Shadowing VMware View Desktop Sessions

It’s like learning the desktop support once again. I frequently find myself playing with tools that I used to when I started my career in IT, providing onsite and personalised desktop support.

Besides using VNC or Remote Desktop to connect to Windows based servers it’s been a long time since I last used the toolset for any type of user support. VDI brought those days back and I am now continuously re-learning how to best support the user, but now in a virtual environment.

In the evolving world of Windows, desktop support has almost standardised on Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection – after Microsoft provided a powerful incentive in Windows XP. Additionally organisations also used VNC, PCAnywhere, Laplink etc… to take control of the user’s workstation.

Most of those tools won’t work in a VDI environment because the Console session, also known as "Session 0", is not in use anymore. Most of the VDI solutions are based on Terminal Services.

Some of the options to connect to Terminal Services sessions are:

  • Real VNC Enterprise (Offers chat and file transfer but $$)
  • Windows Remote Assistance (see this article – but I find quite complex)

The tools that don’t support Terminal Services include: Funk Proxy, VNC, RealVNC Free Edition and many others.


PCoIP does the trick!

Now, If you are connected using PCoIP Display Protocol from Teradici you will be able to maintain your organisation’s procedures and best practices. Why? Because PCoIP utilises the Session 0 “Console” to provide host based rendering to users.

That may seems like a little change but if you run an organisation with thousands of employees worldwide and a global follow-the-sun approach helpdesk, then you will love that nothing had to be changed in your operation.

I have seen little procedure changes to become a giant monster to manage in large organisations.


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    • Ricardo Oliveira on 07/27/2011 at 2:47 pm

    Andre, I have many question about this topic, but this point is very important issue on VDI environment. My first question is: What’s the best way to shadowing VDI environment with PCoIP? VNC or Remote Assistance? Thanks,

  1. @Ricardo Oliveira
    I personally like VNC, but that will cost you due to the Enterprise license.
    Windows Remote Assistance is part of Windows and Free!

    • theman on 09/15/2011 at 11:49 pm

    I would rather shaddow the thin client hardware itself. why can’t Teradici zero clients have the feature? then you could shaddow the WHOLE connection and login process instead of just the windows UI. the wyse thin clients have it, but then your dealing with an underlying OS on the thin client which is exactly what VDI is trying to keep of off the end point device… come on Teradici. remote shaddow on your zero client chip PLEASE!

    • Ken on 02/24/2012 at 8:07 am

    I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I have learned quite a bit from it and reference it often when I have questions about VMware View. Keep up the great work!

  2. @Ken
    Thank you for your readership and support. I really appreciate.

    Andre Leibovici

    • Arjan on 04/23/2013 at 6:55 am

    Hello Andre, I would like to point you to UltraVNC. UltraVNC is free for ALL usage.
    ALL includes commercial usage. It works great in shadowing View desktop sessions and has a lot of features: File transfer, Video driver, Optional Encryption Plugins, MS Logon, Text chat, Viewer Toolbar, Java Viewer with File Transfer , as well as Viewer Auto scaling and Server Side Scaling, Multiple-Monitors-support,Repeater/Proxy-support, Auto reconnection.

  3. Arjan, thanks for sharing with us.


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