Well, he’s done it again! Friend, colleague and coding machine Chris Halstead has come up with yet, another great tool for all the EUC admin out there.
You might have seen the Horizon View Event Notifier, also from him. It’s posted on the VMware Fling site. Good tool, helps remove the white noise from the important events, the one YOU want to hear about. When you’re a View administrator, you want to be as proactive as possible, you can setup this tool to alert you on specific events (usually errors or warnings) and then take action on those events, without being stuck in front of the web console all day and more importantly, before someone screams at you that their desktop is slow and unresponsive.
The main subject of this post though, is to talk about another tool, which I think is even better (well, on par). Chris came out, after talking with his customer and seeing the need, with a tool to export the events from Horizon View. The tool is called VMware Horizon View Event Database Export Utility (yes a mouthful, will have to talk to Chris about making his tools name shorter).
I won’t go in the installation process, Chris covers this very well in his post but I will give you a couple of examples and use cases where I think this tool is worth its weight in gold!
If you’re a View Administrator, when a user comes to see you and says that he’s having issues with his desktop, the first thing he’ll tell you : “I haven’t done anything”, right? You might have vROps in place and might have seen the trends in your pool and it might be a general issue (storage, Network, CPU contention), then it won’t be just him, it’ll be all the people that are part of that pool, or the vast majority. You might be lucky enough where vRealize Operations for View is setup and you will even see, at the application level, what’s going on with the session (my colleague Jim Yanik wrote a great blog post on this).
But, what if you only have to troubleshoot that particular user / desktop. If you don’t have vRealize Operations for View in place, you’ll have to start with basic troubleshooting. One of the first step is to look at the View events and that’s where Chris’s tool comes into play.
I really like the scenario to troubleshoot specific users. The View Dashboard is good to see events, but as mentioned before, you can easily lose tracks of the important events from the white noise in the background. Another limitation, the Dashboard will show you 2000 events, which in some cases will represent only only 2-3 days of data for Proof of concept or lab environments. Might be less than 1 day for production environment, that is not a big window to be able to inspect the View deployment and what is going on. One of my colleagues, Jonathan Miller, works with Healthcare and told me that this tool also helps him correlate data from other tools, such as LiquidWare Labs StratuSphere FIT. It’s good to be able to compare, especially when starting a deployment.
In scenario when you have road warriors or people that might not connect that often, you might still want to find out what happened to their sessions and finding events for them will definitely be easier if you can export data and look at that specific user. The main reason, that user will not have a lot of events in a short amount of time, so you probably won’t see it in the View Dashboard, well, this tool will help export information specific to that user.
So, after you’ve successfully connected to the Events Database, you can go on the 2nd tab of the tool and filter on a specific user. Clicking on the “Refresh Users” button will go query the database for all users that it can find. If you have a big environment/databse, this might take a few seconds…
In my example, I’ve looked up my own name but also see from the picture that you could ask that it return data for All Users (check box, middle of the app, right hand side).
Then, all that’s left to do is to go on the 4th tab, choose the columns to export (try it out with everything at first and then see what you really want), choose a file location and click on Export Data.
You can even click the Show SQL Command to see what the query actually looks like, maybe use that later to program a front-end, Self-Service portal for your View admins (food for thoughts)…
Once you have completed the export, you can open the CSV file with Notepad or more interestingly with Excel and ease your troubleshooting pain.
I really like this tool, another tool in the EUC Admin toolbelt, congratulations Chris for helping out non-programmer like me!