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Value Of Your Time Whitepaper

No matter your perspective, the crippling of global business from late 2019, is a reality that began when a company went from 20% remote workers to 95% in 1-day.  Board of Directors who always tabled business continuance plans were under social, media and political pressure, to make reactive, often panicked decisions to maintain the viability of themselves, their business and many are still reeling with the repercussions.  The “Value of Your Time” white paper is a humorous, light read that proposes LANStatus’ AdminConnect software for the proactive management of Azure Virtual Desktop and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop for Azure for a more productive end user experience.

AdminConnect Datasheet

The #1 Business plague is productivity.  Managers believe this lack of productivity is attributed to work breaks, playing games, talking and/or a lack of focus!  The reality is employees sit idle and take breaks while waiting for application access so, they CAN BE productive!  We understand how the End User Experience retains company talent because, what employee leaves when they are happy? View our datasheet for more insight into how AdminConnect can help your employees be more productive!

What's in it for Me?

AdminConnect is a help-desk tool for use in the Azure Virtual Desktop environment for support for both Classic (Fall) and ARM(Fall) environments.

It provides easy to use functions for administrators and help desk staff to be able to assist remote users by granting the capability to easily shadow users, send messages to one or many, and remotely disconnect or log off bugged sessions at the click of a button. With the new AdminConnect Agent, the program can now display session performance statistics right in the main UI, including round trip time, available bandwidth, jitter and session logon time.

Admins can also check the status of servers at a glance with the ‘Session Host Settings’ screen, and disable or enable logins to a specific session host. Administrators also have the ability to start, stop or restart session hosts remotely, making maintenance tasks much easier to manage in one spot.

AdminConnect also provides the ability to add and remove users from application groups in just 3 clicks.

Now with support for ServiceNow. Users have the ability to interact with their ServiceNow instance all from within AdminConnect.

AdminConnect is designed to be easy to set up and intuitive to use. Therefore is no special configuration required and the only dependency is Java, which you can download packaged with the program. Once it is downloaded all you need is an AdminConnect account, your Azure account with administrator privileges and you can start to manage your Azure Virtual Desktop environment.

Check out the best version of AdminConnect yet! Download for a free 30 trial now!

What’s New In AdminConnect?

ServiceNow

ServiceNow integration into AdminConnect  is a plug-n-play implementation that provides help desk staff the ability to search, create and manage ServiceNow tickets in AdminConnect. This integration eliminates the need to switch application windows for ticket searches, eliminates duplication of log entries from one system to another and ensures that all Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are located in one system, ServiceNow.

End User Experience Score

The End User Experience Score (EUE Score) is a transparent aggregate of live performance data on each end user virtual session.  This help desk visibility into potential troubled sessions, allows preemptive troubleshooting in order to resolve issues and ensure end users are less frustrated with application and connection issues.  This restores the end user confidence in their ability to access the applications and systems they require to meet and exceed productivity expectations and maintain a viable business.

Additional Features

  • Host Pool Configuration

    AdminConnect provides the ability to rename hostpools, set max session limit and change load balancer type with the click of a button.

  • App Group Configuration

    With an intuitive and responsive UI, AdminConnect allows the ability to view each application group in a hostpool, as well as add and remove users with just two clicks.

  • Built In Redundancy

    With built in redundancy, you don't have to worry about Azure outages. Simply toggle Azure API use in the configuration panel, and you're back in business.

  • Support for Classic (Fall) and ARM (Spring) release

    AdminConnect supports both versions of Azure Virtual Desktop so there is no need to worry about whether your environment will work with this product.

  • Realtime Performance Monitoring

    AdminConnect is shipped with a lightweight agent which enhances the UI with realtime session performance info, including round trip time, jitter, allocated bandwidth and session logon time.

  • Remote Session Interaction

    AdminConnect provides a number of features to allow help desk admins to assist users. Including shadowing sessions, disconnecting, logging off and sending messages to individual or many users at the same time.

  • Session Host Management

    The hostpool tab allows you to start, stop and restart session hosts, send a ping to confirm connectivity, and provides at a glance info on session host status.

User Interaction Panel

The user interaction panel is designed to give an at-a-glance view of users and their connection status. The Session Info table shows the username, session id, connection status, connected session host, and connection quality as “EUE Score” (End User Experience Score). The EUE Score is only displayed if the program is used in conjunction with the EUE Agent Service installed on each session host. The agent will be described in more detail later on in this document. Also present on the User Interaction panel are the main function buttons:
  • Shadow Selected
  • Message Selected
  • Log Off Selected
  • Disconnect Selected
  • View Connection Details
  • Refresh User List
  • Select All Users
  • Mark Bugged Sessions

Shadow Selected

The shadow button allows the admin to shadow a session that is active on a session host. This feature is only available while Admin Connect is also running on a session host in the same host pool as the user. If the program is not on a session host this option will be disabled, and show up as greyed out in the UI. The “Force Control” switch allows an admin to skip prompting the user for permission to shadow their session. If this is not allowed in group policy this function will not work.

