Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012

Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 bring a variety of services. These services, depending on the type of configuration we want to perform, must be implemented in conjunction with others or separately. These services are:

On the other hand, we present functionality that, although it does not represent in itself a function of Remote Desktop Services, we will consider it as an option, understanding that this decision is an agreement between the reader and the author of the article. This functionality is called “Anywhere Access“.

Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH)

The servers that provide this service are the ones that actually host the user’s processes. For those who have been using Windows 2000 and 2003, this service is usually referred to as the “Terminal Services” server. This term, however, has been deprecated and officially discontinued.

When a user, for example, connects to a computer through Remote Desktop or runs a program in the form of RemoteApp, they are running on the Session Host.

Remote Desktop Web Access (RDWA)

This service provides a website with the available resources that can be used through Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services. In addition, it offers an RSS feed to be used with other applications or devices.

This service was made available starting with Windows Server 2008, although during the existence of Terminal Services there was a website that allowed access to the Terminal through a web page. However, compared to this new service, its functionalities were very limited.

Remote Desktop Connection Broker

This service ensures that all the connections that users initiate against the different Session Hosts are kept before connections and disconnections, as well as allowing the user to have the experience of “single sign-on” even if they have access to applications on different session hosts.

Remote Desktop Gateway

It is a Web Service that acts as an RDP traffic tunnel over HTTPS to allow external users to connect to the internal Remote Desktop Services in a secure and reliable way.

Remote Desktop Virtualization Host

This is a new role service in Windows Server 2012. It requires a physical server with Hyper-V to host it and is used to deploy and manage virtual machines in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

Remote Desktop Licensing

Licenses for use of Remote Desktop Services must be installed on a Remote Desktop Licensing Server. This service then provides the necessary access licenses to the rest of the Session Host servers.

Anywhere Access

While we remember that it is not a feature, service or secondary role of Remote Desktop Services, we will include it in this article because it is an alternative in various circumstances for remote access and you may find it when you want to buy an RDS service.

Anywhere Access provides Remote Web Access, VPN, and DirectAccess functionalities in Windows Server 2012 Essentials. This allows users to access server or infrastructure resources from anywhere with an internet connection.

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