SteelCentral NetProfiler™. Each server with flow generation uses three license units (learn more).

Deploying this also includes the Backend server license for this computer.

Packet Mirroring

4 units per server

This license allows the Backend Agent to monitor and forward network packets to and from this server to SteelCentral AppResponse™ Cloud for further packet analysis. Each server with packet mirroring uses four license units (learn more).

Deploying this also includes the Backend server license for this computer.

Backend servers

2 units per server

This license allows the Backend Agent to monitor the server's resource usage, network usage, and process usage. It requires two license units.

If the server already has JVM or .NET monitoring, there is no need for additional units to monitor the server's resources.

Literal

A literal is an exact description of an event which you want to capture to mark the start or end of your activity. A literal contains event properties along with details of those properties. Edit the properties and details in Aternity Activity Designer, to accurately define your custom activity. When a user performs an activity on a monitored device, if the literals of the start and end events match the literals picked up by the Agent, it reports the activity to Aternity.

Load Time (of Ajax calls in web applications)

The response time of a web page's Ajax call starts when the browser sends a triggered JavaScript or XML script to the server, and ends when the browser finishes receiving the end of response from the server. The system does not measure any client time which may be associated directly with an Ajax call.

For example, when a web page auto-saves text which you entered, every auto-save is an automatic Ajax call to the server, which ends when it receives a response that the save was successful or failed.

Load Time (of pages in web applications)

The web page load time is the time required for a web page to load and finish rendering in a browser, from sending a URL request to when the page's events finish loading and it has a status of Completed. This measurement does NOT include the time to load additional page elements which occur after the main page has loaded, such as iframes that are embedded separate web pages, AJAX calls after the page is complete, or bookmarks with # in the URL). It does include AJAX calls that the page makes before it is complete.

Web page load time

Location Mapping

Location mapping determines the location name (site, office or campus) of a monitored device as it is displayed in the dashboards with minimum or even zero configuration from your Active Directory, including finding its city, state, country, and map coordinates.

There are two modes of location mapping: either site-based (default) or legacy (never both). Use the Location Mapping screen to manually configure location names to be different from its Site name in Microsoft Active Directory, or to manually assign a city, state, country, region, or coordinates for each location.

Site-based location mapping (zero configuration) is available only for devices running Agent for End User Devices 9.x or later.

Location Mapping, Legacy

Legacy location mapping determines the location name of a device based on one of its attributes, like a part of its hostname or its subnet, by mapping that value to a location name.

Location Mapping, Site-Based

Site-based location mapping determines the location name of a device as the Site name from your Microsoft Active Directory. This is the default method for new Aternity deployments.

Machine Boot

Machine boot is part of a device's boot time, starting a fraction of a second after the Windows logo appears, and ending with the Windows sign in screen. Agent queries Windows Kernel-PnP (NOT the Event Log) for the BootStart > Start event to mark the start of this time, and ends when the Windows sign in screen appears (or the automatic sign in process starts).

The Windows Event Log does not list every single boot (for example boots from virtual console sessions or boots which complete very quickly), hence the need to track boot times in a more robust way.

Boot time definitions

Main Path Boot Duration

The main path boot duration is the time elapsed from the appearance of the animated Windows logo until the appearance of the desktop. Agent queries Windows Event Log in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section, ID 100 for the MainPathBootTime parameter.

Boot time definitions

Major (Status of Activity)

When an activity has a status of Major (colored orange ), it indicates that this activity response time requires attention, as it was significantly slower (a major departure or deviation) from the expected baseline performance (major activity threshold) of this activity.

Major (Activity Baseline Threshold)

The Major baseline threshold is a response time for a specific activity which is significantly slower than expected. Anything slower than this threshold changes the activity's status to major (), which is a call to action, because it is a major departure from the expected performance time. By default, the major threshold is set at the slowest 3% of all response times (97 percentile) for each activity in each location.

Aternity's baselines use average response times for a specific activity from the past 10 days (or seven days if there are too many readings), and requires at least 100 measurements to be defined. It uses data from either one location or all locations, whichever is slower, and relies on a normal distribution curve, discarding any data which is too erratic.

Response times slower than the major threshold have a status of major

Measurement

A measurement is a quantitative dynamic metric of an object which Aternity reports, and therefore needs consistent monitoring. For example, the time for an activity's response is a measurement. This is different from attributes, which are properties of an object, like a hostname or application name.

