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We have a number of machines that we manage for labs and kiosks. They are all attached to an active directory domain. We were wanting to track the utilization of these machines to see how often they are used, what software was used the most on them, etc. Is there a way to do this? If so, is there any free or open source software that can be used for this? Ideally, we would be able to produce reports from the results as well.

Note: We are using Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.

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What operating system do these machines run? (This question is really not answerable without that information...) –  voretaq7 Jan 17 '12 at 20:27
    
I would guess Windows, given the reference to an AD domain. –  Skyhawk Jan 17 '12 at 21:51
    
I have updated the question with the OS's that we are primarily using. Sorry for leaving that out originally. –  John Jan 17 '12 at 22:10
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

SMS server (I guess its called System Center) can do those kinds of reports.. Its not very easy to setup or deploy at first, but can do a ton with it once you get it into place. I think System Center Essentials is a cheap, starter kit with several features that might be good for you.

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Gotomanage.com has a free trial you can set all kinds of benchmarks and trackers. You should be able to pull reports that state when cpu usage goes over 30% (application launch for example). The free version continues allowing 2 servers and 18 devices.

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I don't know of any package to do this, but here's a hacky idea. You could write a small wrapper script for [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command] that logs the name of the binary being run, then fetch those logs later from each machine? It would only tell you what was launched directly by the user, not from other processes, and wouldn't tell you anything other than when it was run.

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