Setting up logs in Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2012

You need to setup your brand new Remote Desktop Session Host server or farm. An easier way is to setup farm in RDS 2012 using Scenario Focused deployment, just select servers you want to have, roles and voila! Environment can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 is cool because of a lot of new features that Microsoft announced. See below some of them which we found pretty cool:

  • WAN Experience Improvements so now RemoteFX is WAN optimized
  • RemoteFX VGPU
  • Easy session or VDI based deployment in the server manager
  • RDS Management Interface integrated into Server Manager
  • Fair-share of resources in RD Session Host
  • and a lot of small RDP protocol optimizations.

So you managed to get enough of physical power to serve all the clients, you have a lot of bandwidth to allow users connect to the servers, you managed to calculate that roughly 50 users per server would be optimum and the environment will be used by let’s say 500 users. You need to verify that users are spread equally on server, CPU load is mostly equal and bandwidth throughput would be enough and enough of RDS CALs are installed to cover all the users.

Things that come first, so basically you would like to confirm total number of users connecting to the Remote Desktop Services servers using Terminal Services Log, when the users are logging to each remote desktop session host server and so on.

On the following screenshot we can verify that on 14 February 14, 2013 number of users connected to our farm was 573.

Number of users on remote desktop services 2012


In next scenario we want to locate the most heavily used application on the farm. Our Terminal Services Log installation that we are using for monitoring health of our farm is getting application usage as well so we can pull the report which applications are mostly used on our Remote Desktop Services 2012 farm. In this particular scenario those apps are part of the Microsoft Office bundle Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook. This way we can optimize the servers for Office apps because we know in this scenario Microsoft Office is mostly used.

Most used application remote desktop services 2012


As now we know which apps are used let’s confirm that we are in compliance with the licensing of the Microsoft office in our remote desktop environment.

On next screenshot we can see that our environment is under licensed and that we are missing some Microsoft Office licenses in our RD Environment.

License usage remote desktop services 2012

It is important to understand that office is licensed differently in Remote Desktop Services environments and it is important to track the Office licenses in a different way. So the licensing is per device accessing our remote desktop environment, in that case you need to cover and track all the devices that are using your Windows RDS 2012 farm.

Next screenshot allows us to check network throughput. Basically if servers are not hitting the network limit we know that we are good to go from the network perspective and there will not be disconnects that will give you a headache or slowness that will drive users crazy. Beside Bytes per second you are able to track Packets per second, Packet errors, Output queue length and other network performance stats. This provides complete overview of:

  • Networking system of your farm
  • Networking among servers
  • The statistics of server that are in use by the end user.

Bandwidth usage remote desktop services 2012

On top of the network level, you need to track CPU and memory available in your Remote Desktop environment. It is important to understand which apps are consuming a lot of memory and which apps are CPU intensive.

In case you want to try Terminal Services Log in your Windows Server 2012 environment please use this link to download the software: