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Where to install Remote Desktop Services.?

    Question

  • I have been working on documentation on how to install Hyper-V on a HP ProLiant, and have it pretty much finished.. But one thing is baffling me... 

    Server has Windows 2012 and Hyper-V installed as the Management OS. In Hyper-V, I have one virtual Windows 2012 server that is domain controller / DHCP / DNS for the network... The Management OS is a domain member server and I am logged in as the Domain Administrator..  I set up remote desktop services on the Management OS, assigning it all of the required roles (Connection Broker etc etc).. Then I create a Personal Desktop Collection (again on the Management OS) using a sysprepped Windows 7 virtual machine in Hyper-V. Then the users then log in to the Management OS IP/hostname from the browser to access their Personal desktop. 

    I have read that some people set up RDS on one of the virtual machines, and assign the virtual machine all the roles, but I dont understand how this can work as the sysprepped machines are sitting on the Hyper-V server.. But I also understand that no services other than Hyper-V should be running on the Management OS... What is the best way to set this up for a small business where only one/two users will be accessing personal virtual desktops.. 

    thanks, 

    Sunday, August 04, 2013 4:01 AM

Answers

  • I'm not sure why you think RDS can't be installed on a virtual machine. There's no difference to how Windows Server operates on the management OS and the client OS, so if the location of the files is your only issue then it's simply just a matter of either creating a new VM and moving the files onto it, or making them accessible from the VM. For instance you can make one of the management servers physical disks available as a disk on the VM.

    I'd strongly advise against installing RDS on the management OS. Others may have different reasons but for me the main ones would be.

    1) When (not if) you need to reboot the server running RDS due to memory leaks, patches, software installs etc, you'll have to restart the entire server, therefore also rebooting your DC and making it unavailable to the rest of the network.

    2) One of the main benefits of having virtual machines is the ability to create replica's, snapshots, and to easily move them to new hardware. If you install RDS on the management OS you lose that benefit, and make future upgrades and expansion a LOT harder than they need to be.

    3) With your proposed setup you'll have a situation where there's a good chance that after a complete reboot your RDS services will have started before your DC has finished starting. I'd be surprised if that didn't cause you issues. If RDS is installed on a VM you can set it to start on a delay so the DC has a chance to start first.

    • Marked as answer by JonathanAnon Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:50 PM
    Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:12 AM

All replies

  • I'm not sure why you think RDS can't be installed on a virtual machine. There's no difference to how Windows Server operates on the management OS and the client OS, so if the location of the files is your only issue then it's simply just a matter of either creating a new VM and moving the files onto it, or making them accessible from the VM. For instance you can make one of the management servers physical disks available as a disk on the VM.

    I'd strongly advise against installing RDS on the management OS. Others may have different reasons but for me the main ones would be.

    1) When (not if) you need to reboot the server running RDS due to memory leaks, patches, software installs etc, you'll have to restart the entire server, therefore also rebooting your DC and making it unavailable to the rest of the network.

    2) One of the main benefits of having virtual machines is the ability to create replica's, snapshots, and to easily move them to new hardware. If you install RDS on the management OS you lose that benefit, and make future upgrades and expansion a LOT harder than they need to be.

    3) With your proposed setup you'll have a situation where there's a good chance that after a complete reboot your RDS services will have started before your DC has finished starting. I'd be surprised if that didn't cause you issues. If RDS is installed on a VM you can set it to start on a delay so the DC has a chance to start first.

    • Marked as answer by JonathanAnon Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:50 PM
    Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:12 AM
  • Hi Keith, 

    thank you for your comprehensive response... 

    I have two concerns with regard to installing RDS on the virtual machine.

    1. With the way that I currently set it up, the virtual desktop RDP-01 is created and is controllable under the Hyper-V Manager, so I assumed that RDS had a dependency on Hyper-V.. 

    2. For backing up the machine, I assumed that I would be backing it up the same as the normal virtual machines and could be backed up using Windows Server Backup 2012. 

    I guess the best thing for me to do would be to just remove RDS from the Hypervisor, try to set it up on the virtual machine, and see what problems I come across (if any). So what I will do is:

    - Run the Add Roles and Features Wizard on the virtual machine. 

    - Choose Remote Desktop Services. 

    - Put all of the server roles on the virtual machine itself. 

    - Locate the sysprepped machine from the virtual machine (not sure how this will work). 

    - Then when the setup has completed, attempt to connect the clients to RDWeb through the virtual machines hostname. 

    regards, 

    J

    Sunday, August 04, 2013 12:04 PM
  • Well I can confirm that on our RDS setup (consisting of several servers) they're all running on VM's with no issues at all.

    In terms of backups, yes, you'd handle backups exactly the same way you would on a physical server.

    Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:08 PM
  • I've been reading around this and it seems that the best way to install the RDS services for small business (with one Hypervisor and two virtual servers) is as below:

    (Full image http://omg.wthax.org/7zVb4n.jpg )

    XXX-SRV1 is the main production server and domain controller. So when installing RDS, I go to Server Manager on virtual machine XXX-SRV2, a member server, then Add Roles And Features, then choose to install Remote Desktop Services... During this installation I choose to install the 

    RDS Connection Broker

    RDS Web Access

    RDS Session Host

    services on XXX-SRV2, and when prompted for the RDS Virtualization Host I select the Hypervisor itself. Does this sound right? 



    Tuesday, August 06, 2013 10:07 PM
  • Yes, that sounds right to me.
    Tuesday, August 06, 2013 10:14 PM
  • It still seems a bit strange to me, Keith..

    But I understand that:

    1. I cant run Hyper-V within Hyper-V so it is not possible to have all the RDS services running on the virtual machine XXX-SRV2. 

    2. It is not a good idea to have anything running on the Hypervisor apart from Hyper-V itself.. 

    I guess the same setup in a multiserver enterprise environment would make more sense. The fact that I have to have it all on the one server I guess is what makes it seem odd. 

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 1:32 PM
  • 1. I cant run Hyper-V within Hyper-V so it is not possible to have all the RDS services running on the virtual machine XXX-SRV2. 

    This is what's confusing me, what is it about the setup you're attempting that means you think you would need Hyper-V within Hyper-V (which as you say isn't possible)?

    If you mean that not all of the RDS services can be installed on the same machine (I haven't done a complete install on a single box so don't know if that's the case), then yes, your best option is to end up with three VM's, so the RDS roles are split between SVR2 and SVR3.

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 5:39 PM
  • Okay, maybe if I approach it from the other direction. I give you a one physical server, with a Windows 2012 Server Standard license (which allows you two virtual machines). I want to set up two virtualized servers in Hyper-V, and set up one personal virtual desktop for the MD. How do you go about it... 

    (sorry if I'm going over the same ground, but I have to put this on a site next week, and the people I'm installing it for are not gonna give me much room for error. So I'm trying to do the best I can to set it up 100% right before putting it on site)

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 7:18 PM
  • Ahhh, right I understand your problem now then. Sorry I didn't even think of the licensing limit on a standard licence of 2012!

    The bad news is if you're running 2 VM's in Standard edition you're not supposed to use the host for anything other than managing the VM's running on it. Details of the licensing can be see here, page 3 being the pertinent page http://download.microsoft.com/download/7%2F7%2F0%2F7707E736-4557-4310-9709-87358F7E6D1A/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf

    That said, the solution you're describing is to have three machines, 2 x Windows Server (SVR1 and SRV2), and 1 x Windows 7. Well the limit on the number of virtuals isn't how many virtual machines you can run, it's the number that are included in the server licence. For instance you can install a second Windows Server standard licence and that will allow 4 Server Standard VM's to be run on it using that licence (they specific mention that scenario in the pdf). If you were hosting Linux instances for instance you could run as many as you wanted on Standard.

    Since the Windows 7 instance won't be using the Windows Server Standard licence, but it's own Windows 7 licence, there's nothing stopping you from running a third VM on the server hosting Windows 7.

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 7:57 PM
  • What you have described is what I plan to do with the licensing. On the Hypervisor, there will be three virtual machines.. The two Windows 2012 Servers (XXX-SRV1 and XXX-SRV2, covered under the main Windows 2012 license) and a sysprepped Windows 7 golden image (which I will buy a license for)... It's the next step, the install of RDS that is what would be my next question. I DID have it all of the RDS services (Connection Broker, Session Host etc) on the hypervisor and it worked fine. But as you have said, the Hypervisor is meant to be running HyperV and nothing else.. But with the single physical server and three VMs sitting on Hyper-V as described above, can you set up RDS?
    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 8:46 PM
  • I see, it's the RDS Virtualization Host that's the issue. Haven't used it personally, but having read a bit about I see the issue.

    Personally I would have thought you could install that role on the host and still be OK to have the two Server VM's running on there, since the entire purpose of that role, alongside Hyper-V itself, is to "manage the virtual instances".

    If you're concerned whether that would be legit (I don't think it physically prevents you), it might be worth contacting MS licensing to confirm for certain, but as I say from the wording of their documentation I suspect it's OK.

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:12 PM
  • Okay I've set it up as follows (same image as above)

    I removed the Remote Desktop Services, which had been installed completely on the Management OS. I then created a second virtual server XXX-SRV2 and started the Remote Desktop Services Wizard on this. I set the virtual server itself (XXX-SRV2) to have the RD Connection Broker, RD Session Host, RD Web Access services installed. When it came to selecting the RD Virtualization Host, I select the Hypervisor itself XXX-HyperV. The services installed successfully and the server was rebooted. 

    After the reboot, I opened the XXX-SRV2 server and created the Virtual Desktop Collection. It connected to XXX-HYPERV and prompted for the golden image. I select the pre prepared golden image and it successfully created the collection. No difference in speed appreciable at the moment.


    Monday, August 12, 2013 9:30 PM
  • Excellent, good to hear it's working and thanks for letting us know.
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013 8:58 AM