Deploy an RDS Farm Windows 2012R2/2016/2019

Windows Server 2012R2 Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2019 Windows Server 2022


In this tutorial, we will see how to set up a RDS farm in Windows 2012R2 / 2016/2019 with the following features:

  • Remote Desktop Session Host (x2)
  • Service broker for the distribution of connections
  • Setting up a collection
  • Publishing RemoteApp on a web portal
  • Remote Desktop Gateway
  • User Profile Disk (UPD)

To set up a complete rds farm, you need a minimum of 4 servers, not including the domain controller and file and print server. All farm servers must be members of the same Active Directory domain.

Composition :

LAB-RDS1.rdr-it.intra Desktop Session Host
LAB-RDS2.rdr-it.intra Desktop Session Host
LAB-RDS-BRK.rdr-it.intra Broker / License Manager
LAB-RDS-GW-WEB.rdr-it.intra Remote Desktop / Web Access  
RDS Farm

For the realization of the tutorial, I used an AD server, with the IP address DC is used for storing UPDs.

Server role definitions that are part of an RDS farm.

Remote Desktop Session Host : On these servers, the user sessions are open and allow them to work.

Service broker : This is the circulation agent for sessions in an environment with multiple remote desktop session hosts.

Remote Desktop Gateway : Its primary role is to enable secure access to the RDS infrastructure from the Internet. It connects to the farm using HTTPS and filters connections using access policy.

Web Access : publishes a web portal that allows access to applications via RemoteApp via an Internet browser. This role is also used for RemoteApp access for Windows clients. Through this portal, it is also possible to put the password change of the users.

License Manager : This service is used for license distribution (CAL RDS).

The tutorial was made under Windows 2012R2. The deployment of an RDS farm under Windows 2016 and 2019 is almost identical.

Simple RDS installation

In a “small” environment, it is possible to deploy a remote desktop environment (RDS) on a single server. The tutorial: Deploying an RDS server – Remote Desktop Service explains how to do it.

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