Greetings friends and current Remote Desktop Commander customers! We’ve just released Version 4.9 of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite and our Premium Management Features overlay. This new version offers:
- brand new reports that track things like RDP loss and retransmission rates, hourly load on servers, user reconnection attempts through a Remote Desktop Gateway, and much more;
- an overhaul of our existing reporting, with a focus on better chart presentation and automatic chart data aggregation in larger environments;
- the ability to delegate out management tasks and shadowing to Citrix help desk staff members, allowing them a much more streamlined shadowing experience that does not require the use of Citrix Director or Microsoft Remote Assistance;
- numerous other product enhancements.
We’re also excited to announce that we’re expanding an existing promotion which you won’t want to miss, so please read on!
In this RDPSoft E-Newsletter:
Expanded Promotion – Buy Andy’s Book on RDS Security, and Get 1 Month of Remote Desktop Commander Suite AND Remote Desktop Canary Monitoring For Free
New Reports in the Remote Desktop Commander Suite
RDP Protocol Loss and Retransmission Rates
Now that *almost all* of the Remote Desktop Services deployments running Server 2008 R2 have been retired, it remains important to keep an eye on aspects of how the modern Remote Desktop Protocol is functioning in your Server 2012, 2016, and 2019 environments. A key part of that is detecting packet loss and retransmission rates over the UDP channel used by RDS. Version 4.9 of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite now offers two new reports (a detailed variant and a summary variant) that quickly show you which users are suffering the highest rates of packet loss and retransmission. Coupled with other network quality reports like latency, you can quickly spot clients with less reliable connections.
Performance – Hourly Load By Server
Long time users of our Remote Desktop Commander Suite are well familiar with our Historical and Performance Across the Load dashboard. Now this same data is available in report form, either on-demand when working inside this dashboard, or as a report that can be scheduled on a recurring basis. For organizations running RDS, Citrix, and WVD deployments in a public cloud like Azure or AWS, having this information is critical, as it makes sure you’re not wasting your compute dollar as server load waxes and wanes throughout different days of the week.
Remote Desktop Gateway Reconnection Attempts
Similar to its sister report, Session Reconnect Attempts, the new Gateway Reconnect Attempts highlights users that have reconnected through a Remote Desktop Gateway more than 2 times in any hour. This may be indicative of connection issues on their part or, if many users are reconnecting frequently in the same hour, it may be highlighting a load issue on the Gateway or a general misconfiguration in the broader RDS deployment.
Existing Report Improvements
During the Version 4.9 development cycle, we spent a great deal of effort cleaning up the 100 reports in the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, specifically reports that utilize charts.
In previous versions of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, certain charts could be become unreadable if the volume of data (e.g. the number of user accounts) was too large. While this was easily remedied by pairing the reports with filters that restricted data by computer name, Active Directory group, or user account, we have now added automatic “Top X” and “Bottom X” aggregation to some of the reports. If you have a larger environment with many different users, the charts will automatically show you the outliers (e.g. the Top 15 users with the highest average RDP latency for instance). For example:
All of this aggregation is automatic so, after you upgrade to Version 4.9, you’ll start seeing it automatically in most of the reports that you typically run on a scheduled basis.
Delegation of Management AND SuperShadow Functionality Now Supported For Citrix Deployments
Our Management Delegation Wizard and SuperShadow features for RDS and Windows Virtual Desktop have been such a hit, and we now support those features in Citrix environments as well. At only $99.99 per named admin, help desk, or manager user per year, it’s quite the bargain!
We’ve heard more recently from many Citrix admins that attempting to delegate out specific management tasks like logging off users, disconnecting users, and shadowing users to help desk and other non-admin staff is painful at best. In some cases, being able to assign that level of granularity via Custom Roles in Citrix Studio is unavailable unless you are an Enterprise customer.
Then, there are issues with shadowing in Citrix Director itself. Currently, shadowing in Director leverages Remote Assistance, which must be installed and configured correctly on the administrator’s system to work correctly. It also informs the target Citrix user of the shadowing attempt. In some industries, the ability to monitor one or more worker sessions for spot auditing and compliance without user notification is required.
Fortunately, our Premium Management Features overlay now solves this big gap for all Citrix deployments, regardless of licensing level. Specific groups of help desk users can quickly be delegated specific management tasks, without being made admins on the host servers. Also, shadowing can be configured with or without consent required. More importantly – it just works. SuperShadow launches and can monitor and manage multiple user sessions at once from different Citrix hosts, whether they are desktop or app sessions, and whether or not the client is using multiple monitors. It all works natively, and is not dependent on Remote Assistance at all.
Other Product Enhancements
Here are two other product enhancements in Version 4.9:
- Loading speed has been improved in the Performance and Load Across the Farm Dashboard, especially for larger environments.
- A “Test Email” button has been added in the Remote Desktop Commander Configuration tool, to quickly verify whether or not scheduled reports can relay properly.
- We now support the usage of a Service Principal Name (SPN) to authenticate against and manage WVD deployments.
Expanded Promotion – Buy Andy’s RDS Security Book and Get A Month of Monitoring For Free!
Andy’s new RDPwned book on Securing Remote Desktop Services was a hit at launch, with lots of readers sharing their positive feedback with him. When the book launched, we started a promotion whereby any person who purchased the book could pick up a single server’s worth of RDS monitoring via the Remote Desktop Commander Suite for a full month. Now, we’re pleased to extend this promotion further.
If you purchase RDPwned between now and July 31st, 2020, we’ll give you a one month, single server monitoring license of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, AND a single workflow license of Remote Desktop Canary, so you can get alerted if any problems whatsoever start to develop in one of your RDS collections. That’s a $70 USD value for only $9.99!!
All you need to do to claim your 1 server, 1 month Remote Desktop Commander Suite license and your 1 workflow, 1 month Remote Desktop Canary License is to email inquiries [at] rdpsoft [dot] com with a screenshot of your Amazon Kindle purchase receipt. We’ll take care of the rest!
Remote Desktop Commander 4.9 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 4.9 of the client. Then install it over your previous version.