Greetings friends and current Remote Desktop Commander customers! We’ve just released Version 6.5 of our Remote Desktop Commander solution. This mid-cycle release version introduces new features such as a consolidated RDS Event Viewer and automatic adjustment of monitored session hosts via broker consultation.
Here is a summary of the new features:
- We have introduced a consolidated Remote Desktop Services Event Viewer to help you quickly find the most relevant events logged by your RDS session hosts and RDS infrastructure servers. You can quickly pull events from an entire collection worth of hosts, only your infrastructure servers, or a combination of both over a specific time frame. Then, you can utilize very powerful grouping, sorting, and filtering techniques to zero in on potential problems. More importantly, this new feature is available to you whether you are a Premium Management Features OR Remote Desktop Commander Suite customer.
- Do you have a larger or dynamic RDS environment, where you frequently add or remove session hosts from your collections? Version 6.5 of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, via its new Advanced Settings area, will let you enable automatic, dynamic session host monitoring. When enabled, the Remote Desktop Reporter service will routinely consult your connection brokers and add/remove session hosts from monitoring, when you add them/remove them from specific RDS collections.
Beyond this new software release, we’re excited to let you know about Andy’s new RDPHard YouTube Channel and Twitter feed, where he offers up valuable tips and tricks on how to better fix, optimize, and secure your RDS deployments. He’s also been calling out the BS he sees within the End User Computing (EUC) community- regarding things like AVD’s true costs, Microsoft’s licensing games, and an increase of RDS-related bugs making their way into production over the past year.
In this RDPSoft E-Newsletter:
Quickly Troubleshoot Your Session Host Collections and RDS Infrastructure Servers With Our New Consolidated Event Viewer
When you need to troubleshoot issues happening in your Remote Desktop Services environment, the Windows event log is indispensable. We’ve personally been involved in many RDS consulting engagements where the root cause of the problem was buried in a lesser known RDS related channel event log.
However, parsing all of the relevant RDS-related event logs across multiple computers can be tedious work. Unless you want to take the time to set up Event Collector service and event forwarding, or write lots of PowerShell code, you’ll be spending much time in the Event Viewer, connecting to each computer manually to sort out what is going on.
So here at RDPSoft we decided to make your life a lot easier. In Remote Desktop Commander 6.5, we’ve designed an integrated Event Viewer that can gather events from multiple event logs and multiple computers for a given time frame, and then let you group and sort things exactly how you want. This new Event Viewer feature is available for both our Premium Management Features and Remote Desktop Commander Suite customers.
With our new RDS Event Viewer, you can:
- Choose to view errors & warnings from a broad set of event logs that are typically relevant to RDS, errors & warnings from only RDS related event channels, or all event types from RDS related event channels,
- Select the specific time frame you’re investigating (in order to whittle down the number of events returned and make it easier to find the root cause of problems),
- Customize the specific event logs our software gathers events from,
- Easily group, sort, and further filter these events however you want. Maybe quickly group things by provider, and then by level, so you can see what’s happening within each event family. Perhaps you want to keep all of the events ungrouped, and then search for a username, so you can trace their connectivity through your RDS infrastructure onto a session host. You are in complete control of the grouping, sorting, and filtering and, best of all, our Event Viewer remembers your most recent settings when you summon it again,
- Research the events you’re finding online by clicking the Research Online button, as this will often provide you valuable context and recommendations for potential fixes on technical message boards,
- and much more…
Do You Add and Remove Session Hosts From Collections Frequently? Remote Desktop Commander’s Advanced Settings Are the Answer.
At RDPSoft, we’re proud that we serve customers big and small- from organizations with one terminal server to hundreds. Remote Desktop Services environments hosted by our medium and larger customers are often quite dynamic, with session hosts being added/removed from their collections on a daily or weekly basis.
