Windows Azure RDP Monitoring, Cloud RDP Monitoring

More and more frequently, we’re hearing from clients who need to RDP Monitoring and Terminal Server Monitoring on their virtual servers located in the cloud.  When a company elects to adopt Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), making sure that activity on the virtual server gets monitored is paramount.

For new and startup businesses, IaaS makes a lot of sense, as it allows them to effectively lease at a low rate both the hardware and personnel required to service the machines running their mission critical applications and services, freeing them up to focus on expanding their core business.  It also lessens the pain of making their workforce truly global; they can quickly spin up a few virtual machine images, load critical software on the virtual machines, and provide access to offshore workers as needed.

One of the key facilitating technologies that allows this all to happen is the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).  As not all businesses can leverage web-based access to their products and services, RDP becomes very important, as it allows access to rich-client applications over the Internet.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of the default protocols enabled on a freshly provisioned Windows Azure virtual machine is in fact RDP.  RDP has become the de facto method of administering and working inside cloud-based Virtual Machines.

Having a reliable way to measure how employees and customers connect, work, and interact in their remote desktop sessions is vital.  Sadly, most “cloud-based monitoring” vendors completely ignore this aspect of monitoring.  Instead, they are focused on the broader, anonymous metrics associated with end user and general performance monitoring.  These solutions can verify if the servers in the cloud are up and running, and the level of load they are under, but cannot tell you who specifically is connected to them, and how they are working inside them.

Therefore, tools like our Remote Desktop Reporter become absolutely critical.  First, it’s important to note that Remote Desktop Reporter can be deployed directly inside cloud-based Virtual Machines – we’ve tested it successfully on stock Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 images provided by Windows Azure.  More importantly, once deployed, management and IT can gain key insight into how customers and employees are accessing mission-critical servers – for instance, they can find out how long their sessions run, how active they are in their sessions, how much bandwidth they consume in their sessions, and the type and quantity of applications they run.  They can also derive information such as the names of unique users that visit the server each day, and the peak number of concurrent users connecting to the server each day, week, or month.  The latter especially is of tremendous value to businesses that license access to applications and services based on inbound RDP connections.

So, whether you’re brand new to the “cloud,” or are greatly expanding your mission critical business infrastructure into a cloud services partner, don’t forget to budget for an RDP monitoring and management solution like Remote Desktop Reporter.  We know you’ll be glad you did.


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