Users - Active / Idle Time Report

The modern day work place offers many flexible work options to employees, such as work from home. The bane of this work culture, from an administrative stand point, is that administrators now need to track users connecting to desktops or cloud instances from external networks, measure how long each user was logged into their desktops, and determine how actively they used the desktops. Desktop usage is a key determinant of user productivity. If a user was not actively using the desktop through the entire time he/she was logged in – i.e., was idle the entire time – it is a clear indicator that user/employee was unproductive. To assess how well the employees are utilizing the resources available to them and to identify employees who are abusing the facilities provided, the Users - Active / Idle Time report can be used. This report reveals how long during a chosen time period each user was active/idle on their desktop. Idle/unproductive users can be identified and pulled up for questioning.

To generate the Users - Active / Idle Time report, do the following:

  1. Select theActive / Idle Time option by following the menu sequence: REPORTS BY FUNCTION -> Domain-specific Reports -> Virtual Applications / Desktops -> Users.
  2. Figure 1 will then appear.

    Figure 1 : Specifying the criteria for the Users - Active / Idle Time report

  3. From Figure 1, select a criterion for analysis from the Analysis By list box. Using this report, you can analyze the performance of one/more components, or those that are part of a service or a segment. The options provided by the Analysis By list box are discussed hereunder:

    • Component: Select this option to choose the component(s) from across all the managed components in the environment. For instance, for a report on active/idle time details of on all the managed Citrix XenApp 7.x hosts in the environment, select Component from the Analysis By list, select Citrix XenApp 7.x from the Component Type list, and then select all the virtual hosts listed in the Components list. If the Components list consists of too many components, then viewing all the components and selecting the ones you need for report generation could require endless scrolling. To avoid this, you can click the button next to the Components list. The COMPONENTS pop up window will then appear using which you can view almost all the components in a single interface and Select the ones for which the report is to be generated. You can narrow your search further by using the Search text box. Specify the whole/part of the component name to search for in this text box, and click the icon next to it.
    • Service: Select this option if the components for which a report is to be generated are involved in the delivery of a business service. Then, select a Service.
    • Segment: Choose this option if the components to be evaluated are part of a segment. Then, pick a Segment for analysis.
    • Zone: Pick this option for a report on the performance of virtual components that are included in a zone. Then, choose a Zone. A Zone drop-down list will then appear, from which you would have to select the zone to which the components of interest to you belong. A Sub Zone flag also appears. Indicate whether the components present within the sub-zones of the chosen zone are also to be to be considered for report generation, by setting the Sub Zone flag to Yes.
  4. Then, specify the Timeline for the graph. You can either provide a fixed time line such as 1 hour, 2 days, etc., or select the Any option from the list to provide a From and To date/time for report generation.

    Note:

    For every user registered with the eG Enterprise system, the administrator can indicate the maximum timeline for which that user can generate a report. Once the maximum timeline is set for a user, then, whenever that user logs into eG Reporter and attempts to generate a report, the Timeline list box in the report page will display options according to the maximum timeline setting of that user. For instance, if a user can generate a report for a maximum period of 3 days only, then 3 days will be the highest option displayed in the Timeline list - i.e., 3 days will be the last option in the fixed Timeline list. Similarly, if the user chooses the Any option from the Timeline list and proceeds to provide a start date and end date for report generation using the From and To specifications, eG Enterprise will first check if the user's Timeline specification conforms to his/her maximum timeline setting. If not, report generation will fail. For instance, for a user who is allowed to generate reports spanning over a maximum period of 3 days only, the difference between the From and To dates should never be over 3 days. If it is, then, upon clicking the Run Report button a message box will appear, prompting the user to change the From and To specification.

  5. In addition to the settings discussed above, this report comes with a set of default specifications. These settings are hidden by default. If you do not want to disturb these default settings, then you can proceed to generate the report by clicking the Run Report button soon after you pick one/more components for report generation. However, if you want to view and then alter these settings (if required), click on the icon. The default settings will then appear in the MORE OPTIONS drop down window (see Figure 2). The steps below discuss each of these settings and how they can be customized.

    Figure 2 : The default settings for generating the User Active/idle Time Analysis report

  6. If the timeline specified for the report needs to exclude the data collected during the weekends, then set Exclude weekends to Yes. If not, select No.

    Note:

    By default, the weekend constitutes Saturday and Sunday. To override this default setting, do the following:

    • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
    • In the [EXCLUDE_WEEKEND] section of the file, the Days parameter is set to Saturday,Sunday by default. You can modify this by setting the Days parameter to a comma-separated list of other days of the week - say Friday,Saturday.
    • Save the file after making the required changes.
  7. Specify the percentage of time for which a user is allowed to be idle on the desktops in the High Idle Time limit text box. By default, this is 20% of the total working hours of the user on the desktops.
  8. Then, specify the start time and end time for report generation against the Time period field (see Figure 2).
  9. In large environments, reports generated using months of data can take a long time to complete. Administrators now have the option of generating reports on-line or in the background. When a report is scheduled for background generation, administrators can proceed with their other monitoring, diagnosis, and reporting tasks, while the eG manager is processing the report. This saves the administrator valuable time. To schedule background processing of a report, select the Background Save - PDF option from the Report Generation list. In this case, a Report Name text box will appear, where you would have to provide the name with which the report is to be saved in the background. To process reports in the foreground, select the Foreground Generation - HTML option from this list.

    Note:

    • The Report Generation list will appear only if the EnableBackgroundReport flag in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file (in the [EG_INSTALL_DIR]\manager\config directory) is set to Yes.
    • The default selection in the Report Generation list will change according to the Timeline specified for the report. If the Timeline set is greater than or equal to the number of days specified against the MinDurationForReport parameter in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Background Save - PDF. On the other hand, if the Timeline set for the report is lesser than the value of the MinDurationForReport parameter, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Foreground. This is because, the MinDurationForReport setting governs when reports are to be processed in the background. By default, this parameter is set to 2 weeks - this indicates that by default, reports with a timeline of 2 weeks and above will be processed in the background.
  10. Finally, click the Run Report button to generate the report.

    Figure 3 : An User Active/idle Time Analysis report

  11. The generated report as shown in Figure 3, contains four sections. Let us now discuss each section in detail:

    • The first section of the report is an Overview section which reveals the number of unique users, the total number of sessions that were completed in time, the number of sessions on which the users were idle for a prolonged time period and the number of users who were idle for a long duration.

    • The Overview of Active/Idle Time section provides a bird's-eye view of the users who are currently active and idle.
    • The Top 10 Users With Highest Idle Time section comprises of a bar graph that lists the top-10 users who were idle for longer time duration. By merely looking at this section, administrators can identify the user who were idle for a prolonged time duration.
    • The Active/Idle Time Details By Users table lists the name of the users, the total number of sessions that were established by the users, the number of sessions with highest idle time, the total time duration of the user sessions, the time period during which the users were active, the time period during which the users were in idle state and the percentage of idle time duration. Using these details administrators may be able to constantly monitor the users and instantly identify the users who were idle for a long duration.