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Controlling user sessions remotely using ControlUp and Remote Assistance

Many administrators overlooking RDS farms are reporting various issues while attempting to assist end users remotely using the ICA Shadowing feature. Citrix recommends resorting to Microsoft Remote Assistance in some cases, such as when multiple monitor or Aero issues are preventing shadowing from working correctly.

I thought I should highlight a neat capability with ControlUp that makes assisting to remote users a breeze. With ControlUp built-in “Remote Assistance” action you can quickly gain view and control of your users’ sessions. ControlUp speeds up the establishment of support sessions from two major aspects. First, locating the target user session can be performed rapidly using the Sessions view and the search feature. Also, the “Remote Assistance” action is just a right-click away once the desired user session is located, and the connection is established transparently, while the RA invitation is sent automatically in the background.

Keep in mind that the Remote Assistance feature needs to be installed both on your management station and the server hosting the user session. Luckily, with Windows Server 2008 and later, this feature can be enabled by running the command:

pkgmgr /iu:”RemoteAssistance”

ControlUp will ask you whether to perform this command remotely if it does not detect the “Remote Assistance” feature. This will get you back on track and enable you to assist your end users even when ICA shadowing is not available.

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