It is very exciting to see that in Windows Server 2012 Microsoft has greatly improved the ease of management of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) including Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Have you read about our new tool, Server Manager? Server Manager is our new tool which makes it substantially easier to manage Windows Servers.
Server Manager enables administrators to deploy, configure, and manage personal and pooled virtual desktops. The 2012 release includes enhancements that make it easier to create pooled environments, which are less costly to deploy and maintain than personal desktops. These tools provide automated deployment and management of pooled desktops with virtual desktop templates, preserve user personalization for pooled virtual desktop deployments by using User Profile Disks, and support multiple storage options; including local disk and file shares for virtual machine storage.
Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 takes ease of management a big step forward and introduces Scenario Based Deployment. Using Scenario Based Deployment, you’re able to perform a full VDI/RDS deployment from the single Server Manager console. Prior to Server 2012, you had to install all the RDS roles separately, but more importantly after installing those roles, a huge amount of manual configuration had to be done.
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One of the very cool aspect of the wizard based deployment is that you literally can run through this wizard in less than 10 mouse clicks! Once the wizard finishes you’ll have a fully working environment up and running. With the “Quick Start” selection all roles are installed and configured on a single server, which of course makes it less appropriate for (large) production environments. Choose a Standard Deployment if you need to setup a more complex deployment. Either way, Server Manager makes it easier to manage your deployment.
In general, a good portion of the improvement areas in Windows Server 2012 focus on infrastructure simplification and cost reduction. Cost and complexity is a major roadblock for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and hosted desktop deployments of all sizes.
Below is a more granular level of specific improvements. I’m sure you’ll see, as did I, that the best improvements to Windows Server 2012 are well thought out and very impactful.