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Monitoring software...

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-05
A property management software company performed a major software upgrade on a client's server of hours back in July.   My client has actually deemed it a "downgrade" because, the upgrade has caused the server to become unstable and crash frequently.  My client even went to the extreme of replacing the server with a new server and a clean installation of Windows 2012 R2.  However, as soon as the management property company reinstalled their software platform on the new server, you guessed it, the server began crashing again.  
The property management software company recently  requested total remote access to the server and, you bet I'm reluctant to grant this kind of "open-season/free-reign" access to them.  This said, their request for full remote access raises my concerns ever so more since, they've disabled most of the Windows Server 2012 R2 firewall features and have repeatedly edited the registry when I've manually monitored them on the server remotely.  Yet, this software is the only one that knows its own software better than anyone else, right!
While I'm aware of the built-in auditing features, I believe video capturing would be even more precise.  Can anyone make any recommendations for video capturing a server's activity for at least of couple of days?  Software?  I intend to allow this vendor access to the server for up to 48hours and would very much like to capture their remote access activities.   I've used TeamViewer successfully to capture video but, someone from our end must remain logged into to TeamViewer in order to capture the entire 48hrs and moreover, if the TeamViewer connection is severed for whatever reason, it automatically locks out the user logged into the server.
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Question by:eitconsulting
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2 Comments
 
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41829238
So what I would have done is use Virtualization (should have been used in the first place).  Install Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V  role ONLY on the physical server, install a VM for DC and other functionality, install a VM for the property management software.  Then give local admin rights to that server only to the software developers - basically, let them do as the please with that server - it's ONLY job is property management AND because it's NOT a DC, giving admin rights ONLY to that server does not expose any other server functionality to them.

Otherwise, recording activity in a video ... I've never heard of that specifically... there are screen recording products but running for DAYS?  I don't know about that - they'd likely take a LOT of space... and how do they record multiple RDS sessions?  Basically, I think your approach is flawed and you should look at the other options (such as the one I suggest above).
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McKnife earned 2000 total points
ID: 41829459
Have a look at problem steps recorder (psr.exe).
It can be started using command line options and it documents exactly what happened when and that is smaller and easier to handle compared to a movie.
Command line options are discussed here: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/b78253b1-6e38-4563-9efa-4973414e9a75/problems-step-recorder-psrexe-command-line-options?forum=w7itprogeneral
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