In version 6.5 of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, we have introduced a new Advanced Settings area designed to help our customers with more complicated deployments. Specifically, in Advanced Settings, you can now:
- Instruct Remote Desktop Commander to dynamically query your RDS connection brokers twice a day, looking for membership changes in session host collections, and then automatically re-configuring which servers it monitors based on those membership changes. Everything happens automatically without any need for any manual intervention by admins.
- Instruct Remote Desktop Commander to continuously query your Remote Desktop Gateways, if you have an “RDS Lite” deployment where individual users connect through Remote Desktop Gateways to reach internal Windows workstations or VDI virtual machines, running Windows 10/11 (as opposed to a full server based RDS deployment). In this configuration, Remote Desktop Commander will only monitor workstations when an active connection is proxied through a Remote Desktop Gateway and will stop monitoring them when no user is connected to them via a Gateway. Configuring Remote Desktop Commander in this manner reduces SQL server storage requirements, and also removes the need to manually add workstations for monitoring in our software.
- Set a minimum thread count for the Remote Desktop Reporter Service. In larger environments, with many dozens or hundreds of servers, monitoring can slow when the Remote Desktop Reporter Service’s polling engine waits for an available thread. Setting a higher minimum thread count can reduce this blocking and speed up monitoring times.
Introducing Andy’s New RDPHard Channel on Youtube
Our CEO Andy Milford has officially launched his new RDPHard channel on Youtube.
Andy recently shared his reasons for creating this channel via a post on LinkedIn:
After months of work I’ve just launched a brand new channel on YouTube called RDPHard. My goal is to create about 25 or so videos per year showing you how to fix, optimize, and secure your Microsoft #RemoteDesktopServices environments … and also have a bit of fun calling out some of the BS I see happening in the EUC industry. Please share, like, and subscribe as you see fit.
This is the second free resource serving the RDS community that Andy has created, alongside his original PureRDS.org resource site, which he continues to update and expand. It’s his way of giving back to a community of dedicated customers who have supported his business over the past 10 years.
So, please like his videos, subscribe to the channel, and share his videos with others in the Remote Desktop Services and Azure Virtual Desktop communities. But wait, there’s more…
Read All of Andy’s Recent “RDS Festivus” Grievances at His RDPHard Twitter Feed
In addition to his new RDPHard Youtube channel, Andy has a new RDPHard Twitter feed as well. You’ll want to follow him there for new RDPHard video announcements, valuable retweets about issues affecting the RDS community, and well-founded snark.
Speaking of snark, Andy kicked off his first “RDS Festivus” this past December 23rd. He aired all sorts of grievances he’s experienced over the past year, from numerous RDS-related bugs Microsoft has inflicted on admins via poorly QAed updates, to licensing shenanigans, and so much more. We hope you’ll find it cathartic after a long 2022! Fellow Microsoft MVP Ryan Mangan certainly did, calling it a “super rant.”
Yep, AVD Still Costs Too Much
Hey you .. yeah you. Are your managers still hounding you about needing to go “cloud first?” Are they mandating that you look at AVD as an alternative to RDS when your existing RDS environment is working just fine?
Do your managers know that Azure Virtual Desktop on average costs 2x to 4x more than Remote Desktop Services running on premises or in a private data-center to deliver the same user experience? Do you know about all of the licensing gotchas? Have you factored in things like cloud resource contention and lower file and network IOPS?
While Azure Virtual Desktop has some valid use cases, we find that in the majority of cases, IT executives remain woefully under-informed about the true costs of AVD, and when it makes sense to stay with RDS instead of migrating over. To educate your team on these issues, watch Andy’s RDPHard video below, and then visit our AVD resource center to request your free whitepaper that outlines all of the things you must consider when evaluating it.
Remote Desktop Commander 6.5 Upgrade, Purchase, and Demo Links
If you are an existing Remote Desktop Commander Lite or Premium Management Features customer, proceed to the Remote Desktop Commander Lite download page to download Version 6.5 of the client. Then install it over your previous version.
If you’d like to learn more about our Complete Monitoring and Management Bundle for RDS, including all the products included and how to start a subscription for only $17.99 per server per month, click here.