Message Selected

The “Message Selected” button allows the admin to send a message to users. The program will send a message to as many users as are highlighted in the Session Info table.

Log Off Selected

The “Log Off Selected” button will log off as many users as are selected in the Session Info table. This will terminate the session and will close any programs open on the session. Only use this function if the session is otherwise unresponsive. This function can be useful if user is experiencing the “black screen” issue.

Disconnect Selected

The “Disconnect Selected” button will disconnect as many users as are selected in the Session Info table. This differs from the “Log Off Selected” feature because instead of terminating sessions, sessions will move to a parked state but the user will be kicked off the session host. If the user logs back in they will pick up where they left off when they were disconnected will all programs as they were.

View Connection Details

The “View Connection Details” feature shows more detailed info about the connection’s status, such as round trip time, bandwidth, jitter and log on time.This info is only available if the program is used in conjunction with the EUE Agent installed on each session host.

Refresh User List

The “Refresh User List” feature refreshes the Session Info table with the latest info from Azure. EUE Score will refresh within 10 seconds of using this function.

Select All Users

This button will automatically select all users in the Session Info table. If filters are active it will only select those visible with the filters.

Mark Bugged Sessions

This feature will check the user list based on two different algorithms. If any users show up in one but not the other then that user will be highlighted in yellow. This function is used to find sessions that are stuck, or experiencing the “black screen” issue. The program must be running on a session host for this to work correctly.

Hostpool Settings Panel

The hostpool settings panel is used for adjusting hostpool and individual session host settings. The “Session Host Settings” table shows status details on each session host, including hostname, Status, whether user logon is enabled, number of connected users and timestamp of the last received heartbeat from the session host. To the right of the table there is a section labeled “Host Pool Configuration”. This area allows the admin to set such things as the friendly name which is displayed in azure, the description of the hostpool, setting the max session limit for each host and changing the load balancer type. The features included in the “Session Host Settings” section are as follows:
  • Refresh
  • Ping Selected
  • Enable Logon
  • Disable Logon
  • Start Session Host
  • Stop Session Host
  • Restart Session Host

Refresh

The refresh button refreshes the table with the latest session host data from azure. This data is also refreshed automatically if the “Auto Refresh” checkbox is checked in the configuration panel.

Ping Selected

The “Ping Selected” button send a ping to the selected session host. It will open a command prompt window and show the normal output from ping and then close automatically after 5 seconds once the ping has completed. This function only uses local IP, so may not be used if the program is not running on a session host within the same hostpool as the target session host.

Enable Logon

The “Enable Logon” button allows users to log into the target session host.

Disable Logon

The “Disable Logon” button disallows users to log into the target session host. Users that are currently active on the session host will not be disconnected, but new users will be redirected to a different host.

Start Session Host

The “Start Session Host” button starts the target session host. The status will update in the info table once the session is ready to accept user logins.

Stop Session Host

The “Stop Session Host” button sends a command to the selected session host to shut down. There is the option to either shut down or de-allocate the session host. De-allocating the session host will release the resources reserved by the session host so the admin is not billed by Microsoft. This will not delete the VM or any stored data. Shutting down will simply turn off the VM, but the admin will still be billed for the resources allocated by the VM.

Restart Session Host

The “Restart Session Host” button sends a command to the target session host to restart.
The “Host Pool Configuration” section includes the following settings:
  • Friendly Name
  • Description
  • Max Session Limit
  • Load Balancer Type
  • Update

Friendly Name

The “Friendly Name” field allows the admin to change the name that is displayed in azure and in remote desktop applications used to connect to the session host.

Description

The “Description” field allows the admin to change the description of the host pool.

Max Session Limit

The “Max Session Limit” allows the admin to set the per session host user session limit. This is applied at the host pool level, so the actual maximum users is the number of session hosts multiplied by this number.

Load Balancer Type

The “Load Balancer Type” dropdown allows the admin to switch between breadth first and depth first load balancing. In breadth first load balancing, users are evenly distributed among all active session hosts that are allowing logins. Under depth first load balancing, user sessions are allocated to each session in order from least to greatest. For example, if session host 0 has reached the max session limit, session host 1 starts to take user sessions and so on.

Update

The “Update” button applies all the settings int he “Host Pool Configuration” section to the host pool.

