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User Notification when shadowing PCoIP session in View 5+

Posted on 2014-12-09
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Last Modified: 2014-12-17
General consensus is that when applying the PCoIP.adm template to enable shadowing of a PCoIP session, that there is no notification, dialog box or warning given to the user in the active session when it's being shadowed.  

However, the organization I'm in has a View 4.x View legacy / PoC environment that actually does this; gives users a notice when admins shadow for support.  The newer production View 5.x environment does not.  The previous engineers who built and maintained the older environment are gone and I'm unsure how they would have achieved this.  This functionality is HIGHLY DESIRABLE.

Has anyone seen this before?  Is this custom scripting?  Is it depreciated functionality from VMware?  Is it a 3'rd party solution?

Thanks for insights.
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Question by:Chach DalSanto
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 40490620
I was initially thinking if this fit the use case but it seems that it is on session connect and the toast notification is on prior to session finishing. May want to try out the toast notification but may not be what is intended https://communities.vmware.com/message/2004692

View Client Configuration ADM Template Settings (vdm_client.adm) contains policy settings related to the View Client configuration. Potential option may include E.g.
- Display option to Log in as current user (under  Security Settings)
- Disable toast notifications (under General Settings)

May not seems straightforward or may also have been fully scripted for login process ...no savvy on that though
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Assisted Solution

by:Uni Kitty
Uni Kitty earned 250 total points
ID: 40491927
How are you shadowing the sessions? Is it through the vCenter Console or using another RDP application?

I did some research because this intrigued me and wasn't able to find in VMware's documentation a feature related to this that had a notification to the end user being shadowed, which may mean that the previous View admins had created a scripted way to do this. It would make sense if you're using the RDP method to shadow, as they may have set up a windows script to detect this and report?
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Author Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40492040
I'm getting inconsistent information from my team here; I'm 90% certain at this point that the VMware admins aren't aware that the Windows help-desk staff have been using Remote Assistance built in to Windows and the SCCM client to initiate support sessions, which will and does prompt users.  

The VMware admins may have been confused, or may have been hoping to take this up to the virtualization level and independent of the OS... possibly in anticipation of migrating off of actual desktops & laptops in favor of toasters and still maintaining compliance by notifying users.  Either way, it doesn't seem to have been communicated well to me, so I'm gonna follow up with the director next week when he gets back.  Thx for the input so far... lets see what they say.
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Expert Comment

by:Uni Kitty
ID: 40492149
Keep us posted, this is an interesting one.
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Accepted Solution

by:
btan earned 250 total points
ID: 40492812
indeed for the shadowing of PCoIP via  PCoIP.adm (for View v5 and via registry for v4), there is no notification available at least for this use case aspects. If it is via the remote assistance for Windows, this is as per norm to setup remote assistance session (e.g. enabled offer remote admin) which is always RDP. This is setup separately from View shadowing as also mentioned in vmware kb http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1006075 

in fact for RDP, most of the FW likely in secure zone will have this block or alerted and esp for remote admin into server, it may also enforced with 2FA login. Really such silent assistance (e.g shadow a Terminal Server session without a prompt for approval) need to be make aware to deter foul play and abuse by privileged helpdesk or remote user. Shadowing for remote does have warning unless it is explicitly disabled.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292190
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/186556/EN-US
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Author Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40499165
OK Thank s for the input.  Im going to review with the team early next week and have more information to share.  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40505657
I'm closing this ? because its become clear that they were asking for features from 1 set of technology to apply to another.  

Thanks for everyones input.  It was still a good discussion.  

I'd like to see VMware add this feature soon, even as a Fling!  Seems like it would be rather simple to implement and would make it much more appealing to system designers constrained by notification requirements.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40505661
Non-issue but enjoyed having the discussion.  Thx
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Expert Comment

by:Uni Kitty
ID: 40505893
I'd like to see VMware add this feature soon, even as a Fling!  Seems like it would be rather simple to implement and would make it much more appealing to system designers constrained by notification requirements.

In case you weren't aware, you can submit ideas like this to VMware via their feature request site.
https://www.vmware.com/company/contact/contactus.html?department=prod_request

They have product managers who monitor the incoming requests and even though they don't respond directly to you, I can assure you that they do get reviewed by the PM for the specific product. They're very good at monitoring this queue and creating feature backlogs for these!

Great discussion!
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Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 40505991
thanks for sharing
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