WVD Management with Wintellisys WVD Manager v1.0

The WVD Management solution by Wintellisys is built on top of Azure Virtual Desktop service provided by Microsoft. The solution offers insights into the customer’s VDI environment and several management tasks to manage VDI from a single console. The solution offers features including sessions monitoring, enabling organizations to reduce the overall VDI infrastructure cost, enabling FSLogix file server monitoring, and so on. WVD Manager can benefit organizations with Large WVD deployments because the UX removes the need to use PowerShell, which in turn lowers some elements of risk and human error.

Windows Virtual Desktop Capabilities

Wintellisys WVD Manager ships with many capabilities. This post will help you understand the capabilities of Wintellisys WVD Manager. This post provides information on below topics:

  • WVD Manager Features
  • WVD Manager Requirements
  • Starting to Use WVD Manager
  • WVD Manager Dashboards
  • Adding Users to WVD
  • Performing User Management Tasks

WVD Manager Features

The version 1.0 of Wintellisys WVD Manager supports a handful of features such as:

  • Single Pane Console: Access all featured components to manage your WVD environment from a single application
  • Multi-Tenant: WVD Manager supports a multi-tenant WVD environment.
  • Security & Compliance Status: WVD Manager provides PCI Security & Compliance status of WVD resources.
  • Cost Analyzer: Cost Analyzer feature of WVD Manager is used to check various charts. For example, you can view how many users were active in each hour on a specific date. Similarly, you can view how many hosts were turned on in each hour and how many hosts were needed.
  • Active Users Dashboard: Active Users Dashboard can show the number of users active in each host pool, disconnected users, and the number of users that are pending to join WVD.
  • Session Hosts Health Dashboard: Session Hosts Health Dashboard shows the current health of session hosts in the WVD environment. It shows the number of Session Hosts in each Host pool, how many session hosts are in the drained mode, heartbeat status of each session host, and VM status.
  • FSLogix Health Status: If you are using FSLogix service with the WVD environment, WVD Manager offers the health status of profile shares. You can determine how many disks are hosted in each FSLogix server, allocated disk space, free disk space, and so on.

Also included features:

  • User Management Tasks: Wintellisys WVD Manager offers certain WVD management tasks such as disconnecting a single or bulk user, filtering active or disconnected connections, force logoff, and other management tasks which WVD admins can find useful.
  • AD Groups Sync Management: To allow users access to WVD which are part of an Active Directory group, WVD Manager offers sync management capabilities. Sync Management feature allows you to configure the mapping between Active Directory and WVD groups.
  • Get Various WVD information: WVD Manager supports collecting information about the WVD environment and providing a nice report. This report can be used for disaster recovery if rebuild of the WVD environemnt is required. It can also be used to perform an assessment of a WVD environment.
  • Adding Users in Bulk: WVD Manager is used to add users to the WVD host pool in bulk. All you need is a CSV file that contains the User Principal Names per line.
  • Defining Policy: WVD Manager supports defining various WVD policies. For example, you can define an auto-scaling policy to automatically turn on and off virtual machines based on the user load. Similarly, policies can be defined to turn off and on VMs at a predefined time.
  • WVD Mail Manager: WVD Mail Manager is designed to send email notifications to admins on FSLogix health, VDI Matrix Report, disk space report, session hosts health.

WVD Manager Requirements

Before you use WVD Manager, you will be required to meet some of the requirements as listed below:

  • WVD PowerShell Modules: Since WVD Manager leverages WVD PowerShell modules to collect information and perform management tasks, you will be required to install some PowerShell modules on your computer:
  • RDS Owner Permission: WVD Manager requires an account with RDS Owner Permission. The RDS Owner permission is required in order to perform management tasks like disconnecting users, forcefully log off users, adding users, etc.
  • A Service Principal: Since WVD Manager refreshes user data every 15 minutes, you must create a service principal that will be used to with the WVD Manager.
  • Installing Tool in Corporate Network: Some of the WVD Manager features require that we install the WVD Manager in the corporate environment. For example, when using the option for Active Directory Group sync, the WVD Manager needs to connect to the Active Directory Domain Controller to pull the users from Active Directory security groups.

