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RDPSoft Admin Toolkit

RDPSoft is a company that develops Remote Desktop Tools; they call their selves the Remote Desktop Tools company. Besides their commercial software like Remote Desktop Reporter, they also have a freeware Admin Toolkit available. This toolkit can be downloaded (after registration) from their website. Which tools are available in this toolkit and what do they offer.

 

Installation




After registration on the website you can download a single installation executable. The installation is really straightforward. The following steps are available in the installation wizard: a welcome screen, a license agreement and defining the installation folder, followed by the actual installation. After the installation a total of five utilities are available: Enable Remote Desktop Remotely, Enable Remote Desktop Management on Workstations, Remote Desktop Process Manager, Remote Desktop User Session Manager and RDP Bandwidth Monitor.

Enable Remote Desktop Remotely

The first utility is called Enable Remote Desktop Remotely and the name already implies where the utility can be used for. In the case a remote system has not Remote Desktop (in administration mode) enabled you can use this utility to remotely activate this functionality.

The process is pretty simple. You add the system(s) by typing in the name(s), followed by the Add the Computer to the List button. The next step is use the Fix button, which will try to enable Remote Desktop on the added systems. A nice addition is the ability to start a RDP session directly out of the utility, after you have enabled the Remote Desktop functionality.

Enable Remote Desktop Management on Workstations

This utility is pretty comparable with the just described one. Instead of enable the Remote Desktop functionality itself this utility enables the possibility to remotely manage a system with Remote Desktop functionality. The process is also identical. Add the machine(s) in the utility first, followed by the Fix button to enable Remote Management possibilities. After this process the machines can be added to the Management Tools Microsoft provides to manage the machine remotely.

Remote Desktop Process Manager

Remote Desktop Process Manager is a utility to get an overview of the current running processes and if necessary to kill the selected processes. The utility start with the same interface, where you need to add the system(s) you would like to manage to the utility. Each time you would like to check/manage the processes you need to press the scan button. The tool offers the possibility to provide a search string. A * will show all process, the search is working fine if you provide the string “pad”, you will see both wordpad.exe as notepad.exe. This makes is much easier to find the required process. The result will be shown in a separate Window.

In this Window you can select multiple processes at once, which can then be killed simultaneously. I really like the filtering and multi select options of this utility. It’s a pity that it’s not real time, so for each search or refresh you have to scan again.

Remote Desktop User Session Manager

The next utility in the kit is Remote Desktop User Manager. With this tool you can have a quick overview of the sessions which are running on the different Remote Desktop Servers. Again you need to add the systems in utility first (just like all tools you can save this configuration in a file), followed by the scan button. Again you have the option to enter a filter string. In some way I did not get any results back while part of the several usernames was provided within the string. I only got a response by using the asterisk which shows all sessions running on the entered machines.

Just like the Remote Desktop Process Manager you can select multiple sessions to execute the following commands: Send Message, Disconnect User Session and Log User Session. Comparing the utility with the default MS Session Manager it does not offer much more functionality, the search would be the biggest benefit (but unfortunate it did not work in my environment).

RDP Bandwidth Monitor

The last tool in the toolkit is the RDP Bandwidth Monitor. After you started the utility you need to define which systems should be monitored. This is done the same way as the other utilities by adding the systems into the utility. After that you select the Monitor button and new Window opens.

In the window the bandwidth usage per user will be provided in the upper frame, in the low frame the information per system is provided. While the other tools don’t have an auto refresh option this utility refreshes every 15 seconds. As the tool shows all the information in one Windows it’s more orderly than the default MS tools. While testing only my Windows 2008R2 server is showing up, Windows 2012 en Windows 2012R2 while added did not show up in the bandwidth usage window.

Conclusion

The toolkit exists of two kinds of functionalities. The first part is enabling options on remote systems around the Remote Desktop protocol. The second parts are add-on to MS Remote Desktop Management Tools. The first set can still be useful, but in my opinion are such tools not required and should the enabled of these options arranged in some other way (for example Group Polices). In the second part some tools have a good added value. I think sever administrators or service desks would be glad to have Remote Desktop Process Monitor and/or Remote Desktop User Management because of the search filter (if it’s working). Bandwidth Monitor provides a basic functionality; personally I would like to see more information (real time). Summarized the RDPSoft RD Admin Toolkit consists of some nice utilities, which can have added value in several scenarios.