RDS requirements RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Have a scenario at a customer, they have 1 server with windows server 2012 R2. They need to run RDS. As I understad RDS requires to be domain joined, could I install the domain controller together with RDS on the same server ? I know that its not the best practice, but this scenario have only 1 server.

    Thanks for reply.

    /Regards Andreas

    Monday, June 12, 2017 4:09 PM


  • Hello,

    You are right, RDS requires AD (I am talking about supported scenario). Do not even think about collocating DC and RDS on the same server due to many obvious reasons (security, support etc.). Standard license allows you to run 2 VM's on top of your hardware so possibly consider it is as an option.

    IMHO if you still need to accomplish this task (assuming that it is RDS server is actually VM) and you have an access to underlying infrastructure I would think about nested virtualization, but anyway I suggest to run your DC as dedicated VM.


    Slava Fedenko
    MCSE | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

    • Marked as answer by Andreas2012 Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:29 PM
    Monday, June 12, 2017 5:36 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for reply. Do you have any link to documentation written by MS that states that AD is needed, I have tried searching but could not find it. I need to document this for the customer.

    /Regards Andreas

    Monday, June 12, 2017 9:01 PM
  • Hi,

    Active Directory is required to enable full RDS functionality in Server 2012 R2, if you are using it.  You could install RD Session Host and RD Licensing Role Services (via Add roles and features--role based install), configure the RD licensing mode and RD licensing server name via group policy, install RDS CALs, etc., but you will not be able to use the Server Manager RDS gui and/or most of the rds powershell cmdlets to manage the environment.

    Additionally, you will need to use wmi, registry edits, group policy, etc., to manage the server, publish RemoteApps, and other key RDS tasks.

    Usually RDS in a workgroup is no way to go and administration is no easy.

    Second, never install it on DC. There are users which are discussing about it but this is ticket to many problems and remember to never do it.

    If you found this post helpful, please give it a "Helpful" vote. 
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.


    • Edited by Nedim Mehic Monday, June 12, 2017 9:14 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Amy Wang_ Tuesday, June 13, 2017 2:10 AM
    Monday, June 12, 2017 9:11 PM
  • Hi Andreas,

    Please refer to TP's comment below:

    "Server 2012 RDS is designed under the basic premise that RDS servers will be joined to a domain, at least one RD Connection Broker will be present, and that RDSH servers will be managed as a collection using Server Manager (and/or powershell).  Same is true for Virtual Desktops (VMs), they are designed to be managed as a collection.

    Now, it is not impossible to have a RDSH server that is not joined to a domain and/or not a member of a collection.  The thing to keep in mind is that most of the tools provided to make managing/configuring RDSH servers easier in 2012 will not work in a workgroup configuration.  This includes most (if not all) of the new powershell commands and server manager.  Most of the old powershell commands and GUI programs that would have allowed you to configure/manage a standalone RDSH server have been removed."

    You may find more details within this thread below:

    Managing server 2012 RDS in a workgroup


    Best Regards,


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Tuesday, June 13, 2017 2:15 AM