User Workspace Context in QWDV (vWorkspace) 7.6 (part 1)

In this feature spotlight we will discuss one of the coolest new features in QWDV (vWorkspace) 7.6, called User Workspace Context.

Desktop Virtualization is a key technology that people use to deliver IT services in the Consumerization of IT age. Desktop Virtualization allows end users to reach unparalleled levels of productivity by allow them to work from virtually any location, over any network and from any device (whenever they want). Read that sentence again. Location,Network,Device. That's (part of) the context of the user workspace. Sure, you are connecting to a RD Session Host or a hosted virtual desktop but there is important adjacent information about this session. This information is very important for IT departments so they can effectively match their resources to provide the best (support for the) user workspace. This information is the User Workspace Context.

User Workspace Context

In the QWDV (vWorkspace) 7.6 Management Console, in the 'User Session Management' dialog you will see that there now is a wealth of information about the User Workspace Context. Here's an example screenshot:


As you can see, User Workspace Context provides a lot of value information about the session. Let's focus on the information that has been added in QWDV 7.6:

  • Connector Type: what kind of Connector is the end-user using to connect to his workspace?
    These are the possible values:
    • Windows
    • iPad
    • Android
    • Mac
    • Linux
    • Web Access (Internet Explorer)
    • Web Access (Firefox)
    • Web Access (Safari)
    • Web Access (Chrome)
    • Java (Internet Explorer)
    • Java (Firefox)
    • Java (Safari)
    • Java (Chrome)
  • Connector Version: what is the version of Connector that the end-user is using to connect to his workspace?
    • This is great for troubleshooting purposes and to monitor which version are in use (in order to have access to the latest improvements for example)
  • Connection Status: how is the end user connected to the user workspace?
    • The how refers to the connection method. Possible values are:
      1. Via Secure Gateway. Note that this requires a QWDV 7.6 Secure Gateway and QWDV 7.6 compatible Connectors. Please consult the Admin Guide for more information.
      2. Using EOP - this means that connection has the EOP Xtream feature enabled. Status 1) and 2) can be combined if both are used.
      3. Direct - this means that EOP Xtream was not used, or a non-QWDV 7.6 Connector was used. This includes the Microsoft native Remote Desktop Client or older version of QWDV Connectors that do not support the User Workspace Context feature.
  • Latency (msec): what is the current latency for this user?
    • In today's day and age people connect to their workspace over many different networks. Wifi, ADSL, VPN, LAN, 3G, 4G and everything in between.  Even with amazing technologies like EOP Xtream that significantly reduce the negative effects of latency on the end user experience, it is important to have a good indication of the network latency to be able to support end users as best as possible and provide them the best possible workspace.
  • Estimated Bandwidth (Mbps): how much bandwidth is available to the end user on the connection that he is using?
    • This information is important to be able get a better understanding of the user experience for the end user. By default the latency and bandwidth information is refreshed every minute but this frequency can be changed. Please consult the Admin Guide for instructions on how to do this.
  • Device Type: what kind of device is being used to access the user workspace?
    • This is important information to be able to assess what kind of devices are popular with end users to access their workspace. Do we indeed have an iPad explosion? Are people using Macs to work from home? User Workspace Context will tell you.
  • Website name: did the end user use Web Access?
    • Kind of the odd man out it seems, this piece of information tells you which web access site (if any) was used to get access to their workspace. So now administrators can see if Web Access was used at all (this might be interesting from a security perspective) and which Web Access site was used - a popular feature request by our MSP customers (that typically host different instances of Web Access for different customers).

It's important to note that you need to have a QWDV 7.6 compatible or higher Connector to support User Workspace Context. At the time of this writing, June 2012, this is the Windows Connector, the Connector for Web Access and the Connector for Java. Other, non-Windows Connectors should follow soon. For more information please consult the Admin Guide for instructions

Finally, you will have noticed that this blog post has been labeled, "part 1". That's because there will be a part 2 soon where we discuss how you can use User Workspace Context information to manage that balance between complete user freedom and IT control, today.


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