Virtual Desktop Sessions Details Test

A user logged into a virtual desktop does not imply active usage of that desktop. In a VDI infrastructure, it is common for users to just log into desktops, and leave them unused for long time periods. Such desktops are a huge resource drain, as they continue to consume resources, regardless of the level of activity on them. Idle users themselves are unproductive resources. Besides, since these users unnecessarily hold on to desktops, users with genuine needs may not have any desktops to work with. If administrators can quickly identify these idle users and the desktops they are logged into, they can rapidly pull the desktops from such users and assign them to users who can use them effectively. The Virtual Desktop Sessions Details test turns the spotlight on these idle users. For each user session on a virtual desktop, this test reports the total duration of the session and the percentage of time for which the session was active. The test also reports the total idle time during the session. From these statistics, administrators can accurately identify those users who are wasting the desktops assigned and resources allocated to them.

Target of the test : A Microsoft Hyper-V server

Agent deploying the test : An internal/remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every user who is currently logged into a virtual desktop

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured.
  3. port - The port at which the host listens. By default, this is NULL.
  4. inside view using - By default, this test communicates with every VM remotely and extracts “inside view” metrics. Therefore, by default, the inside view using flag is set to Remote connection to VM (Windows).

    Typically, to establish this remote connection, eG Enterprise requires that the eG agent be configured with domain administrator privileges. In high-security environments, where the IT staff might have reservations about exposing the credentials of their domain administrators, this approach to extracting “inside view” metrics might not be preferred. In such environments therefore, eG Enterprise provides administrators the option to deploy a piece of software called the eG VM Agent on every Windows VM; this VM agent allows the eG agent to collect “inside view” metrics from the Windows VMs without domain administrator rights. Refer to Configuring Windows Virtual Machines to Support theInside View Using the eG VM Agent for more details on the eG VM Agent. To ensure that the “inside view” of Windows VMs is obtained using the eG VM Agent, set the inside view using flag to eG VM Agent (Windows). Once this is done, you can set the domain, admin user, and admin password parameters to none.

  5. domain, admin user, admin password, and confirm password – By default, this test connects to each virtual guest remotely and attempts to collect “inside view” metrics. Accordingly, the inside view using flag is set to Remote connection to VM (Windows) by default. To obtain a remote connection, the test must be configured with the privileges of an administrative user to the domain within which the guests reside. The first step towards this is to specify the DOMAIN within which the virtual guests reside. The admin user and admin password will change according to the domain specification. Discussed below are the different values that the domain parameter can take, and how they impact the admin user and admin password specifications:

    • If the VMs belong to a single domain:  If the guests belong to a specific domain, then specify the name of that domain against the domain parameter. In this case, any administrative user in that domain will have remote access to all the virtual guests. Therefore, an administrator account in the given domain can be provided in the ADMIN USER field and the corresponding password in the ADMIN PASSWORD field. Confirm the password by retyping it in the CONFIRM PASSWORD text box.
    • If the VMs belong to different domains: In this case, you might want to provide multiple domain names. If this is done, then, to access the guests in every configured domain, the test should be configured with the required user privileges; this implies that along with multiple DOMAIN names, multiple ADMIN USER names and ADMIN PASSWORDs would also have to be provided. To help administrators provide these user details quickly and easily, the eG administrative interface embeds a special configuration page. To access this page, simply click on the Click here hyperlink that appears just above the parameters of this test in the test configuration page. To know how to use the special page, refer to Configuring Users for VM Monitoring.
    • If the inside view using flag is set to ‘eG VM Agent (Windows)’: On the other hand, if the inside view using flag is set to eG VM Agent (Windows), then it implies that the inside view can be obtained without domain administrator privileges. Therefore, set the domain, admin user, and admin password parameters to none.
  6. REPORT BY USER – For the Hyper-V monitoring model, the REPORT BY USER flag is set to NO by default, indicating that by default, the guest operating systems on the Hyper-V server are identified using the hostname specified in the operating system. On the other hand, for the Hyper-V VDI model, this flag is set to YES by default; this implies that in case of VDI servers, by default, the guests will be identified using the login of the user who is accessing the guest OS. In other words, in VDI environments, this test will, by default, report measures for every username_on_virtualmachinename.
  7. REPORT POWERED OS - This flag becomes relevant only if the report by user flag is set to ‘Yes’.

