Remote Desktop Services - How To Get Started?



  • Any suggestions on a good website or documentation to help me get started with Remote Desktop Services? Basically, I have an app that is installed on a single PC here but the person who uses it the most bounces from workstation to workstation often and can't always use that one PC. I want to move the app to RDS so she can access it anywhere. I have proper licenses for this.

    Thanks...



  • So they only need to access this one app inside the RDS, right? They are still, in general, using the local PC as a local PC, I'm assuming.



  • @garak0410 I set this up 3 years ago at a client on Server 2008 R2. I just enabled the roles then stumbled my way through it all with Google.

    Been having minor issues lately and I think I am going to attempt to spin up a new VM and redo it sometime, but likely will not be anytime soon.



  • Easiest thing to do would be to create an RDP shortcut to the machine and deploy it to the desktop of the user(s) who need it via GPO.



  • It is really easy to setup in Server 2012/R2. I followed the technet articles through most of it.

    Here is the overview: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831447.aspx



  • @coliver said:

    It is really easy to setup in Server 2012/R2. I followed the technet articles through most of it.

    Here is the overview: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831447.aspx

    yes...we have 2012R2...will check this out...thanks...



  • @thanksaj said:

    So they only need to access this one app inside the RDS, right? They are still, in general, using the local PC as a local PC, I'm assuming.

    Just this one app, yes. Currently, if they need the app, they have to go to that one PC, ask that one user to "Move" (like Jimmy Fallon's character...LOL), do their thing, and then leave. In addition, others or myself may occasionally need to use it as well...



  • @garak0410 Would it be easier/better to just deploy a Server 2012R2 VM with the app installed and give just that user remote access to it? Lock it down so that is the only app they can use on it? That user could then Remote Desktop into that server from any computer. You could setup a shortcut on their desktop for it too.

    Would be a little bit easier then deploying an entire RDS system.



  • @garak0410 said:

    @thanksaj said:

    So they only need to access this one app inside the RDS, right? They are still, in general, using the local PC as a local PC, I'm assuming.

    Just this one app, yes. Currently, if they need the app, they have to go to that one PC, ask that one user to "Move" (like Jimmy Fallon's character...LOL), do their thing, and then leave. In addition, others or myself may occasionally need to use it as well...

    Moving that application to an RDS server would make sense then.



  • @coliver said:

    @garak0410 Would it be easier/better to just deploy a Server 2012R2 VM with the app installed and give just that user remote access to it? Lock it down so that is the only app they can use on it? That user could then Remote Desktop into that server from any computer. You could setup a shortcut on their desktop for it too.

    Would be a little bit easier then deploying an entire RDS system.

    That is true.



  • Consider using a single PC and dedicating it for that app and just let that user RDP into that. Simpler and cheaper until you need to scale up.



  • @coliver said:

    @garak0410 Would it be easier/better to just deploy a Server 2012R2 VM with the app installed and give just that user remote access to it? Lock it down so that is the only app they can use on it? That user could then Remote Desktop into that server from any computer. You could setup a shortcut on their desktop for it too.

    Would be a little bit easier then deploying an entire RDS system.

    Uhhhh - it's that RDS?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Consider using a single PC and dedicating it for that app and just let that user RDP into that. Simpler and cheaper until you need to scale up.

    Also, if you have Software Assurance on the desktops the user is using, you could install a Windows 7, 8, 8.1 VM and remote into it as well, no additional hardware to purchase/maintain.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @coliver said:

    @garak0410 Would it be easier/better to just deploy a Server 2012R2 VM with the app installed and give just that user remote access to it? Lock it down so that is the only app they can use on it? That user could then Remote Desktop into that server from any computer. You could setup a shortcut on their desktop for it too.

    Would be a little bit easier then deploying an entire RDS system.

    Uhhhh - it's that RDS?

    Nope, he was considering using the RDS server role to deploy an app/desktop to that one user. However just deploying an RDP shortcut to that server would work too.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @coliver said:

    @garak0410 Would it be easier/better to just deploy a Server 2012R2 VM with the app installed and give just that user remote access to it? Lock it down so that is the only app they can use on it? That user could then Remote Desktop into that server from any computer. You could setup a shortcut on their desktop for it too.

    Would be a little bit easier then deploying an entire RDS system.

    Uhhhh - it's that RDS?

    Nope, he was considering using the RDS server role to deploy an app/desktop to that one user. However just deploying an RDP shortcut to that server would work too.

    how would you propose giving them remote access to the new VM? Definitely not going to install vShpere Client on the user's computer - I'm guessing they would use RDC - which is more or less the same thing.
    And you'd still probably have to fully license it as an RDS server since you're accessing it as an app server, not as an admin, so you can't get away with the admin licenses, I don't think.. could be wrong on this point.



  • @Dashrender I do not believe that RDS is needed for a single user of any function. The server should act as a desktop here allowing for one user, at any time, to use the server as a desktop or desktop-like machine. It is because of this that RDS licensing is not needed when using Microsoft's Datacenter licensing in a one to one user ratio for VDI.



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    @Dashrender I do not believe that RDS is needed for a single user of any function. The server should act as a desktop here allowing for one user, at any time, to use the server as a desktop or desktop-like machine. It is because of this that RDS licensing is not needed when using Microsoft's Datacenter licensing in a one to one user ratio for VDI.

    If it was a physical server I would completely understand - or if you gave the user access to the Vsphere client. But if the user is using any other method to access that server, they'd be accessing it through something covered by RDS licensing.



