Greetings friends and customers!
The latest versions of the Remote Desktop Commander Suite (Version 4.9) and Remote Desktop Canary (Version 2.2) support the full monitoring of Windows Virtual Desktop, whether or not WVD is deployed in Fall 2019 (Classic) Mode, or Spring Update 2020 (ARM / Azure Resource Manager) Mode.
Here are the steps you need to take to deploy our solutions to monitor your Windows Virtual Desktop environment:
Step 1 – Provision a VM inside your WVD tenant or Azure Resource Group to run our software.
You may already have a VM deployed with management and monitoring tools on it, or you may wish to deploy a new one. All of our solutions work perfectly well on Server 2012 R2, Server 2016, Server 2019 or on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session (EVD). You can always elect to place this VM in its own separate host pool, and then publish it as a desktop to your help desk and admin team so they can connect in and run tools when needed via the Windows Virtual Desktop client.
The key thing to remember is that this VM should be located on the same VNet and joined to the same Active Directory + Azure Active Directory domain as the WVD hosts you will be monitoring.
Step 2 – Install SQL Server Express or Azure SQL to store the WVD monitoring data collected by our solutions.
If you have a very small WVD deployment, with 3 or fewer hosts, you can most likely install SQL Server Express on the VM you created in Step 1 above. The Remote Desktop Commander Suite installer will prompt to do this for you automatically.
If you have a larger WVD deployment, you should leverage an Azure SQL database to store the WVD monitoring data instead. We find the most cost effective way to utilize Azure SQL is to opt for a single database, per-DTU model (as opposed to vCore). Using this approach, Azure SQL database costs for 90% of our customers will run somewhere between $30 and $150 USD per month, depending on the number of WVD hosts they are monitoring. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to provision Azure SQL for our solutions.
To help defray these infrastructure costs for our WVD customers, we have introduced a special discount of $2 off per WVD host per month for the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, and $3 off per WVD host per month if you opt for our Complete WVD Monitoring and Management Bundle. Even if you only have 3 WVD hosts, your cost would only be $7.99 per host per month for the Remote Desktop Commander Suite, and $13.99 per host per month for our Complete WVD Monitoring and Management Bundle! Click here for the details about this promotion that is valid through the end of this year.
Step 3 – Define a service account in your domain that will monitor your WVD hosts, and make the necessary Windows firewall and registry adjustments on those hosts.
This knowledge base article covers the few adjustments you need to make on your Windows Virtual Desktop hosts to allow them to be monitored correctly, especially if they are running Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. You may wish to define a GPO in your Active Directory that adjusts these settings for you.
Step 4 – Install the Remote Desktop Commander Suite and Remote Desktop Canary to your VM you created in Step 1, and optionally install the Remote Desktop Commander agents on your WVD hosts.
Install the Remote Desktop Commander Suite on the VM you created in Step 1. Link it to SQL Server Express or Azure SQL, and set its service account. Then, add the WVD hosts via the Remote Desktop Commander Configuration Tool, using the Import From WVD Broker wizard. If you would like to collect rich, detailed information on performance per user session and per application, install the agent service on each WVD host.
Then, install our Remote Desktop Canary solution on the same VM. Set up a synthetic login test workflow against one of your WVD hosts, then clone that workflow against the rest of your WVD hosts. Now, Remote Desktop Canary can begin to continuously monitor your WVD hosts, verifying their responsiveness all the way through the login sequence into the desktop presentation. In WVD (as compared to RDS), Microsoft now handles the infrastructure roles of the Gateway and Broker, so determining login problems, slow login times, and user profile/black screen issues requires a close eye on the WVD hosts themselves.