Troubleshoot a User's Device (Troubleshoot Device)

Use the Troubleshoot Device dashboard for support engineers who receive a call from a user about a problematic device or an application running on it, to troubleshoot it remotely by viewing the most important recent support information, enabling fast, effective and powerful remote troubleshooting. See recent installations, CPU and memory usage (HRC), the Windows processes using most resources, boot times, recent health events and network connections.

Troubleshoot a device by viewing key support information

For example, if a user calls support, use this dashboard as your first entry point to troubleshoot and resolve a problem with their PC. All your typical device questions are laid out for you: the operating system, network connection, top processes, memory, CPU usage, health events and so on. Change the timeframe to view the device at the time the problem occurred, making it a powerful troubleshooting tool.

The Troubleshoot User's Device Dashboard
Field Description
Summary bar

View a summary of this device's key information, including whether it is currently reporting data to Aternity, location, IP, operating system and last boot.

For more information, see this step below).

CPU and Memory

Look for any high percentages of usage in the history of the device's CPU, physical memory or virtual memory during the timeframe of the dashboard.

For more information, see this step below).

Top Processes

(Windows, Macs, and Android only) View the processes on this device which occupy the most resources during the dashboard's timeframe.

For more information, see this step below).

Battery Level

(Macs and Mobile) View the percentage battery charge for this device at any time.

Additional data related to battery status:

  • Battery Charging is true or false depending on whether it is currently being charged.

  • Battery Health status as reported by the operating system (not available in iOS).

Disk Queue Length

(All Windows devices except virtual application servers) Displays the number of waiting I/O requests to read or write to the hard disk or a logical disk at a given time during the timeframe.

You can also customize the view of this section with the drop-down menu to view:

  • Disk IO Read

  • Disk IO Write

  • Network IO Read

  • Network IO Write

  • Max CPU Core Utilization

  • Signal Strength - Wi-Fi

  • (Macs only) Battery Level

  • (Macs only) SNR - Wi-Fi

  • (Macs only) Noise Level - Wi-Fi

For more information on all these sections, see this step below.

Free Space (%)

(Macs only) Displays the amount (GB) of free space on the device's system disk which contains the operating system installation.

You can also customize the view of this section with the drop-down menu to view:

  • Free Space (GB) displays the absolute number of gigabytes free on the Mac's system disk.

  • Battery Level

  • Signal Strength

Sessions

(Virtual application servers only) View the total number of open sessions into this virtual application server during the timeframe. Hover your mouse pointer over the line to view the number of active and inactive sessions.

The dashboard displays sessions which connect via the RDP, ICA or PCoIP protocols.

Applications

View the list of applications (desktop and web) running on this device, and key information about their performance for end users. For more information, see the step below.

Outgoing Connections

(Physical Windows device only) Displays any virtual sessions opened from this physical device (which would be the front line terminal) to a VDI virtual desktop, virtual application or RDP session during the dashboard's timeframe. It also displays some details of the virtual device, and the latency time of the connection.

You can move between tabs or drill down to view more about that other device, like troubleshooting that device, the experience of this user over all devices, and performance changes while performing specific activities.

Connected Users

(Virtual device only) View the list of front line users connected to this virtual desktop, and the latency times during the dashboard's timeframe.

You can move between tabs or drill down to view more about the other device, like troubleshooting that device, the experience of this user over all devices, and performance changes while performing specific activities.

Recent Health Events

(Windows, Macs only) Displays the list of hardware health events for this device during the past seven days. See the Device Health dashboard for more details.

(Mobile) For each monitored mobile app, it displays the list of app crashes and app errors for the past seven days.

Recent Installed Software

(Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets only) Displays the list of applications installed or upgraded as part of an auto-update during the past seven days.

Recent Boots

(Windows, Macs only) Displays the boot date and times, and the total boot time of each boot reported during the past seven days.

(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.

(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.

For more information on the boots performed on Windows, see the Boot Analysis dashboard.

Windows boot time definitions
Signal Strength

(Windows Agent 9.2 or later, Macs and mobile devices) Displays the percent strength of the WiFi signal which the device receives, which can impact communication speed. For more details, hover your mouse over the graph in the dashboard to see the name of the WiFi network connection (SSID), the wireless network card MAC address (BSSID), and the WiFi channel.

(Mobile only) For mobile network connections (3G / 4G / LTE), view the signal strength to the mobile carrier, the type of phone network (like CDMA or GSM) and the name of the carrier.

