My Experience with Citrix Edgesight, XenDesktop, XenApp License Monitoring and Troubleshooting

Recently I ran into an issue no Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp admin wants to face – license exhaustion.  Users were having trouble logging in.  At first glance, it wasn’t quite clear why, either.  We had 45 Virtual desktops powered on and ‘ready’, only 22 were ‘In use’, and only 16 XenApp users.  Despite all this, our 100 concurrent XenDesktop licenses were exhausted.  Checking in XenDesktop Desktop Studio confirmed — 100 licenses used, somehow.  In rapid response mode, I mentioned the issue in #Citrix and went about troubleshooting with the help of the excellent contributors in IRC.

The initial triage searches led to ‘lmstat‘ which is located on the licensing server to determine the exact license count.  Upon receiving the output, I saw, clearly, there were 100 licenses issued.  In the mean time, I tried shutting down unused VMs and logging on the 4 users who were stranded in the immediate and looked at Edgesight.

Edgesight showed clearly that this problem of licenses was a problem for some time.  Keep an eye on your licensing baseline and watch for changes!

At that point, I restarted licensing services in the evening, however, the issue persisted.  On a hunch, I rebooted the DDC that had checked out the licenses (confirmed via lmstat) and the ‘phantom’ licenses were gone.

To compound the problem, I also had an additional 45 licenses to install, but that one day Citrix License portal was down, as confirmed by support when I called them they could not even issue licenses via e-mail.  Tough break…

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