Special Holiday Offer – RDS/XenApp Monitoring For $7 Per Server Per Month!

Back in September, we launched our new flexible month-to-month subscription licensing program for our Remote Desktop Commander Suite, in direct challenge the traditional channel-driven, expensive perpetual licensing models used by our competition. We now offer month-to-month licensing for only $9 per RDS/XenApp server per month, and $1 per virtual desktop/physical workstation.

A little more than two months in, and the results have been phenomenal. Small and medium sized businesses who run server based computing farms designed around Microsoft Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp have been embracing our model, thrilled to finally have monitoring and reporting insight into their Terminal Server session activity, connection quality, and so much more, with so little additional cost.

To celebrate the great success of our subscription based licensing, we’re offering a special promotion through the end of this month (December 31st, 2015). Here are the details:

> Click here to learn more about our Remote Desktop Commander Suite and its many features.

> Click here to start your subscription.

RDP Latency – Yes, Virginia, You Can Track It Now…

RDP Latency IS Now Trackable in Windows Server 2012

Several weeks ago, I gave a really fun talk at BriForum about the hidden benefits found inside Version 8 of the Remote Desktop Protocol – specifically, the fact that for any given RDP 8 connections to a Windows Server 2012 (or Windows 8) system, you can now track things like session latency, data throughput, assessed bandwidth, error rates, and much more. Provided you know which performance counters to query and how to query them.

The big catch here is not on the client side – you can get Windows 7 updated to use RDP Version 8, and Windows 8 and Windows 10 already run it natively. Plus, most thin clients (the good ones anyway) now support RDP 8.

No, the challenge is on the server side. Each week I talk to evaluators of our tools and ask them what server platform they’re running. Inevitably, the majority seem to answer Windows 2008 R2. Yes, I get it. Windows 2008 still gives you that nice Start Menu that your users know and love. But, to be frank, RDP Version 7 (which is what Windows 2008 uses) stinks when compared to RDP 8.

Why is Version 8 So Awesome For Higher RDP Latency Connections?

Two words: UDP transport. Yep, Microsoft’s RDS gurus REALLY did things right in RDP 8. By default, unless you disable it intentionally or unintentionally (more on that in a later blog article), RDP 8 uses both TCP AND UDP to serve up remote desktops to your clients. I won’t bore you to tears with the internal mechanics, but the key takeaway is this – on marginal, high latency connections (e.g. spotty Wifi, 4G mobile hotspots, overseas WAN links, or satellite), adaptive UDP transport overcomes much of the inherent “guaranteed delivery” limitations of TCP. In doing so, it effectively can increase data throughput from 3x to 10x over previous RDP versions, all while improving the responsiveness experienced by clients interacting with their sessions.

So Beyond Improved RDP Throughput and Responsiveness, Why Should I Upgrade to Windows 2012 Server?

Good question. Because once you do, you can use our software to track every aspect of network connection quality between your RDS servers and your client sessions, whether you want to do it in realtime, or via leveraging the ever expanding set of reports we’re creating. Seriously, what we can do with this information is awesome – it lets you, the admin, get in front of those annoying damn calls from users kvetching about how the connection is dropping, or their screen updates are too slow – etc. See for yourself by watching this video we just recorded showing these features in action:

Tracking RDP Latency and Connection Quality With Remote Desktop Commander

 

That is really awesome stuff. And I have some Windows 2012 servers already deployed. How can I get a copy of your software to profile my users’ RDP latency and connection quality?

That’s super easy – simply start a monthly subscription of our Remote Desktop Commander Suite for only $9 per server per month. For this extremely affordable monthly rate, you can track RDP latency, RDP bandwidth consumption, CPU and memory consumption by session, plus review detailed session recordings for root cause RDS performance problem analysis and/or terminal server user auditing.

We haven’t rolled on Windows Server 2012 yet. We may wait for Windows Server 2016 next year. Is there anything in the meantime we can do to get some of this information?

Absolutely. Stand up at least one Windows Server 2012 instance in your farm, populate it with the same apps/desktop environments your users need, and then send your “problem children” clients directly over to the Windows 2012 server. If you do that, you can use our software to keep tabs on their connection quality, PLUS they’ll be able to leverage the awesome UDP transport offered by RDP 8.

SaaS Over Remote Desktop: License and Resource Metering Techniques

Believe it or not, there’s a nice sized portion of SaaS vendors in the marketplace that are delivering their SaaS applications to clients over RDS (Remote Desktop Services) as opposed to the Web.

Why Remote Desktop and RemoteApp?

There are several reasons many software vendors choose remote desktop (or RDS) and RemoteApp as the mechanism by which to provide their software as a service over the Internet. Here are the big reasons:

  • Inherent limitations in building a web application with a consistent, rich, and responsive user interface.
  • Additional development and QA costs associated with web apps.
  • The costs to migrate an existing non-Internet based application.
  • Security considerations.

But Don’t Forget License and Resource Metering

As we do more and more business with “Saas over Remote Desktop” vendors, one of the biggest problems we see them experience is license and resource metering.

SaaS vendors using remote desktop have some numbers to crunch.
If you’re an SaaS vendor using Remote Desktop to deliver your application, you’ve got some numbers to crunch when it comes to license metering.

It’s one thing to develop and bring a SaaS application to market.  It’s quite another to figure out how to:

  • Capacity plan for additional hardware / virtualized servers in your server farm as your client base grows.
  • Attribute costs of business to specific clients (How much bandwidth/memory do they use?).
  • Reliably meter client usage of your application for billing purposes . . . and to know when to bump your clients up to the next subscription level based on that usage.

. . . or the Bottom Line

We then help SaaS vendors solve those very problems. As an aggregator of Remote Desktop Session metrics, our Remote Desktop Reporter solution is being used to produce lots of different reports that help a SaaS vendor stay on top of client license and resource usage, and in turn, significantly improve their bottom line.

Some of those metrics include:

  • RDP bandwidth by user.
  • Peak concurrent sessions by server and/or by user.
  • Distinct RDS users by time period.
  • Total time by RDS user.
  • Specific application use by user.

Are You a SaaS Vendor in a Similar Situation?

We can provide a web demonstration of how to configure our software and establish these reports. Reach out to us here or message us on Twitter @RDPSoft.

Or, post a question below and continue the discussion!

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.