Tools of the trade – your tools in EUC as presented at VirtualExpo
Yesterday, September 23rd, VirtualExpo was held. A online conference elimination travel, hotel costs. VirtualExpo is organized by @XenAppblog (Trond Haavarstein). Together me my co-worker Hayscen de Lannoy (@HdeLannoy) we created a light session about tools we use in the field. In our work we see people struggling with tools and something oblivious about them. Some tools are used already but not always user efficiently. so our thought was that we show real quick how to use them and we hoped that the majority of the audience would gain something from it. If you watched and knew all tools and the way we used them, the session was not for you…. hope you still enjoyed it. Let’s talk about the first one we discussed, assessment.vmware.com
For the rest I hope we got you triggered to try the tool or try the way we used it. Let’s do a little recap as promised about the tools we presented. As we said in during VirtualExpo we went along as if we had a little project. Project have a certain organic way of going along, I think in phases;
- Assessment phase where you determine what you’re up against
- Application packaging where the applications are created including the specific configuration
- Application deployment where you deploy the applications and the configuration to the golden images
- Fix issues, every project has issues that need to be fixed
So with the four phases we have presented five tools, the fix phase sometimes needs more angles to look at. So let’s make a quick list of the tools we talked about at VirtualExpo. first blog is about phase one – assessment. Let’s talk about the first one we discussed, assessment.vmware.com.
- For part 2 about phase 2 please click this link – link –
- For part 3 about phase 3 please click this link – link –
- For part 4 about phase 4 please click this link – link –
First tool we discussed was assessment.vmware.com a cloud based version of Systrack running at VMware.com. The Systrack tooling can be used to assess your customer environment in terms of software, hardware and user behaviour. So as we told in the session at VirtualExpo the reason we use this in projects is because of the fact that you want to know e.g. the screen resolution of current clients so that you don’t deploy clients that make people get a headache.
Also you want to know the software that is installed and the number of times the software is used, I’ve come across projects where claims are made that software is super important and after investing hours getting it to run it turn out no one is really using it. With assessing first you get information you can use to work with in session so that before you start the next phase you have a current list of applications.
Setup is super easy, you register online and that takes a few minutes. The environment is created on the spot for you, after that you get an agent to download and that collects the data. The data is sent to assessment.vmware.com and after a couple of days you will have enough data to get reports. Data collection will run for 60 days and you will have access for 90 days after which all data is lost. So please download all reports after 89 days to make sure it is not lost.
Limitations of assessment.vmware.com is that it is limited to 2000 desktops and will stop after 90 days. Also you can’t register a new assessment with the same email address twice. So if you set this up use the email address of your customer.
Downloading the agent gives you the following files, a nice PDF with the complete agent install paramaters so that you can also do a silent install in your network.
So after you installed it, you will see LsiAgent.exe in the TaskManager, that is a sign all is well.
There are a number of dashboards and reports that you can look at or download at the site. The first screenshot is from a report about the software installed. In my lab I had only two machines running right now with the agent. Imagine 1000 desktops and the list you would get here.
The second list is a report about the websites visited and the total minutes in focus as well as the number of times visited. This gives a very good insight in what users are doing, not judging but knowing what to expect if you e.g. setup UEM.
The last one I want to show you is the screen resolution gathering, this will show the difference in the client environment that you have to take into account.
So this is assessment.vmware.com, visit the site and use it to get insight. Phase one completed.