Overview:

The Configuration Logging feature in XenDesktop 7 allows the administrator to keep track of administrative changes made to the XD site. This feature can be very useful in every day administrative task for XenDesktop. But did you know that Director leverages the Configuration Logging feature also?”

One of the useful features of Director in XenDesktop7 is that it provides UI notifications of configuration change events to the administrator without needing to access XenDesktop Studio.

The Director Trends view provides trending analytics correlated with ‘configuration change events’ during that period. This provides the administrator with information describing what changes were made to the sites, when they were made, and who made them. This correlation provides the administrator with input for root cause analysis, indicating if the issue is due to change in the configuration of the Site.

Configuration events information is shown in following tabs under Trends view:

  • Connection Failures
  • Failed Desktop Machines
  • Failed Server machines

Fig 1: Trends – Configuration events summary

The orange dots that we are seeing on the graph are the indication of configuration changes in the XenDesktop environment during that period. Administrators can click on the orange dot to see detailed information, which will be shown as in Fig2. Director shows the configuration logging events in a UI pop-up with detailed information of the description of the configuration change, who has done the configuration change and at the time the change occurred. Director gets this information by querying config-logging service for the specific time period and operationType. Director shows only the Configuration change events based on the “Time Period” selected in the current trends page. If the time period is ‘Last 24hours/Last 7 days’, then the configuration events are shown at an interval of ‘Per Hour’. If the ‘Time period’ selected is ‘Last Month’ then the configuration events are shown with interval ‘Per 24 Hours’ and for ‘Last Year’ they are shown for every with interval ’Per 48 hours’. These events are aggregated and displayed in the pop-up.

Fig 2: Trends – Configuration events notification pop-up

 

Configuration logging is one of the key features of XenDesktop 7, where it will log all the Site configuration changes and administrative activities to the Database. Administrators can use this logged content to:

  • Diagnose and troubleshoot problems after configuration changes are made; the log provides a breadcrumb trail
  • Assist change management and track configurations
  • Report administration activity

Administrative activities are the operations and activities such as power operations, session control, and messaging initiated by an administrator. Changes initiated via the UI or SDK are logged regardless of successful completion and not batched so service crashes will not affect the log. Director provides information only about ‘Configuration changes’ as these are the changes that may affect the whole environment.

By default Configuration Logging is enabled, and mandatory logging is disabled. Administrators may choose to modify the setting in XenDesktop Studio -> Logging -> Preferences. When enabled, Configuration Logging can be configured as mandatory or optional by selecting/de-selecting the checkbox under Security (refer below diagram). When set to mandatory, any configuration or state changes made when the Config-Logging Service is down will be refused, this includes Director operations as well like power control/Session control operations using director.

XenDesktop Director does not list the operations if they are initiated by an administrator within Director as they come under Admin Activity category. Administrators can list out all the Director actions/activity using the filter, Configuration Logging from Studio > Logging > filter by administrator name. Configuration Logging messages for different Director operations are as follows:

  • Disable maintenance mode on desktop(s) XXX
  • Disconnect sessions from desktops XXX
  • Disconnect user(s) for session(s) XXX
  • Enable maintenance mode on desktop(s) XXX
  • End application XXX on desktop YYY
  • End process XXX on desktop YYY
  • Force restart desktop(s) XXX
  • Force shutdown desktop(s) XXX
  • Log off sessions from desktops XXX
  • Log off user(s) for session(s) XXX
  • Restart desktop(s) XXX
  • Reset MS Roaming Profile for XXX
  • Reset personal vDisk for desktop XXX
  • Reset unknown profile for XXX
  • Reset Profile management profile for XXX
  • Resume desktop(s) XXX
  • Send message to machine(s) XXX
  • Send message to session(s) XXX
  • Shadow user XXX
  • Shutdown desktop(s) XXX
  • Start desktop(s) XXX
  • Suspend desktop(s) XXX
  • Shadow user Domain\user XXX.

Use Cases/Advantages:

  • The support team is receiving a high number of support calls regarding connection failures, Administrators can immediately look at the Director Dashboard to determine the rate of connection failures, click on “View Historical Trends” and view the Trends chart of Connection Failures. There the Configuration logging event information will be shown enabling the administrator to view changes that were made to the environment, when they were made, and which administrator made them. This is especially useful when multiple administrators are modifying the configuration of your environment. It also facilitates the identification and, if necessary, administrators can revert the administrative changes that may be causing problems for the environment.
  • The event flags are meant to quickly troubleshoot failure type of issues by offering a convenient place to view them. In the case where there are many configuration changes occurring within a short period of time, the administrator is also able to go to Studio to help troubleshoot possible issues.