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This blog has been created to share technical information, interesting innovations that I notice on daily basis and Architectural/Consulting overview of various technologies. My areas of interest, on which I would be blogging, are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Technologies. I hope you will enjoy this blog and share your experience with me.

Insight into Windows Remote Desktop Services 2012

I managed to install and test the Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 2012 and I would like to share my experiences with the community. If you are looking for step by step installation please check RDS TechNet Lab Guides in this blog. I’m only covering new features, functionality and things I learnt.

RDS Installation

  • With the new Server Manager, installation of Roles & Features has over simplified. Sitting on one server, we could install all the RDS roles such as Connection Broker (CB), Licensing Server, Web Access (WA) and Session Host from one console to all the servers\VM in the environment.
  • All the pre-requisites (IIS, .Net) are installed by the Role & Features wizard automatically.
  • There are two explicit options under the new RDS Wizard - “Session Virtualization” and “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure”. See more details as below.

Session Virtualization

  • After you have installed all the roles such as RDS Licensing, RDS Session Host, RDS Web Access and RDS Licensing, you can see the complete Deployment\Server overview in a picture format of the RDS farm.

RDS Deployment Overview

  • In just one step you can configure the RD Session Host by simply clicking on the “Create a RD Session Collection wizard”. Collection is nothing but the wizard where you need to specify the Users, Applications, Profile and Servers participating in hosting this application.
  • There is a very interesting feature in this wizard such as “User Profile Disks” which can allow you to store the end-user Profile and selection of folders on a centralized file server that can either be clustered or DFS (Distributed File System).

User Profile Disks

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

  • There is a latest addition to the RDS 2012 which allows you to have two types of desktop such as “Pooled Desktop 1xMany” and “Dedicated Desktop 1x1”.
  • For Pooled Desktops, Microsoft uses their own snapshotting technology just like Citrix MCS (Machine Creation Services). There is no dependency on SCVMM, the RD Connection Broker does everything for you.
  • NOTE: My lab activities were stalled because there is a requirement for a dedicated Hyper-V server (RD Virtualization Host) which should be part of the same domain as the other RD components (CB, WA & Licensing). Will perform this test later on and share my learning with everyone.

My Verdict

RDS 2012 is a superb out of the box product which comes at no extra cost other than server infrastructure cost involved in setting up the environment. The much awaited and talked about integration of “User Profile Disk”, “VDI” and “Single Management Console” has brought the product on-par with other market vendors such as Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware ThinApp/View, Ericom etc. Though, I am not equipped to test the product against its over the WAN capabilities. The flip side that I see today with RDS 2012 is its functionality on non-windows devices and environment such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry & OpenSource. I doubt Microsoft will make a client like Receiver/View for non-windows platforms.

Business Case
The perfect business case is for Application Hosting + VDI for a complete Windows Platform which involves Windows Phone 8, Windows Tablet 8 and Windows PC 8/7. I would strongly recommend RDS 2012 as it is outstanding with no additional cost.

If you like this post please leave your comments below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

 

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