RDSMon: Monitor RDS usage

View Virtual Application & Virtual Desktop usage without installing an agent

XenApp & XenDesktop, RemoteApp, VDI & Terminal Services, Big IP etc. All of these great products are built upon one underlying Windows service. One powerful, flexible & efficient service - RDS or Remote Desktop Services. RDS is used to stream applications and entire desktops to company PCs, thin clients, tablets, phones, fridges, toasters etc. (Okay, I made up the toasters one. But I have seen Microsoft Word running on a fridge!)

All of this flexibility presents a problem to IT departments. They often don't fully understand who's using what applications, from where and from what devices. This can result in hidden security and software licensing risk. Traditionally IT might address this risk by deploying an access control product like AppSense or a dedicated software metering product like our own inventory and license management service at Sam360.

However, sometimes that’s just not possible. Maybe budgets or timeframes don’t permit it. Sometimes IT just does not want to deploy another agent. In such cases, maybe a snapshot of software usage is sufficient - Who's using what software and from what devices NOW. With a small number of snapshots over a period of time, it's possible to get a pretty clear picture of remote application usage across an organisation.

RDSMon is a light weight tool that we developed at Sam360 to provide these snapshots. It's a simple command line application. You tell it which server to query and it produces a CSV file with one record per application being used remotely. The information gathered includes user name, application and product name, terminal name and IP address etc.

Sample Usage

We're not opening the source of the tool (just yet anyway) but we are making it free to use under a BSD style permissive license, so please download it, check it out and let us know what you think!


Jon is a data and automation nut. Armed with his weapons of choice - c++, c# and PowerShell and with his black belt training in Microsoft Excel, there is no task too small or too simple for Jon to confuse and complicate by attempting to automate it!

Jon is a founding partner of Sam360.

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  • Finally we've found a system that tells us what's installed, what requires a license and what's actually used. I wish I had this years ago!

    William Farrell, IT Manager, Killeshal,
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