Measurement Time

An activity's measurement time is the time stamp when the Agent for End User Devices on the device noted the occurrence of the activity. The time stamp is translated to the time zone of the Aggregation Server. This is different from the server analysis time.

Messaging Broker Component (Kafka)

The Messaging Broker component is built on top of the Kafka infrastructure and serves as the messaging system between various Aternity components responsible for collecting, analyzing, aggregating and storing the collected data.

Minor (Activity Baseline Threshold)

The Minor baseline threshold is a response time for a specific activity which is slower than expected. Anything slower than this threshold changes the activity's status to minor (), because it is a minor departure from the expected performance time. By default, the minor threshold is set at the slowest 10% of response times (90 percentile) for each activity in each location. If the activity is faster than this time, its status becomes normal ().

Aternity's baselines use average response times for a specific activity from the past 10 days (or seven days if there are too many readings), and requires at least 100 measurements to be defined. It uses data from either one location or all locations, whichever is slower, and relies on a normal distribution curve, discarding any data which is too erratic.

Response times slower than the minor threshold have a status of minor

Monitor

A monitor is a container in Aternity for one or more activities. It contains several items, including: the definition of an activity, stored as a signature file, the groups of devices where this monitor is active, the expected performance times (thresholds) of the activity, and the rules when to raise an incident related to this activity. There are two types of thresholds: the major and minor thresholds which determine the status of the activity, and the internal and external thresholds, which determine whether it complies with your SLA.

A monitor contains several items defining an activity and its statuses

A Power User of Aternity typically configures a monitor.

Monitored Device

See Device.

MOS (or Combined MOS)

The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is Microsoft's quality measurement (0-5) of a user's experience in a Skype or Lync call. It assesses quality by measuring the network jitter, background noise, dropped packets, and other factors to score the user experience for a single device in a single call. Each device in a call has an inbound MOS and an outbound MOS.

The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

Participants in a call have their own MOS scores and statuses

MOS, Inbound (or Inbound Listening MOS)

The inbound MOS (or inbound listening MOS) for someone in a call is the MOS score of the incoming audio or video, showing if you clearly hear others in the call over background noise or a poor connection (inbound network MOS). The inbound MOS of a listener is the same as the outbound MOS of the speaker. For example, if the other person spoke softly, or there was poor network speeds, or a dog was barking, it would lower the inbound MOS.

The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

MOS, Network (Inbound)

The inbound network MOS is part of the overall inbound listening MOS which focuses on the network connection quality like packet loss and network jitter. The degradation is the measure of the extent that the network MOS worsened the inbound listening MOS.

MOS, Outbound

The outbound MOS for someone in a call is the MOS score of your outgoing audio or video, showing if others clearly hear you in the call over background noise or a slow network (inbound network MOS). For example, if you have a poor microphone or speak quietly far away from the mic, it would reduce your outbound MOS score for that call.

The outbound MOS of the speaker is the same as the inbound MOS of a listener. The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

Network I/O Write

Outgoing traffic is the average amount of data uploaded from the device to the network during the performance of an activity (between its start and end). Aternity reports the total volume of network traffic in KB in both directions while an application performs an activity.

Network I/O Read

Incoming traffic is the average amount of data downloaded from the network to the device during the performance of an activity (between its start and end). Aternity reports the total volume of network traffic in KB in both directions while an application performs an activity.

Network Time

Network time is the total time (union) taken for all messages to cross the network in either direction, between the client and the target server, while performing an activity. This does NOT include the time used for processing the request on the server (backend time).

The network time is calculated as the infra time minus the backend time.

Network time is the time for all messages to cross the network and back as part of an activity response

Normal (Status of Activity)

Normal refers to the status of an activity when its performance is good, since its activity response time is within the defined baseline performance of this activity. By default, a normal response time is in the fastest 90% (90 percentile) for each activity in each location. It is usually colored green . If the activity is slower than this time (the slowest 10%), its status becomes minor (), or for the slowest 3% (97 percentile) it becomes major ().

Normalized Percentage

A normalized percentage always ensures that the score never exceeds +/-100%.

Not Reporting (Device Status)

(For monitored mobile apps only) The status of a device is Not Reporting if Aternity has not received monitoring data from this mobile device for at least 10 minutes. This could happen if the device is shut down, or the device has no network data connection, or the mobile app is running in the background or is not running at all.

