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Archive for May, 2011

VMware View Usage statistics

May 31, 2011 2 comments

My boss kept asking me for usage stats for our View installation. I looked at Stratusphere UX, which looks to be a great product, but at  $15,600 for 400 licenses, is out of our budget at this time. What to do, what to do?  Write my own, of course!

While I’m not saying that my homegrown app will come close to the functionality of Stratusphere, it does a decent job of tracking usage and see what apps are used and for how long. One other tidbit that comes up from the data is a list of applications that users leave open when they logoff or disconnect.

It is written in visual studio 2008 .net and uses Process.GetProcesses to enumerate any process that has a title set. This is stored in an array and a timer then checks every so often to see if the process is still running. If not, the stop time is recorded in the array. Once the user logsout, the app then calls some stored procs on a database server to dump all of the data.

The data has the machine name, userid of the person, date/time stamp for login, date/time stamp for logout, then in a different table it has all of the applications that the user ran along with date/time stamp for start and stop of the app.

With this data I can then use excel to analyze what’s going on, how long users are staying connected (55 mins on average) which applications they are running and for how long (IE, then excel then word are the most used). Then based on login/logout DTS I can plot usage by day and time. So in the graph you can see that usage ramps up just after 8 am and then winds down again just afer 8 pm. Not the best program I’ve ever written but it sure has been handy to show the higher-ups some graphs and pictures to help justify View. Having the data for application usage helps too in that we can better leverage licensing (I know that SPSS was only used 20 times during the data gathering period and can track it back to specific users) NOTE: this was run on one small pool, hence the max concurrent of just over 100 users

While not a direct relacement for something like Stratusphere, I think that others can use in-house developed apps to get much of the same data in their own environments.

Up next: I will be re-writing the app to include connection broker URL, client IP and OS to help differentiate locally connected users and those connecting through a security gateway from off-site

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Categories: View, Vmware