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Managing a Microsoft RDS Environment with Login AM 2012

Managing a Microsoft RDS Environment with Login AM 2012

One of our customers wanted to migrate from a classic desktop environment to a server based computing environment to allow them to centrally manage their applications. In their old environment they had no form of automated deployment in place to manage their 2500 desktops and 200+ applications. This resulted in a massive workload when one of their core applications needed an update. Because they were using Citrix only for a limited amount of (home) users, a big investment was needed. Therefor they asked us to come up with another solution which still met their requirements. 

One of the requirements of the customer was that graphical applications have the same performance as on a local desktop. Because the customer is a hospital and uses applications to view MRI and X-Ray pictures we did a Proof of Concept (PoC) to show that RDS in combination with RemoteFX handles this without any problems.

Because of the good results we achieved at another customer we decided to go with an RDS environment (based on Windows 2008R2) in combination with Login AM 2012. For remote users we decided to keep the current XenApp farm because ICA over high latency connections responds better than RDP.

Remote Desktop Services in a larger environment is not as easy to support as a XenApp environment. Some of the challenges:

  • Load balancing is depending on group memberships and DNS
  • Publishing applications
  • Adding a server to a farm requires a lot of steps

With Login AM 2012 the management of these challenges can all be automated by using the Remote Desktop Component which is part of the default components of Login AM 2012.

RDS 2008 R2 Configuration

The environment at this specific customer consists of 50 RDS servers in the production environment. These servers host about 10 physically installed applications. The environment is built to be scalable to grow with another 50 servers and around 150 physical and virtual applications. All servers are running in a vSphere 5 environment. Client to connect to the environment are fat clients based on Windows XP and Windows 7. In the future the XP workstations will be replaced by thin clients.

login am 2012 rds 2008 r2 configuration

RDS 2008 R2 configuration

All the items needed for creating and joining a farm is configured through the Login AM Manager. Within the collection the farm name is configured. During deployment of the server Login AM will add the server to the correct farm.

microsoft rds desktop farm

RDS desktop farm

In the Remote Desktop Services component all the server settings are configured. These settings are used during the deployment to configure the RDS settings and add the computer account to the correct groups.

login am 2012 rds settings configuration

RDS settings configuration

By default Login AM comes with three Infrastructure components for the specific RDS roles. Within the RD Session Host component the client en deployment settings are configured. Some of these settings are also configurable via Group Policy.

login am 2012 rds session host component

RDS session host component


Next to the installation and configuration actions, Login AM can also perform the creation of the Remote App. All these configuration options are combined within the same Application component.

login am 2012 rds remote app

RDS remote app

About the author

Bob Molenaar is a Senior / Managing Consultant at our partner Login Consultants in the Netherlands. Bob focuses on Microsoft RDS, Citrix XenApp and Login AM. Bob has many hours of experience in designing and implementing Login AM at large enterprise organizations.

Tags: Microsoft, Login AM

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