Off-Site

If Aternity uses site-based location mapping, it reports the location as Off-site when the device is not connected to the Microsoft Active Directory. For legacy location mapping, if it cannot determine the location name, it reports it as Not Mapped. A mobile device with no location name reports as Off-site if it is on 3G or 4G/LTE, or Not Mapped if it is on WiFi.

On-Site

A desktop or laptop's location is On Site when it is connected to your Microsoft Active Directory.

Outgoing Traffic

Outgoing traffic is the average amount of data uploaded from the device to the network during the performance of an activity (between its start and end). Aternity reports the total volume of network traffic in KB in both directions while an application performs an activity.

Performance Index

The performance index is a value (0-5) which measures an application's responsiveness. If users must wait frequently or for long periods for an application to respond, its performance index is lower. It is calculated from the usage time and wait time.

Definition of performance index

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not use baselines which may vary between applications or locations. However, it is cumulative, not a spot measurement, as each reading relies on and contains those which came beforehand. Absolute measures allow Aternity to accurately use a single consistent dimension across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

Pilot Group

A pilot group is a custom set of users or devices which undergo a change, like migrating to Windows 10, or updating the type of hard disk to SSD. You must assign a user or device to only one pilot group at a time, to ensure that you do not perform multiple changes at the same time.

Post Boot Duration

The post boot duration is the time elapsed from the appearance of the desktop until the CPU reaches 80% idle for 10 consecutive seconds. The Agent queries Windows Event ID 100, located in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section of the log, and reports the measurement stored as BootPostBootTime.

See also Machine Boot, User Logon Boot Time, Main Path Boot Duration, Total Boot Time.

Boot time definitions

Power User

A Power User of Aternity can view dashboards, but also configure the system, by adding applications to be monitored, creating a test group, or mapping locations in the system.

PRC (Process Resource Consumption)

An application's process resource consumption (PRC) is the percentage of CPU and memory used by a managed application on a device at that moment (dynamic measurement). Aternity constantly monitors the resource usage of managed applications, regardless of whether a user performed an activity.

PRC focuses on a single application's resource usage, in contrast to HRC which is the combined resources of all apps on the device, reporting its top processes when they become too high.

Raw Data Server (Cassandra)

The Raw Data Component houses the Cassandra Database and stores the detailed information and measurements for monitored devices for a maximum of 7 days. You view this data in the Troubleshoot Device and in the Installed Software dashboards.

Region

You can optionally define a region in Aternity to group together several locations under a single label, like the geographical region of EMEA, North America or even Southern Europe, South-Western US any other grouping you choose.

A Power User of Aternity can define regions when defining the shape of your organization.

Reliability Value

The stability index (used to be reliability value) is a Windows score (from 1 to 10) of a PC's overall stability (search in Windows for the Windows Reliability Monitor). As the number and severity of errors increases, it lowers the stability index. Aternity displays the average for the previous day, or, if unavailable, it shows the most recent daily average. The server versions of Windows do not have this measurement, and many virtual desktops (VDIs) disable it in their Windows settings, and therefore would not report it to Aternity.

Render Device

The render device is a participant's speaker or headphones which outputs the audio of a Skype / Lync call.

Reporting (Device Status)

The status of a device is Reporting if Aternity is actively receiving monitoring data from that device.

Role

A role is a set of abilities and actions (known as privileges) which a user can perform in Aternity. You can assign several roles to a user or group of users, to allow them to perform those actions.

Round Trip Time (RTT)

Round trip time (RTT) is the time between sending a message to the server and the return of its echo acknowledgment back to the client. Each request from the client generates an acknowledgment from the server that it received the request. RTT measures the time of a single request and its acknowledgment. It does NOT include the response of the request, which would require the server to process the request. RTT forms part of the response time of an activity.

A single message and its acknowledgment, before any server processing

The Agent for End User Devices retrieves the RTT of each server connection from the logs of the Windows TCP/IP driver.

Score (Activity Score)

The activity score is a value (0-100) which summarizes the statuses of all activity response times into a single value.

Aggregating many end user activities into a single score and status

Use the score to measure short term (acute) recent or sudden changes from regular baselined performance.

Server Analysis Time

Displays the timestamp when the Aternity servers received the report of an activity and analyzed it. This is different from the activity's measurement time.

