The Remote Desktop Services
Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services are widely used by companies to let users use applications inside a server farm.
Typically the reasons to use Remote Desktop are:
The connection to a Remote Desktop farm uses a proprietary Microsoft protocol (RDP).
All the Windows clients by default have the RDP client pre-installed, but on non-Windows clients some troubles can arise.
Mac OS and Android clients can use a Microsoft App.
For Linux clients, some free RDP clients exist, but almost all of them have trouble now during the initial connection due to the RDP protocol security requirements implemented by Microsoft due to the CredSSP vulnerability.
Remote Desktop Web Client: The Unknown Feature
Since the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has developed a Remote Desktop Services add-on: the Remote Desktop Web Client.
This add-on can be installed over an existing Remote Desktop farm and lets users access the organization’s Remote Desktop infrastructure through a compatible web browser. They can then interact with remote apps or desktops just like they would with a local PC, no matter where they are. Once you’ve set up your Remote Desktop web client, all that your users need to get started is the URL to access the client, their credentials, and a supported web browser.
No more RDP clients are required: just a modern HTML5 web browser.
Of course there are still some limitations, but in most contexts they have a low impact:
In any event, the web client is just an add-on, and doesn’t replace the old connection model.
The Web Client User Interface
This is an example of the login page on Mac OSX Catalina with the Safari web browser:
After the login, this is an example of a published Remote Desktop:
How to Monitor It?
As with the old-style Remote Desktop, the Web Client should also be monitored client-side with an Alyvix agent.
This is the only way to simulate user operations: the Alyvix product is designed for this job. It can repeat these tasks continuously, building up metrics based on common user RDS tasks.
For further details, see my previous Blogs about RDP monitoring.