Virtual Desktop Monitoring


Virtual Desktop Monitoring

For my work I’m busy with designing, implementing and troubleshooting VDI environments…. I see VDI in this matter as a concept including SBC and all other central desktop solutions.

So I downloaded Virtual Desktop Monitoring (Accelratio) to get started…

I setup a small environment in a client server kind of way for I recon that VDI has not much to do with monitoring itself…. the basic stuff you can also test without a VDI environment. I like to keep the variables as less as possible so I choose this setup. In the near future I’ll set it up in our Virtuall environment but for now this is sufficient.

Components

The product has two main components;

– a management server with a database;

– a client component with a service that does the monitoring.

 

Setup

Setting up the product is a breeze, first you install the management server side. It’s of course recommended to have your server and desktops in a Active directory before proceeding to setup. I tried to setup the client while the server and client were running in a workgroup but the authentication failed everytime.

1st step : Create an AD user and make sure this user is added to the local administrator group for each desktop or server you’re about the manage. This can be done manually or by a GPO, the choice is yours. For my testing I added the user manaully.

2nd step: Assign the user account “logon as a Service” rights, again through GPO – Computer Configuration/Policies/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/User rights assignments/Logon as a Service.

3rd step: Running the server setup, you have to choose if you will use Windows integrated authentication or SQL server authentication. Choose Windows authentication is possible.

Note: The service user running the configuration wizard needs “Administrator” and “DBcreator” privileges on the SQL server to create the database. In case you use SQL authenticatie you need to create a SQL login..

4th step: Install the management console and the client service. The management console is setup running SETUPVDI.MSI on the server, running it asks the default questions like destination folder and so on.

After the installation is finished the Configuration Wizard is started to setup the stuff. This Configuration Wizard can be run over and over again for the console or the startmenu.

The option to create a new or use an existing database… I setup a database already so I choose use existing.

Browse for the database server and type in the database name, the name can’t be resolved. I use Windows authentication to connect to the database. A simple “Test connection” will verify your SQL connectivity.

Next step is the user account you created in the 1st tstep. Again a simple “Validate account” helps to establish the correct working of the account.

…and then we wait… just a few minutes at max.

The installation is ready, the application can be started… it’s so simple…

….and if you like me have a trial license, you click try.

The console opens, of course there’s nothing to see there yet. We haven’t installed any desktops yet so no data is pouring in.

Desktop installation

So let’s install a desktop service.

There are two ways to install the software on a client, we’ll actually there are more, but there are two main routes to take…

1. create a Transform file and setup the client with a preconfigured file

2. run setup and follow the configuration wizard.

Of course in a production environment you will do the first option, I choose the second.

When you create transform file the following properties are important (to be found under “Property”);

  • Servicesstartupmode (automatic)
  • ServiceAccountType (Service user or LocalSystem for SQL authentication)
  • ServiceUsername (servicename of the service user we created in step 1)
  • ServicePassword (The password of the service user)
  • ConnectionString (Server=SQLServerSQLInstance;Database=VirtualDesktop;Trusted_Connection=Yes;Asynchronous Processing=true;

 

As said before I just ran SetuopVDI.MSI on the client side and installed the client, the Configuration wizard start after completion to connect to the server. The Configuration wizard needs the same

 

 

Configuration

As soon as your client is installed the computer is shown in the console as shown in the picture below.

You can see simple thing like if it’s being monitored or not and whether it’s online or not. Also you can connect to the desktop via a normal RDP connection.

 

Reports

There are a number of basic reports available, some of them are;

  • User and application Daily activity, monthly activity;
  • User application timeline;
  • Session count, daily and monthly;
  • Gantt charts;
  • Detailed user/ application activity;
  • Application instances totals per day/hour and details;
  • Sessions logs;
  • User count summary reports;
  • Activity by state (logged on, idle etc);
  • Concurrent user per day, hour;
  • Concurrent application usage per day and hour;
  • Used application licenses;
  • Application License compliancy and details+ suite license compliancy and details;
  • Client license compliancy and details;

Next to that you can create custom reports.

…and they lead to this kind of reports:

Activity is grouped by user… It’s just a quick report mainly for the environment wasn’t running long enough to have enough data.

E-mail

To send out daily or weekly reports you need to setup Email configuration

 

After doing so you can add reports to be mailed daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.

The format of these reports can vary between several formats… you can use the report to post on your Intranet.

 

and last but not least the reports is setup, you get a nice overview of which reports are scheduled for daily sending and so on.

 

That’s that for now… a quick look at Virtual Desktop monitoring.

 

 


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