  • @Dashrender said:

    If it was a physical server I would completely understand - or if you gave the user access to the Vsphere client. But if the user is using any other method to access that server, they'd be accessing it through something covered by RDS licensing.

    I don't believe that that is true both because of other licensing reasons (console access, VNC, RDP, etc. are all covered in the same way and there is no means of accessing physical or virtual that bypasses that) and because even Microsoft themselves have stated that the mode I mentioned above bypasses the VDI licensing requirements because it is one to one.

    All Windows systems, even desktops, have always allowed a single RDP session for a local user, of any type, to access the system remotely. That the system is physical or virtual, and what protocol is used have never been factors in that licensing. If they were, LogMeIn, VNC and others would be problematic as well.

    RDS only applies to more than a single user at the same time. So it applies in a lot of cases, but not in a one to one.



  • @Reid-Cooper I thought I mentioned (maybe it was another thread) that I could be wrong on the first two sessions which are allowed for administration purposes.

    Server versions don't have the same wording that workstation OSs do, i.e. Workstations installed in a VM must either be used locally (as in installed on your desktop and used only on that desktop) or else they require VDI or SA to access them. Servers do not have this requirement.

    So, if you limit it to two users, perhaps you are allowed to use a Windows Server OS as a workstation and bypass the VDI requirements.



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    @Dashrender I do not believe that RDS is needed for a single user of any function. The server should act as a desktop here allowing for one user, at any time, to use the server as a desktop or desktop-like machine. It is because of this that RDS licensing is not needed when using Microsoft's Datacenter licensing in a one to one user ratio for VDI.

    This was who I understood it as well. RDP was a one-to-one type of interface where RDS was many-to-one/many type of interface. Otherwise wouldn't you be breaking your licensing every time you remote in to do admin tasks on a non-windows server software?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @Reid-Cooper I thought I mentioned (maybe it was another thread) that I could be wrong on the first two sessions which are allowed for administration purposes.

    The second one is definitely only for administration. But my understanding is that the first is always open to any user. Otherwise it would stop you from ever being able to use a server as a desktop, which has always been allowed.



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Reid-Cooper I thought I mentioned (maybe it was another thread) that I could be wrong on the first two sessions which are allowed for administration purposes.

    The second one is definitely only for administration. But my understanding is that the first is always open to any user. Otherwise it would stop you from ever being able to use a server as a desktop, which has always been allowed.

    I'll disagree with the entirely!

    You can log in locally, when installed on raw hardware - and use that as a desktop any way you like... but virtualize it... all bets are off and I have no idea what the rules really are.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I'll disagree with the entirely!

    You can log in locally, when installed on raw hardware - and use that as a desktop any way you like... but virtualize it... all bets are off and I have no idea what the rules really are.

    There is a virtualization change for VDI when using the workstation licensing. My understanding is that this does not, and never has, applied to servers. Servers, unlike the desktops, have a license for one user of any type, one additional admin user and the option to license more via RDS. I've never heard of there being any other restriction and Microsoft themselves have recommended these use cases so I find it unlikely that it is incorrect.



  • Do you have a link to MS stating the remote sessions are 1 for whatever use and one for admin use? I'd love to have that link in my back pocket.



  • From http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/7/0/7707E736-4557-4310-9709-87358F7E6D1A/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf

    You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are
    only administering the instances. In the case of Windows Server 2012 only, you do not need a CAL to access an
    instance of the server software running on the physical OSE that is being used solely to:

    • list item run hardware virtualization software,
    • list item provide hardware virtualization services,
    • list itemor,  run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

    However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.

    Not sure if that helps clear it up at all. Looks like you do need proper licensing in a virtual environment.



  • @coliver said:

    From http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/7/0/7707E736-4557-4310-9709-87358F7E6D1A/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf

    You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are
    only administering the instances. In the case of Windows Server 2012 only, you do not need a CAL to access an
    instance of the server software running on the physical OSE that is being used solely to:

    • list item run hardware virtualization software,
    • list item provide hardware virtualization services,
    • list itemor,  run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

    However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.

    Not sure if that helps clear it up at all. Looks like you do need proper licensing in a virtual environment.

    That looks pretty cut and dry to me. So much for using Windows Server OSs as a way to skirt around VDI.



  • @coliver said:

    From http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/7/0/7707E736-4557-4310-9709-87358F7E6D1A/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf

    You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are
    only administering the instances. In the case of Windows Server 2012 only, you do not need a CAL to access an
    instance of the server software running on the physical OSE that is being used solely to:

    • list item run hardware virtualization software,
    • list item provide hardware virtualization services,
    • list itemor,  run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

    However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.

    Not sure if that helps clear it up at all. Looks like you do need proper licensing in a virtual environment.

    Isn't that a reference to Server CALs? Where does RDS come into play here?



  • @Dashrender said:

    That looks pretty cut and dry to me. So much for using Windows Server OSs as a way to skirt around VDI.

    I must have missed something. Where do you see that?



  • you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server

    I don't read this as limiting to only Windows Server CALs, but any kind of CAL needed for access.

    Furthermore,

    You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are
    only administering the instances.

    This would preclude you from running a desktop like app, say Office for example, and using the two RDS instances without an RDS license.



  • @Dashrender said:

    you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server

    I don't read this as limiting to only Windows Server CALs, but any kind of CAL needed for access.

    But it is just about Server CALs. Especially as that is the only kind needed for access. This is anything but cut and dry, in fact it implies that opposite of what you are thinking. It only states what we should have already known, server CALs were always required for using server resources and RDS CALs have never applies outside of RDS. RDP for one user is not RDS.


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