Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Color Coding Scheme in Remote Distibuted Systems


I always have to work hard to remember which server is live, which is for production, which is for development, etc. It’s also difficult to tell at a glance which remote server I’m connected to over remote desktop. Typically I change the wallpaper color to red for production servers, green for development servers and yellow for staging servers. But that doesn’t solve the second problem of immediately knowing which server I’m connected to. I needed my other teammates to know that this is a crucial machine and they should not use it.

The typical Color Codes I use:
Red:    Crucial Machine. Presently in Use, no one should Touch it.
Green: Free to go. Idle machine. Anyone can use.
Blue:    Free. But requires permission before last user, in case there are some logs he or she may need to take backup

Method 1: graphical UI method at time of connection
Though this seems to be a good approach, but I still recommend doing the colored background with the wallpaper since not all connecting clients will have desktop wallpaper enabled.  Since if background color enabled, it will be shown to user connecting to machine. Image how to chage….
There is no special need for rdb client to have certain option while making a connection. Also since it slows: Refer this small post:- Disable the remote host desktop wallpaper
http://new-it-discussions.blogspot.in/2012/09/disable-remote-host-desktop-wallpaper.html



Method 2: Setting using Default.rdp file to control parameters and behavior in remote desktop rdp/mstsc connections
When you use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a remote computer, the Default.rdp file is created on the client computer. This article discusses the connection settings that are stored in the Default.rdp file. For details view [Anwar Jamal Faiz Web Post] What is default.rdp file in remote desktop


Method 3: Using Group policy editor in Remote Desktop Connections [gpedit.exe]
First off, your RDP client (Remote Desktop Connection client in the case of Windows XP) has to have remote wallpaper enabled. On XP, open the saved Remote Desktop Connection file to the server you are connecting and click the Experience tab. Place a check in the option “Desktop background”. This allows the client to see enabled desktop wallpapers.
Second, connect to the remote Win2k3 server and from a Run box, type “mmc” and go to to open group policy editor
If you don’t know just simply type on run “gpedit.msc”
Start->Run->gpedit.msc [then press Enter]
Now browse to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services. From the list, modify “Always show desktop on connection” to “Enabled” and “Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper” to “Disabled”. Now close the MMC clicking “No” about saving the settings.
Log out of your remote desktop connection and login again, making sure your RDP client has desktop wallpaper enabled. Now you should be able to rt-click the desktop and apply wallpaper normally. I still recommend doing the colored background with the wallpaper since not all connecting clients will have desktop wallpaper enabled.


This policy setting determines whether the desktop is always displayed after a client connects to a remote computer or an initial program can run. It can be used to require that the desktop be displayed after a client connects to a remote computer, even if an initial program is already specified in the default user profile, Remote Desktop Connection, Terminal Services Client, or through Group Policy.

If you enable this policy setting, the desktop is always displayed when a client connects to a remote computer. This policy setting overrides any initial program policy settings. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, an initial program can be specified that runs on the remote computer after the client connects to the remote computer. If an initial program is not specified, the desktop is always displayed on the remote computer after the client connects to the remote computer.
Note: If this policy setting is enabled, then the "Start a program on connection" policy setting is ignored.

I guess this was my final  post on the topic. I wont write more on the topic. :) There is no need, its complete :)

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--Mohd Anwar Jamal Faiz
Toughjamy@yahoo.com

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