Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012: Session based Desktop Deployment

Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012: Session based Desktop Deployment

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It’s day 11 of our Launch Series, and day 4 of our RDS series.  The past few posts, have covered the numerous User Interface changes and enhancements that have been made within Windows Server 2012 with regards to Remote Desktop Services (RDS).  Today we are going to do a walkthrough of creating a Session Based Desktop deployment and describe the supported methods of accessing session-based collections.

Session-based Desktop Deployment Walkthrough

1. Open Server Manager, Click on Add Roles and Features , Select Remote Desktop Services Installation and Click Next

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2. Select Deployment Type

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3. Select the Session-based desktop Deployment and Click Next

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4. Click Next

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5. Select the RD Connection Broker Server and Click Next

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6. Select the RD Web Access Server and Click Next

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7. Select the RD Session Host Server and Click Next

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8. Confirm Selection and Check Restart the Destination automatically if required and Click Deploy

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After completion of this process, the RD Connection Broker , RD Web Access , and RD Session Host roles will have been installed.

The next step is to create a collection.

1. Open the Server Manager, Click Remote Desktop Services and Select Collections

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2. In Collection Section, Click Tasks and Select Create Session Collection

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3. Create Collection Window and Click Next

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4. Type the Name of the Collection and Click Next

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5. Specify the RD Session Host Server and Click Next

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6. Specify User Groups and Click Next

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7. Specify the User Profile Disk with the UNC Path if you want and Click Next

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8. Confirm Selections and Click Create

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It will take several minutes for the creation process to complete. When the collection has been created, you can publish RemoteApps within the collection:

1. Select RemoteApp ( Name of Collection) under Collections Tile and Click on Publish Remote App Programs

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2. Select Remote APP Programs and Click Next

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3. Confirmation and Click Publish

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4. In RemoteApp Programs, you will see the Remote Apps Listed.

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5. We can assign the Remote apps to Specific Users. Right Click on Calculator ,Select Properties.

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6. We can publish the remote apps in virtual folders.

7. Expand the User Assignment and Select Only specified users and groups

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A RemoteApp has now been published.

There are two supported methods of accessing sessions and RemoteApps that are part of a session collection:

  1. Web Access
  2. WebFeed ( Remote App Desktop Connections)

Web Access

The Web Access method can be used to access (launch) RemoteApps or Desktop Sessions. The screenshot below shows the RDWeb page without Folders.

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WebFeed (RemoteApp and Desktop Connection)

RemoteApp and Desktop Connection allows RemoteApps to be deployed and accessed on the client machine's Start menu (Windows 7) or Start screen (Windows 8).  To configure RemoteApps and Desktop Connection on the client:

1. Open Control Panel , Select Remote App and Desktop Connections

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2. Type the Url and Click Next. URL should be your web access sever name/rdweb/Feed/webfeed.aspx

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3. Click Finish

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4. We should now see the shortcuts on the Start screen.

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That concludes our 4 part mini series on RDS.  Hopefully now you know how to install the RDS components in Windows Server 2012.  We will go into more details surrounding these features at a later time.  With that, tomorrows post is going to take a look at what’s new in Printing for Windows 8.

-AskPerf blog Team

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  • Looks good, on the server side.

    Only to bad of the Metro Interface of the Start Menu. It looks terrible.

  • Hi,

    first: thx you wrote everything down

    but i don't get it.. whats the point of the session collection? i mean it's definitive not the same as a farm..

    okay its much better to add remoteapps only once, even if you have more than one SH but what's with the farm? do i need even one?

    at the moment most of this is new for me, i'm just getting in touch with the server but i don't even know where or how i can configure the web access or the connection broker, like i could before (win srv 08 r2) do you maybe know a website where you have been searching?? (believe me i'm searching since more than just one or two minutes, and i got the windows server 2012 unleashed book in front of me but i don't get it.. not yet.. )

    thx for answering!!

  • From a user perspective, a session collection and a remote desktop session host farm are the same thing.  Using collections to place servers into a logical grouping is an administrative concept.  

    the main difference from IT admin perspective is that now you don't need to setup RR DNS or have a front end load balancer (although you can still use one if you wish) as the Connection Broker will route incoming connections to the correct resource based on the client connection request.  The hard thing to get used to in 2012 is using the RDWeb feed exclusively instead of running mstsc and entering a farm name, which in my name was never the best user experience.

  • Sorry for the unintelligible...I meant to type "in my opinion"

  • RemoteApp programs to server 2012 Metro user interface, can i insert? ThinClient for sessions! I'm sorry for bad english.