    If the report powered os flag is set to Yes (which is the default setting), then this test will report measures for even those VMs that do not have any users logged in currently. Such guests will be identified by their virtualmachine name and not by the username_on_virtualmachinename. On the other hand, if the report powered os flag is set to No, then this test will not report measures for those VMs to which no users are logged in currently.

  8. ignore vms inside view - Administrators of some high security Hyper-V environments might not have permissions to internally monitor one/more VMs. The eG agent can be configured to not obtain the 'inside view' of such ‘inaccessible’ VMs using the ignore vms inside view parameter. Against this parameter, you can provide a comma-separated list of VM names, or VM name patterns, for which the inside view need not be obtained. For instance, your ignore vms inside view specification can be: *xp,*lin*,win*,vista. Here, the * (asterisk) is used to denote leading and trailing spaces (as the case may be). By default, this parameter is set to none indicating that the eG agent obtains the inside view of all VMs on a Hyper-V host by default.

    Note:

    While performing VM discovery, the eG agent will not discover the operating system of the VMs configured in the ignore vms inside view text box.

  9. exclude vms - Administrators of some virtualized environments may not want to monitor some of their less-critical VMs - for instance, VM templates - both from 'outside' and from 'inside'. The eG agent in this case can be configured to completely exclude such VMs from its monitoring purview. To achieve this, provide a comma-separated list of VMs to be excluded from monitoring in the exclude vms text box. Instead of VMs, VM name patterns can also be provided here in a comma-separated list. For example, your exclude vms specification can be: *xp,*lin*,win*,vista. Here, the * (asterisk) is used to denote leading and trailing spaces (as the case may be). By default, this parameter is set to none indicating that the eG agent obtains the inside and outside views of all VMs on a virtual host by default. By providing a comma-separated list of VMs/VM name patterns in the exclude vms text box, you can make sure the eG agent stops collecting 'inside' and 'outside' view metrics for a configured set of VMs.
  10. ignore winnt – By default, the eG agent does not support the inside view for VMs executing on Windows NT operating systems. Accordingly, the ignore winnt flag is set to Yes by default.
  11. Idle Time - Specify the time duration (in minutes) of inactivity beyond which a session is considered to be “idle” by this test. By default, this parameter is set to 30 (minutes). This implies that by default, the test counts all sessions that have been inactive for over 30 minutes as idle sessions.
Measurements reported by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total time in session:

Indicates the time that has elapsed since this user logged into this desktop.

Mins

 

Active time in last measure period:

Indicates the percentage of time in the last measurement period during which this user actively used this desktop.

Percent

Ideally, the value of this measure should be 100%.

A low value for this measure denotes a high level of inactivity recently.

Time since last activity:

Indicates the time that has elapsed since this user performed an action on this desktop.

Mins

A high value for this measure indicates that the user has been idle for a long time. Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user has been idle for the longest time.

Is session idle in long time?

Indicates whether/not the session has been idle beyond the time duration specified against the Idle Time parameter.

 

The values that this measure can report and their corresponding numeric values are discussed in the table above:

Measure Value Numeric Value
No 0
Yes 1

Note:

By default, this measure reports the Measure Values listed in the table above. In the graph of this measure however, the value of this measure is represented using their numeric equivalents only.

Total idle time in session:

Indicates the total time for which this user was idle during the session.

 

Mins

If the value of this measure is the same as the value of the Total time in session measure for a user, it means that the user has been idle throughout the session.

If the value of this measure is close to the value of the Total time in session measure for a user, it implies that the user has been idle for a long time.

If the value of this measure is much lesser than the value of the Total time in session measure for a user, it means that the user has been active for most part of the session.