Starting to Use WVD Manager

The first step in using the WVD Manager is to add a WVD Tenant to work with. You can add as many as WVD Tenants you want. To start adding the WVD Tenant in WVD Manager, click on the “Add Tenant” button found in the right corner of the tool as it shows in the screenshot below:

WVD Management

After clicking the “Add Tenant” button, the process will take you through the Microsoft Cloud Login. You need to enter a RDS Owner account credential in order to add the tenant successfully under the management of WVD Manager. The tenant name will be listed in the left pane of the tool, once added. You will be required to restart the WVD Manager and sign-in with the Tenant credentials to start using the WVD Manager for managed tenants.

Upon opening WVD Manager, you will see managed tenants and various options as shown in the screenshot below:

WVD Management

As you can see in the screenshot above, it shows WVD Tenants that you have added under the management of WVD Manager and various other information as listed below:

  • Tenants Pane: This pane shows the tenants added under the management of WVD Manager.
  • WVD Dashboard: This pane shows dashboard buttons such as Session Hosts Health, User Sessions Dashboard, FSLogix Health Status, and Security and Compliance.
  • WVD Packs: Note that Wintellisys WVD Manager is modular in design. It ships with the pre-defined information and management packs. Version 1.0 ships with 15 information and management packs as you can see under the WVD Packs list.
  • Current Pack: The Current Pack label changes to the selected node, when selecting a node in the WVD Packs Tree . Information related to the selection is displayed here. As you can see in the screenshot above, the currently selected pack is “Get WVD Tenant Info” and I can see the information pertaining to the selected pack under Current Pack pane.
  • Actions: The Actions to selected pack are available under the “Actions” pane on the right side.

Tip: Note that WVD Manager displays the offline data when any of the packs under WVD Packs Tree are selected. To show current data, you will click on the “Update/Refresh” button found under the “Current Pack” pane. You can always click on the “Export” button, to export information to a CSV file .

WVD Manager Dashboards

There four types of dashboards available in WVD Manager; User Sessions Dashboard, Sessions Host Dashboard, FSLogix Health Dashboard, and Security & Compliance dashboard. These dashboards provide you various information and the current status of the WVD. To see dashboards, you will need to click on dashboard buttons as shown in the screenshot below:

WVD Management

User Sessions Dashboard:

User Sessions Dashboard helps you understand the current status of WVD. Click on the “User Sessions Dashboard” button, the right pane will show you the items related to user sessions dashboard which includes:

  • Number of Host Pools hosted in WVD Tenant.
  • Active and Disconnected Users in each Host Pool.
  • Total number of VDI joined users.
  • Total number of users that have not joined VDI yet.
  • Usernames, Host Pool and Session Hosts where connected.
  • Number of Active Sessions per Session Host.
WVD Management

As you can see in the screenshot above, the user sessions dashboard lists all host pools hosted in the WVD Tenant, total number of WVD users, number of users active in each pool, number of users disconnected, number of users not joined WVD. User Sessions Dashboard also lists the active usernames and subsequent Session Host that they are connected to.

Tip: If you do not see any data in the user sessions, click on the “Refresh” button.

User Sessions Dashboard shows the number of active sessions per Session Host as shown in the column chart in the above screenshot.