Procedure

  1. Step 1 Open a browser and sign in to Aternity.
  2. Step 2 Select Main Menu > Troubleshoot > User or Device.
    Accessing Troubleshoot User or Device
  3. Step 3 Select the user's device to display in the dashboard.
    Select a user's device which needs troubleshooting
    Field Description
    Enter a username or device name

    Start typing the name of the user or the hostname of a device, and select a choice from the auto-complete menu.

    Select a device

    If you chose a username, select from a list of devices associated with that username.

    show me

    Select if you are not sure on the device to troubleshoot. It redirects you to the Monitor User Experience dashboard so you can view the performance of all the devices of that user, and then drill down from there back to Troubleshoot Device.

  4. Step 4 View a summary of this device's key information, including whether it is currently reporting data to Aternity, its location, IP, operating system, user, department and last boot.
    View a quick summary of the key support information about a device
    Field Description
    Stability Index

    (Windows only) This index is made up of:

    • 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 therefore would not report it to Aternity.

    • Reliability Grade: The reliability grade of a Windows device is the colored status of its reliability value, using Aternity's standard method to derive a status.

    Network

    (Devices with Agent 9.x or later) Displays the type of network connection of the device: Mobile or WiFi, and also LAN (for non-mobile devices only).

    OS

    Displays the generic name and version of the operating system (like MS Windows 10, MS Windows Server 2008 R2, MacOS 10.3, iOS 10 or Android 6).

    Last Boot

    (Windows, Mac, and mobile devices) Displays the date and time of the last boot of the device.

    Business Location

    Displays the current location of the device, and whether or not it is connected via VPN (by checking for known VPN adapters which are operational).

    Aternity reports the location as Off-site when the device is not connected to the Microsoft Active Directory or if Aternity cannot determine the location name.

    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.

    Manufacturer

    Displays the name of the vendor which created this device, like Samsung, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and so on.

    Model

    Displays the name and the model number of the device, like iPhone 6s, GalaxyTab8, MacBook Pro 12.1, Dell Latitude D620.

    IP Address

    (Windows only) Displays the device's internal IP address (including IP v6 if the device runs Agent 10 or later) which it uses to connect to Aternity.

    Subnet

    (Windows only) Displays the device's subnet configuration used to connect to Aternity (including IP v6 if the device runs Agent 10 or later).

    Connected User

    Displays the username of the person working with the device.

    Department

    Displays the name of the department to which the user or the device belongs.

    For further information, you can move between tabs to view any of the following dashboards:

    Get a full picture for the selected user or device
  5. Step 5 Look for any high percentages of usage in the CPU and Memory section, which displays the history of the device's CPU, physical memory or virtual memory during the timeframe of the dashboard.

    Each point in the graph represents the maximum usage of that resource in its one-hour slot.

    Recent usage of CPU, physical and virtual memory

    For each of line in the graph (CPU, physical memory, or virtual memory), look for:

    • High CPU usage slows down the device performance, but it is often caused by only a single application.

      If you see consistent high readings, check the Top Processes section at different points on this graph to discover if a single program is causing the high CPU usage. Also check this application on other devices, and if so, consider removing it from your policy.

    • High physical memory usage (above 80%) significantly slows down the system as the device issues many more data requests to its virtual memory (hard page faults).

      Each request to virtual memory is about 1000 times slower than a request within the physical memory, hence performance is hit hard. To reduce this, check the Applications section for too many heavy applications running simultaneously. If all are necessary, consider upgrading the device's RAM.

    • High virtual memory usage (above 80%) indicates the device is at risk of running out of memory, with many applications issuing multiple memory exception errors.

      Resolve this by clearing out hard disk space and possibly upgrading RAM.

      Hover over any of the graphs to see the value of all three parameters at a given point in time.

    It displays minute-by-minute reports for the last 48 hours, then a 10 minute summary for data 48-72 hours ago, then hourly summaries beyond 72 hours ago. To view finer detail around a specific time period, drill down to Zoom in on this time.

  6. Step 6 In the Top Processes section, view the top processes on this Windows or Mac device which occupy the most resources during the dashboard's timeframe, updated every two minutes.

    You can view five types of measurements which consume the device's resources (HRC), by selecting the resource type in the section's drop-down menu. 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.

    For example, if the CPU usage threshold is 50% (default) and the total CPU usage for all the processes on the device is at 80%, the Top Processes section displays the five processes which consume the most CPU.

