You have likely noticed that viewing Remote Desktop sessions and related details has become increasingly difficult. This is largely a result of some recent developments: There was the overhaul of Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2 and later server operating systems. Then, there’s the emergence of Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure.
Microsoft removed the old TSAdmin utility in Windows Server 2012 R2, replacing it with the often cumbersome Remote Desktop Services Manager in the Server Manager utility. It is scarce in detail regarding these sessions, and it does not scale well in larger environments. In addition, attempting to shadow remote desktop sessions with MSTSC often does not work as expected, especially with multiple monitor sessions.
And what about viewing Remote Desktop sessions in Windows Virtual Desktop? Well, you don’t get much of a break there either. Currently, you must use the Windows Virtual Desktop control plane in the Azure Portal, which is even more feature limited than the Remote Desktop Services Manager in Server Manager for classic RDS deployments.
At RDPSoft, we identified these pain points many years ago, and created an assortment of free and commercial solutions to solve these problems. Here are three different ways we’ve made viewing Remote Desktop sessions easier:
Viewing Session Properties Such as Idle Time, Connect Time & More
Users of our free Remote Desktop Commander Lite utility can quickly view sessions connected to their terminal servers, RDS collections, and WVD hosts, and then perform management actions like logging off disconnected or hung users, sending messages, checking on the quality of their connection, and much more.
Some of the available properties of the displayed remote desktop sessions include:
- Server Name
- Winstation Name
- Client IP
- Client Build Number
- State (Active/Disconnected)
- Idle Time
- Connect Time
- Session ID
- RDP Bandwidth
Viewing Remote Desktop Session User Activities in Real Time With SuperShadow
Of course, some organizations need to view what users are actually doing inside their remote desktop sessions in order to assist them in a support session, or to audit their work in accordance with policy. If so, our Premium Management Features solution is a very affordable way to do so, giving admins, help desk workers, and managers the ability to view and remote control remote desktop sessions in RDS and WVD with ease.
Multiple remote desktop sessions can be viewed and/or interacted with at the same time inside the MiniView dock, and specific sessions can be brought into sharper focus with powerful resizing features.
Viewing Session Activity On a Historic Basis To Analyze Performance & Monitor User Activity
Finally, some businesses need to have full insight into how the remote desktop session activity of various users impacts the performance of their terminal servers. They may also need to record terminal server sessions to satisfy auditing and compliance or security policies on their network. In these scenarios, our Remote Desktop Commander Suite is the best tool for the job.
After administrators deploy a lightweight agent service on each terminal server or WVD host, the main Remote Desktop Reporter Service collects all of this information into a central SQL database, such as CPU and Memory utilization per process and per user session, TCP/UDP network activity per user and per process, and screenshots with window captions for added context. Managers and server admins can then review this activity to spot performance problems and/or any user activity that violates Acceptable Use Policies on corporately owned IT assets.