Session Hosts Health Dashboard

Session Hosts health dashboard is launched by clicking the “Session Hosts Health” button under the “WVD Dashboard” pane. This dashboard displays the following information:

  • Number of Sessions Hosts deployed in each Host Pool.
  • Session Hosts enabled for new sessions.
  • Heartbeat status of all Session Hosts.
  • Idle Session Hosts.
  • Virtual Machine status of all Session Hosts
WVD Management

FSLogix Health Status Dashboard

If you are using FSLogix with WVD implementation, you can see FSLogix health status by clicking on “FSLogix Health Status” button located under “WVD Dashboard” pane. The FSLogix Health Status shows below information:

  • Number of Disks configured in the FSLogix
  • Disk allocated size, used, and free space on each disk.
  • Profile Status on each FSLogix box.
  • Large Profiles on each FSLogix box.
  • Disk charts indicating the overall status of the disk.
WVD Management

Adding Users to WVD

WVD Manager provides capabilities to add single or bulk users to WVD Tenant. Users are added to a host pool hosted in the respective WVD environment. To add a single user the following information is required:

  • WVD Host Pool Name
  • WVD Application Group Name
  • And User Principal Name

Wintellisys WVD Manager helps you get WVD Host Pool Name and WVD Application Group Name from the managed tenants. To add users to WVD, navigate to WVD Packs Tree, expand the “WVD Management” node, and then click on the “Add Users/Check” pack as shown in the screenshot below.

WVD Management

As you can see in the screenshot above, the right pane provides a number of options for adding single or bulk users to WVD Tenant. To add a single user, you will need to enter the below information:

  • Enter the User Principal Name in the Enter UPN field.
  • Select the Host Pool from the dropdown. If you do not see the list of host pools, click on the refresh button located beside the dropdown.
  • Select the Application Group from the App Group dropdown. If you do not see the list of application groups, click on the refresh button located beside the dropdown.

Once you have provided the inputs, click on “Add Now” button. The process will check the specified user principal name in the WVD environment and add the user if it does not exist.

To start adding bulk users to the WVD environment, you need to create a CSV file that contains the list of User Principal Names. Please make sure to meet the CSV file requirements as noted below:

  • The CSV file should contain UserPrincipalName header for WVD Manager to process the list.
  • The CSV file should contain the user principal name per line.
  • The User Principal Names added to the CSV file must be synced to Azure Subscription or must present as cloud users.

To specify the location of the CSV file click on “Browse” and then select the file. Once the file is selected, the process will check users count in the CSV file and display in the right pane.

Clicking the “Process” button will start the process of adding users to the WVD environment from a CSV file.

Performing WVD User Management Tasks

Wintellisys WVD Manager is not limited to just user management tasks. Add application groups, deploy an application, and run a PowerShell command on all or selected Session Hosts are additional options. This section however, provides some useful information about performing user management tasks such as logging off users and so on.

WVD Manager provides the “User Sessions Manager” pack that can be used to check active, disconnected and connected users. The “User Sessions Manager” pack is located under the “WVD Management” node as shown in the screenshot below:

WVD Management

As you can see in the screenshot above, by clicking the “User Sessions Manager”, I can see active, disconnected, and connected users in the WVD environment.

Tip: Since WVD Manager shows the last refresh data, in case you need to see current data, you will be required to click on the “Update/Refresh” button.

Visible in the right pane are the selections Logoff Current Session, Logoff Selected, Logoff All Sessions, Logoff All Disconnected. These actions are defined below:

  • Logoff Current Session: Using this action, the currently selected user will be considered for log off.
  • Logoff Selected: This action logs off selected users in the list.
  • Logoff All Sessions: This actin logs off all users from the session hosts. You must NOT use this option unless required. This option is only used if you need to perform an urgent maintenance activity on all session hosts.
  • Logoff All Disconnected: This action will let you logoff all disconnected sessions from the session hosts.

Tip: You can find users in the list by typing in the user principal name in the Search box.

Note that all of the actions require user confirmation prior to the action being initiated. For example, you want to log off a particular user from the list, you will be required to provide confirmation as shown in the screenshot below:

Other management tasks can be initiated using Wintellisys WVD Manager. The next post will cover more management tasks and other capabilities of Wintellisys WVD Manager.

If you need to know more about Wintellisys WVD Manager, please reach out to us at Sales@Wintellisys.com.

About the Author Nirmal Ratawa

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