    Tip

    To see the top processes at a specific time, select that point on the graph in the CPU and Memory section and check the Top Processes section.

    View the top resource hogs
    Field Description
    Process

    The name of the process which is taking up high resource usage.

    Recorded At

    Displays the time when the process had a high resource usage, where at least one of the five measurements exceeds its threshold.

    Value

    Displays the percentage resource usage of this process.

    The Agent may have recorded these values at different times within the dashboard's timeframe, so the total percentage of all listed CPU Utilization can sometimes exceed 100%.

    Hover over the Value column to view the key resource usage measurements at that time.

    View the full picture of resource usage at that time
    Field Description Default Threshold
    CPU Utilization

    (Windows, Macs, Android only) Displays the processes occupying the highest CPU percentage on the device during the timeframe, and view the maximum usage for each process. For example, when an intensive graphics application uses a high CPU for several minutes, or an application hangs.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total CPU usage of all processes on the device rises above 50%, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    IO Read

    (Windows only) Displays the processes with the highest data input rate (read requests) from the network and hard disk during the timeframe, and displays the maximum read rate for each process. To look for the exact times when peaks occurred, view the graphs of the Disk IO Read section or Network IO Read.

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total read rate from the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    IO Write

    (Windows only) Displays the processes with the highest data output rate (write requests) from the network and hard disk during the timeframe, and displays the maximum write rate for each process. To look for the exact times when peaks occurred, view the graphs of the Disk IO Write section or Network IO Write.

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total write rate to the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Physical Memory

    Displays the processes which utilize the most physical memory (known as the total working set) during the timeframe, and view the maximum physical memory usage for each process.

    Use this to find processes which suffer memory leakage, causing other applications to slow down.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total physical RAM usage of all processes on the device rises above 90%, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Virtual Memory

    (Windows only) Displays the processes which reserve the most virtual memory (known as commit size), during the timeframe, and view the peak commit size for each process.

    High usage of virtual memory slows performance significantly, because using the hard disk instead of RAM is 1000 times slower than physical memory. To resolve, increase the capacity of RAM on the device.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total commit size usage of all processes on the device rises above 90% of the device's virtual memory, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

  7. Step 7 Use the Disk Queue Length section to view the essential I/O measurements of this Windows (only) device during the dashboard's timeframe.

    Use the drop-down menu on the right hand side of this section to view different key I/O measurements.

    View any I/O bottlenecks to the disk or network
    Field Description
    Disk Queue Length

    Displays the number of waiting I/O requests to read or write to the hard disk or a logical disk at a given time during the timeframe.

    A consistent queue for the disk indicates a bottleneck in hard disk access, which significantly impacts on system performance, either due to excess system demands on the disk, or it can be a hardware disk problem. To check if the problem is hardware, view if the speed (rate of reads and writes to the disk) is low by selecting Disk IO Read or Disk IO Write from this section's drop-down menu.

    Disk IO Read

    Displays the rate at which the device reads from the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Disk IO Write

    DIsplays the rate at which the device writes to the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Network IO Read

    Displays the data downloads of this device in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Network IO Write

    Displays the data uploads from this device in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Max CPU Core Utilization

    (Windows) Displays the individual CPU core processor with the highest percentage usage at a given time. Look for 100% for a length of time (flat line), indicating a process is stuck and hogging that CPU's resources. For example, if the device has four CPU cores, where one is at 100% usage and the others are idle, it will display a value of 100%.

    Signal Strength - Wi-Fi

    Displays the quality of the WiFi connection of this device.

    SNR - WiFi

    (Macs only) Displays the WiFi signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which is the strength of the data measured in decibels minus the background noise. Low SNR impacts significantly on network performance. Higher speed connections require a higher SNR. For example, at 54 Mbps you need an SNR of at least 25 decibels.

    Noise Level - WiFi

    (Macs only) Displays the background noise level of the WiFi connection for this device, measured in decibels. High noise levels lower the quality of a connection (signal to noise ratio), which slows the effective speed of that connection, which in turn lowers an application's performance.

  8. Step 8 You can check whether the WiFi connection of this device impacts on performance by selecting Signal Strength - Wi-Fi from the drop-down menu.
    View the details of the wireless network connection

    (Windows Agent 9.2 or later, Macs and mobile devices) Displays the percent strength of the WiFi signal which the device receives, which can impact communication speed. For more details, hover your mouse over the graph in the dashboard to see the name of the WiFi network connection (SSID), the wireless network card MAC address (BSSID), and the WiFi channel.

