For about 10 years now, I have had the privilege of talking with server-based computing admins worldwide. I’m always discovering the key pain points they must overcome when taking care of day-to-day management tasks, especially if they manage Remote Desktop Services deployments.
One big result of these discussions has been Remote Desktop Commander. This next step in the evolution of our Remote Desktop Services solution set was developed in direct response to the specific pain points I have heard articulated time and time again by RDS admins.
Perhaps unsurprisingly though – and our focus for this article – is that the loss of TSAdmin featured prominently in these discussions.
Some History On The Disappearance of TSAdmin
Without a doubt, one of the biggest issues Windows server admins have dealt with as they migrate from Server 2008 RDS deployments to RDS on Server 2012, 2016, and 2019 is the lack of a simple and powerful RDP management tool. The realization would start when TSAdmin.msc wasn’t where it was supposed to be. After a little more research, they would discover that the TSAdmin msc wasn’t there at all!
For almost everyone, TSAdmin had been the go-to for some of the most common terminal server user session and process management tasks to perform on terminal servers and session hosts in their RDS collections.
This issue of its absence first came to light with the release of Windows Server 2012, as the former TSAdmin (Remote Desktop Services Manager) utility was orphaned by Microsoft. Terminal Server session management tasks were, in the opinion of many, very poorly integrated into the Remote Desktop Services Manager (RDSM) in the Server Manager program. Moreover, if your RDS collections are more than a few dozen session hosts in size, the Remote Desktop Services Manager can hang and simply will not scale properly.
With many admins still not comfortable using PowerShell scripting to do Remote Desktop Services and Windows Virtual Desktop management tasks, the situation would become untenable.
As a result, some admins turned to our free Remote Desktop Admin Toolkit, which was a collection of basic tools that could do limited user session and process management tasks. However, none of these tools were integrated with each other, and their feature set was rather limited.
A TSAdmin Replacement for Remote Desktop Services Deployments
As a result, we built an integrated, easy-to-use, and powerful terminal server management utility: Remote Desktop Commander Lite.
The Remote Desktop Services Manager features for Windows Server 2012/2016/2019 that ship with RDPSoft’s Remote Desktop Commander are too numerous to list. Therefore, rather than bore you with bullet points, take a look at our introduction to Remote Desktop Commander on YouTube demonstrating the intuitiveness and power of this utility.
One of the most interesting things you will see in this video is how Remote Desktop Commander can intelligently group related fields, in order to show you things like total memory consumed by user, by server, or RDP bandwidth, for instance. There are also features we provide that were never present in TSAdmin, such as the ability to review RDP latency and connection quality for multiple user sessions at once.
Running Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure? No problem. All of our solutions, including Remote Desktop Commander, also work well inside Windows Virtual Desktop environments. In fact, you can publish our tools as a WVD RemoteApp and use it to manage your WVD host pools from anywhere!
Which Edition of Remote Desktop Commander Do You Need?
Because we know that all of our customers may not need a comprehensive monitoring and reporting solution for their RDS, WVD, and Citrix farms at this time, we now offer several different classes of license:
Remote Desktop Commander Lite – completely free for all RDS, WVD and Citrix farm admins – and it provides you with the comparable TSAdmin session management features you need for day-to-day administration of your Remote Desktop Services, WVD, and Citrix server farms.
Premium Management Features for Remote Desktop Commander – adds a powerful feature superset to Remote Desktop Commander, and overcomes some of the shortcomings in Microsoft’s shadowing technology, giving you a very powerful RMM tool designed specifically for support Remote Desktop user sessions and Remote App sessions.
Additionally, it allows you to delegate specific RDS and WVD management tasks to help desk staff across your RDS collections and WVD hostpools without making them admins, which is not available in Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services Manager. It also solves shadowing issues in Citrix, such as the requirement to obtain consent before shadowing, and Citrix Director’s dependence on Remote Assistance. Find out just how cost effective our Premium Management Features solution can be.
Remote Desktop Commander Suite – gives you TSAdmin replacement management capabilities outlined above but also includes:
- Our Remote Desktop Reporter utility for historical session user activity, RDS, WVD, and Citrix performance monitoring and reporting, license reporting, connection quality/RDP latency reporting, RDP security (login and login failure) tracking, and session recording
- SPL Tracker, which helps MSPs and others automate the chore of Microsoft SPLA and Citrix CSP license reporting
Free Remote Desktop Commander Software
Visit our Complete Monitoring and Management Bundle page to learn more about each product as well as licensing options.
Updated: June 2022.