Typical Activity Time Ratios For Terminal Server Teleworkers

Our customers often have questions about how to interpret data showing the time that a user is typically active in a terminal server session.

Q: I have a question about the session details by user.  Looking at the attached screenshot, does this mean that this user logged in at 10:42 am, didn’t log out, then logged in again at 12:12, etc.?

time1

In this report, the Connect Time was 10:42:58 AM, and the Total Session Time was 4 mins 52 secs.  This means their first session only lasted until approximately 10:48 AM.

If you run the User Sessions – Session Details By User (with Time Tallies) instead, that report explicitly states the session end time (or in the case of a session still active, the last and most recent polling time) thusly:
time2

Q: Using the new report suggested; does this mean that the user logged in 4 times (with a total time of 3 hrs and 50 minutes), yet only really accessed things in the RDS session for about an hour?

Yes.

That 25% activity is pretty typical for a teleworker.  We’ve found with other clients that the sweet spot for RDS activity is between 20% and 40% active, depending on the nature of the work being done.  Remember, as soon as they stop typing or moving the mouse, the idle time counter starts going.  Our software calculates the delta between total idle time observed, via periodic monitoring, versus total session time, to get active time and an activity percentage.  Most RDS work behaviors are: type something or move the mouse, observe items on screen for several minutes (or even task switch away from the session on to their local system) and then repeat.

For more sophisticated monitoring of specific users that includes frequent screen captures, you can leverage our Remote Desktop Reporter Agent to do that.