SDA Server (Service Desk Alert)

A service desk alert (SDA) defines email or ServiceNow alerts on top of Aternity health events.A service desk alert (SDA) indicates that the same health event occurred several times on the same device within a certain time. Aternity sends SDAs to draw attention to devices which suffer repeated application errors, system crashes or hardware issues. For example, you can receive an SDA whenever a device suffers from the same crash more than twice a week. The types of alerts are:

  • HD Failure Windows event ID 52 occurs with an imminent failure of the hard disk. Back up your data immediately, then use a scanning tool to detect problems. For example, if a disk is too hot, switch off the PC and disconnect the power of that hard disk until you replace it.

  • Application Crash (after hang) (Windows) Event ID 1002 occurs when a user manually forced an application's process to close after it stopped responding. (Mac) Aternity uses the system log to determine when a user has manually forced an application's process to close after it stopped responding. To resolve, note any common actions leading to the hang, then consult the app vendor's support site.

  • Battery Wear (Windows laptops only) Aternity checks if the battery capacity drops below a threshold (default is 50%), compared with the vendor's factory settings. This indicates that a full battery charge drains much faster than it should. To resolve, replace the battery.

  • HD Bad Blocks Windows event ID 7 occurs with a corrupted block of data on the hard disk. If many bad sectors develop, the drive may fail and needs attention. Replace a physically damaged disk immediately. For 'soft' or logical bad sectors, you can use Windows Disk Check.

  • Low Disk Space Aternity creates this event if the device's system disk has less than 5% free space, or less than 500MB available, which limits the size of virtual memory. To resolve, free some disk space (empty trash, remove unused apps) or increase its capacity.

  • Overheat Related Shutdown Windows event ID 86 occurs when the device shuts down due to overheating (critical thermal event). It indicates a hardware problem, like a dusty CPU, broken fan or obstructed air vent. Turn off your computer, clean the heat sinks, and make sure that air circulates properly.

  • System Crash (Windows) Aternity reports a system crash when Windows created a memory dump file after a BSOD. Aternity analyzes the Windows dump and extracts data. (Macs) Aternity reports a system crash when it detected a kernel panic from the macOS system logs. To troubleshoot, view the details of the event and research further on the name of the process or module and its error codes.

Signature File

A signature is an XML file created in the Aternity Activity Designer, which contains the core definition of a custom activity, including its start event and end event. After you create the signature, upload it into Aternity to monitor the activity whenever a user performs it on a monitored device.

Signature file containing details of a custom activity

SLA Thresholds

An SLA threshold is the activity response time specified in your service level agreement (SLA). The application provider commits as part of their service that it performs smoothly for everyone by assuring that all its activities respond within certain performance times. There are two types of SLA thresholds: internal and external.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Stability Index

The stability index (used to be reliability value) is a Windows score (from 1 to 10) of a PC's overall stability (search in Windows for the Windows Reliability Monitor). As the number and severity of errors increases, it lowers the stability index. Aternity displays the average for the previous day, or, if unavailable, it shows the most recent daily average. The server versions of Windows do not have this measurement, and many virtual desktops (VDIs) disable it in their Windows settings, and therefore would not report it to Aternity.

Status (of an Activity)

The status of an activity is based on one response time compared to the recent expected (baselined) response time. The statuses are measured in severity: Normal , Minor , Major or Critical . For example, if the response to a mouse click is much slower than it should be, the system assigns it a status of Major or Critical. Baselines are defined automatically by the system as thresholds, derived from the typical response times for that activity (major threshold and minor threshold).

Activity response measured time with a status

Status (of a Device)

The status of a device, or its Agent state, describes whether Aternity is actively receiving data from the device. A status can be reporting, disconnected, stopped, or not reporting.

Status (of a Score)

The status of a score is an Apdex name and color associated with the value of the score: Good (green ), Fair (yellow ), Poor (orange ), or Unacceptable (red ). This can apply to an activity score, as well as other scores in the system.

Apdex-inspired score

Status (MOS Score, SLA)

The status of a combined MOS score is its SLA status: above 3 is Satisfied (green ), between 2 and 3 is Dissatisfied (yellow ), and below 2 is Very dissatisfied (orange ). If the call failed, Aternity gives it a red status, but if it was less than a minute or without audio, it assigns None (colored gray ), because it was not possible to assign a score. If the call ends unexpectedly (dropped), Aternity lowers its status by one level, so that a dropped call with a Satisfied status becomes Dissatisfied.