App Group Settings Panel

The App Group Settings panel allows the admin to add and remove users from each app group under the selected hostpool.


The features included in this panel include the following:

  • Search
  • Add User
  • Remove Selected User
  • Refresh

 

Search

The search function at the top of the “Users” table allows the admin to filter the user results alphabetically using a complete or partial string.

 

Add User

The “Add User” button allows the admin to add a user to the selected app group. Simply enter the user principal name in the popup window and click “Ok” and the user is added to the selected app group.

 

Remove Selected User

The “Remove Selected User” button allows the admin to remove the selected user from the selected app group. A popup window will appear for confirmation and user will be removed from the app group on clicking “Yes”.

 

Refresh

The “Refresh” button refreshes the list of users based on the selected app group in the app group table.

 

ServiceNow Integration

The ServiceNow panel allows the admin to utilize the functionality of ServiceNow to create and view tickets in order to speed up the time between user interaction and ticket creation and resolution. To get stared with this interface you must first enter the name of your ServiceNow instance in the ‘Instance Name’ field. Then enter your ServiceNow username and password in the corresponding fields. IMPORTANT: You must have the ‘personalize_choices’ role in ServiceNow so the app can read any custom states for incidents, and other related settings. Once you have entered this info, click the ‘submit’ button. The app will then fetch the custom settings for your ServiceNow instance and allow you to begin interacting with the environment. This panel contains the following functions:
  • Search Incidents
    • Result filtering
  • View Selected Incident
  • Create New Incident

Search Incidents

The search functionality allows you to filter by a number of different filters, including the following:
  • No filter (All)
  • Incident Number
  • Incident State
  • Incident Urgency (Priority)
  • Date Range
You may combile any of the above filters with a filter by date range. If you filter by ‘all’, then all incidents created in your instance will be available to view from the ‘search results’ table. Filtering by Incident Number will show only the incident matching the number you have entered. Filtering by state will allow you to select a state as configured in your environment and then show only incidents mathcing that state. For example New, In Progress, On Hold, etc. Similar to state, filtering by urgency will also let you select the urgency levels configured in your environment and then display incidents with that state. As mentioned previously, all filters can be conbined with a date range filter to further filter results. To enable filtering by date range, click the ‘Filter date range’ checkbox. Then select a date by clicking the icon to the right of the date field.

View Selected Incident

To view a selected incident in ServiceNow simply highlight the desired incident in the table and then click ‘View Selected’ in the ‘Actions’ box to the right.

Create New Incident

To create a new incident and view it in ServiceNow, simply click the ‘Create New Incident’ in the ‘Actions’ box to the right.

Configuration Panel

The configuration panel allows the admin to specify the exact parameters for the program to use when gathering info on the AVD environment and executing commands on the admin’s behalf.

Admin Connect supports both Classic and ARM versions of the AVD environment so there are many options on this panel depending on your specific environment.

On first startup the program will detect whether the subscription associated with the authenticated account has a Classic or ARM version of the AVD environment. If no classic environment is found it will auto populate each field with resource group and hostpool. These selections may not be correct so it is advised to review your environment and make sure the resource group associated with the hostpool is the one that is selected. If these are not corrected, many functions will not work correctly.

If the program detects a classic environment, then it will set the “Classic Mode” checkbox to true and the highlighted fields will change. In classic mode, you must select the tenant from the dropdown and enter the email and password for the microsoft account you entered previously. Once you have entered the email and password, click “submit” your password with be encrypted and the raw password erased for security. This info is only used by the program while it is active and is not saved on the hard drive. This mode does not support multi factor authentication because of API difference.

 

IMPORTANT: Any changes in this panel will not apply until the admin presses the “Save Changes and Refresh” button.

 

General Settings:

The general settings section includes settings not related to the APIs used to manipulate hostpool information.

The “Auto Refresh” checkbox tells the program to refresh the various tables in fields at the specified interval next to “Refresh Frequency”.

Below “Refresh Frequency” is a check box to enable or disable dark mode. If checked, this will tell the program to use a darker color palette that is easier on the eyes for long usage sessions. This will only apply after the program is restarted.

 


 

In addition to these settings there are also built in comsiderations for if azure APIs are unavailable.

If you would like to disable use of the azure apis, click the green button labeled “Using Azure APIs” this will allow the program to use windows commands for the core features in the user interaction panel. All other features will be unavailable while this is active.

To specify manually which hostpools are available in this mode, you may enter them into the table to the left labeled “Session Hosts”. Use the “Add” and “Remove Selected” buttons below the table to achieve this.

 


 

If you would like to clear all saved settings, click the “Clear Config File” button at the top right. Upon restart, the program will run in first time setup mode.

 

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