    (Mobile only) For mobile network connections (3G / 4G / LTE), view the signal strength to the mobile carrier, the type of phone network (like CDMA or GSM) and the name of the carrier.

    If this device connects to a WiFi access point from Riverbed Xirrus™, and if you integrated Xirrus with Aternity, you can drill down to open Xirrus XMS-Cloud in a separate tab:

    • Xirrus - Access Point Details displays details of this WiFi access point in Xirrus XMS-Cloud like the data throughput, settings, and firmware versions. Use the buttons on the left to display the different types of detail.

      View details of this WiFi access point in Xirrus XMS-Cloud
    • Xirrus - Connected Device Details displays more details about the WiFi connection of this Windows device in Xirrus XMS-Cloud, like the number of packet retries, signal-to-noise-ratio, or data throughput.

      View WiFi details about this device in Xirrus XMS-Cloud
  9. Step 9 View all the applications (Windows and web) on this device during the dashboard timeframe in the Applications section, along with their usage time, wait time, and UXI.

    When troubleshooting a Mac, this section displays only managed web applications.

    All the applications which ran on this device during the timeframe
    Field Description
    Type

    Displays the type of application: Windows desktop (), web application () which you run in a web browser, or monitored mobile app (), which has been integrated with Aternity monitoring.

    Name

    The name of the application, as specified in the Description field of the executable file's properties.

    Tip

    Web Browsing is an umbrella term for all web browsing in your organization on sites which are not white listed or where the web server is not inside the enterprise network or VPN (intranet). To white list a site, add it as a managed application.

    An internet browser is both a container of web applications and a desktop application in its own right. You can monitor a browser's performance by viewing its launch times and recent crashes in Monitor Application, and its memory and CPU consumption in the Analyze Process Resources dashboard.

    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.

    UXI

    Displays the application's user experience index across all users in all locations in your enterprise. 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.

    Activity Score

    (For managed applications only) Displays the overall activity score for this application, calculated by condensing all the activity statuses into a single value. Use this for acute (recent) problems in performance.

    Aggregating many end user activities into a single score and status
    View more information on each application by hovering your mouse over the measurements

    This table lists the fields from the hover windows in alphabetical order:

    Field Description
    Application (only in dashboards with multiple applications)

    Displays the name of the monitored application, as it appears throughout the system. You can customize it when you add it as a managed application.

    Average Page Load Time

    (For web applications only) Displays the average time required to load the web page in a cloud application. 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).

    Load time of a web page
    Crashes per Hour of Use

    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. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    Hang Time Rate

    Displays the percentage of hang time of out the total usage time. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    Page Error Rate

    (For web applications only) Displays the percentage of web page errors (HTTP error 40x or 50x) out of all page loads in web applications. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Wait Time Percent

    Displays the percentage wait time out of the total usage time.

    For further information, you can drill down to:

  10. Step 10 You can preserve or send information regarding health events and their details. Hover the mouse over a Details field, highlight and copy the details to a file or email.
    Copy health event details and save or send them
  11. Step 11 You can jump straight to related dashboards using the tabs at the top of the screen:
    Move between tabs to jump to related dashboards about this device
    Field Description
    User Experience

    Jump to the Monitor User Experience dashboard to view a detailed list of activities performed on that device.

    Activity Resource Analysis

    Jump to the Activity Resource Analysis dashboard to correlate an activity's performance with the device's resource usage.

    Device Details

    Jump to the Device Details dashboard for this device to view all the device's static attributes.

  12. Step 12 You can limit the display of the dashboard using the menus at the top of the window.
    Note

    You cannot save this dashboard.

    Select the data to display in the dashboard
    Field Description
    Time Zone Selection

    Select the time zone to view the times associated with the data in this dashboard:

    • Default displays the time zone set in most Aternity dashboards.

    • Yours displays the time zone of your computer where you are viewing the dashboard.

    • Device displays the time zone of the monitored device which is the focus of this dashboard's content.

      Tip

      The default is the time zone of the Aternity Management Server. It is possible to contact Aternity Beta Team and to change the time zone to be the local time zone of your account.

    Timeframe

    You can change the start time of the data displayed in the dashboard in the Timeframe menu in the top right corner of the dashboard.

    You can access data in this dashboard (retention) going back up to seven days.

    This dashboard displays raw data in real time, refreshing every time you access it or whenever you manually refresh the browser page.