The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

Participants in a call have their own MOS scores and statuses

Status (SLA of an Activity)

The SLA status of an activity determines if the response time complies with the SLA requirement (colored green ), or if it crossed the internal SLA threshold showing you risk breaking the SLA (colored yellow ), or if it crosses the external SLA threshold showing you have broken your SLA (colored red ).

Stopped (Device Status)

(For Windows and Macs) The status of a device is Stopped if its Agent behaves unusually (like high CPU or memory usage), and therefore it automatically shuts down. Contact Customer Services.

(For mobile devices) Aternity Mobile reports a status Stopped when it does not collect performance data, but can still receive commands from the Aggregation Server.

Tagged Event (for Mobile Apps)

You can tag an event to monitor custom activities in your mobile app by inserting a call to the tagging API.

A custom activity for mobile apps starts and ends when the app reports specific events which match the events of an activity's signature file. If Aternity already reports these events by default, you do not need to add manual API calls. However, for some custom activities, you must manually tag and report those events using API calls.

Timeframe

The Timeframe menu in the top row of the dashboard determines the start time of the data displayed on the screen. The start times can include:

Field Description
Today

Displays data starting from 00:00AM today in the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Yesterday

Displays data starting from 00:00AM yesterday according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Last 6 Hours

Shows data starting from exactly six hours ago, displaying it summarized (aggregated) according to the view you selected.

Last 24 Hours

Shows data starting exactly this time yesterday, displaying it summarized (aggregated) according to the view you selected.

Last 48 Hours

Displays data starting exactly this time two days ago, displaying it summarized (aggregated) according to the view you selected.

Last 60 / 120 Minutes

Displays data starting from 60 or 120 minutes ago.

Last 7 Days

Displays data starting from 00:00AM seven days ago in the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Previous Week

Displays data from 00:00AM on Sunday morning to 23:59 on the most recent Saturday night according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server. Use this view to compare consistent weekly results.

Last 14 Days

Displays data from exactly this time 14 days ago, displaying it summarized (aggregated) according to the view you selected.

Last 30 / 90 Days

Displays data from exactly this time 30 days ago, displaying it summarized (aggregated) according to the view you selected.

Custom

Select your own start time from the calendar drop-down menu.

Total Boot Time

(Windows) The total boot time on a Windows device starts from the time the Windows logo appears until the desktop appears and all components are loaded. Agent queries Windows Event Log (ID 100) for the BootTime parameter, calculated as the sum of main path boot and post boot times, located in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section of the log.

Windows boot time definitions

(Macs) The total boot time on a Mac device starts when the system logs the start of the boot, and ends when the system is ready for sign in.

Transaction (in AppInternals)

A transaction in AppInternals follows an application's single request to an application server on its path through one or more back end servers (or tiers), monitoring the performance of individual calls at each stage. If an activity makes several calls to servers, it generates several back end transactions.

Unavailable (Activity)

An Unavailable activity displays in Aternity as Critical (red ) when the activity did not complete successfully. Often this happens when the process loses focus (into the background), or there was an unexpected key press or mouse click. This can also occur when an expected event within the activity did not occur in time (internal timeout), and the signature developer chose to inform the system by setting it to Unavailable.

Usage Time

The usage time of an application is the total time it is running, in the foreground, and being used. This includes the wait time, the time a user spends waiting for the application to respond. For web applications, the usage time is when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

Definition of usage time

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

This measurement is NOT connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications, or to the quality of Skype calls (MOS).

User Logon Boot Time

User logon measures a part of the boot time, starting when you press OK at the Windows sign in screen and ending when the Windows desktop Start button appears. The Agent queries Windows Shell-Core (NOT the Event Log) for the Explorer_StartMenu_Ready event to mark the end of this time.

The Windows Event Log does not list every single boot (for example boots from virtual console sessions or boots which complete very quickly), hence the need to track boot times in a more robust way.

Boot time definitions

UXI (User Experience Index)

The User Experience Index (UXI) is a value (0-5) which measures the overall performance and health of applications, based on the number of crashes per hour out of the total usage time, the percentage hang time out of the total usage time, and the percentage wait time out of the total usage time. For web applications, it also uses the percentage of web page errors out of all page loads, and the average page load time.

For each element of the UXI, Aternity determines a narrow range of meaningful results, beyond which it is flattened to either zero or the maximum. For example, applications should have 0% hang time, so anything above, say, 5% would be unacceptable, reducing the hang time index to zero, which would drastically lower the overall UXI score for that application.

Definition of UXI

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not use baselines which may vary between applications or locations. However, it is cumulative, not a spot measurement, as each reading relies on and contains those which came beforehand. Absolute measures allow Aternity to accurately use a single consistent dimension across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

This measurement is NOT connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications, or to the quality of Skype calls (MOS).

Vertica Scheduler

The Vertica Scheduler is responsible for creating the time-sensitive rollup aggregations in Vertica Database Server. As data gets older, hourly and daily aggregations are being created storing the RAW data and more compact structures. When using the Aternity dashboards, depending on the time range selection, Aternity will automatically route you to the relevant aggregation. Vertica Scheduler runs periodical tasks, such as hourly and daily aggregation, installed app snapshot calculation, and statistic computation.

Vertica Writer

The Vertica Writer component is responsible for aggregating, indexing and summarizing the analytic data that arrives from various Aternity servers and writing it into the Vertica Database Server.

Wait Time

The wait time of a Windows application is defined as the time users spend waiting for the application to respond when it is actively running and in use (part of the usage time). The total wait time is calculated as the time covered by the following components (which may overlap): the hang time when an application is not responding, or when the mouse pointer has a busy icon (Windows devices). For web applications, the wait time is the web page load time when both the browser window and its tab are in the foreground.

Definition of wait time on a Windows or web application

(For monitored mobile apps only) , the wait time covers the following components which may overlap: the launch time of the app, the time spent waiting for the app to switch from the background to the foreground, the time required for a web page to load within an app, and the time the user spends waiting for the app's main thread to respond.

For Mac apps, wait time is the time during which the app's main UI thread is not as responsive as it should be (slower performance).

This measurement is NOT connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications, or to the quality of Skype calls (MOS).

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

Web Activity Creator (early access)

The Aternity Web Activity Creator (WAC) (early access) enables you to quickly and intuitively create custom activities for web applications directly from the web page. The WAC is an interactive Google Chrome extension that opens as a floating sidebar next to your web page. It offers a simple workflow to create your custom activities all on one PC.

Aternity Web Activity Creator displays as a sidebar next to the web application

White List (for web applications)

While Aternity monitors all web applications which run on monitored devices, it only lists the site names if they are business-related (on our white list). It also lists the managed web applications, and any internal (intranet) web sites whose web servers are inside the enterprise network (or VPN). Aternity does NOT expose all visited websites, as this contravenes our privacy commitments. Any web pages which are not on the white list appear under the generic title Web browsing to preserve employees' privacy. To view a web site's performance in the dashboards, add it as a managed application.

The default white listed business web applications are (in alphabetical order): ADP, Aetna, AirWatch, analytics.google.com (Google Analytics), AppDynamics, AppFirst, AppSense, Ariba, Aternity, athenahealth, Autodesk, Balsamiq, Bazaarvoice, Benefit Resource, bluecross, Box, BRiWeb, Certify, Citrix, Clarizen, Concur, Concur Solutions, console.aws.amazon.com (Amazon AWS Console), Constant Contact, Cornerstone OnDemand, Dealertrack, Demandware, docs.google.com (Google Docs), DocuSign, EchoSign (Adobe Sign), eClinicalWorks, Eloqua, FedEx, Fleetmatics, GitHub, GoDaddy, GoToMeeting, Host Analytics, iMedidata, Informatica, Intralinks, jiveon.com (CIsco Jive), Kronos, LeadGnome, LinkedIn, LivePerson, LogMeIn, MaaS360, Marketo, Microsoft, MindTouch, NetSuite, Office365, Okta, onedrive.live.com (Microsoft OneDrive), OneLogin, OpenAir, Paychex, photoshop.com (Adobe Photoshop Online), Ping Identity, Pinpointe, Proofpoint, Qlik, rainkingonline.com (RainKing), Rally, SalesForce, SAS, ServiceNow, ShareFile, SharePoint, SmartBear, Softrak, Splunk, spotfire.com (TIBCO Spotfire), successfactors.com (SAP SuccessFactors), SugarCRM, Tableau, Trello, UPS, WebEx, Workday, Yammer, Zendesk.

Widget

A widget refers to a single section of a dashboard.