Balance RDP sessions

Posted on 2012-09-04
Last Modified: 2013-01-22
I need to balance RDP users session across 3 servers.  I am thinking of creating a virtual balancer single IP and distribute the load across 3 servers.   I will setup to use a “least connection” distribution method, so the Netscaler will keep track of how many sessions are active that it has initiated to each RDP server.
Concerns I have.  Will it keep the sessionif the person disconnects from home and connects back in the office with same credentials and same laptop?  
How do I make all the profiles the same across all 3 servers? Same apps tools installed, etc.
Question by:Tiras25
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    For the profiles we made them roaming. We also used the broker service to distribute the sessions evenly. We had a cluster that consisted of two term servers running server 2008.

    As for your concern with the session. Basically it's a crapshoot on which server gets the session. Sometimes it reconnect on the same server and sometimes not. If the user disconnects leaving the session open there is a timer and when the timer expires it logs the user out or resets the session. Meaning more than likely it won't work as you expected.

    We ended up not using a cluster and statices the users to individual servers. There may be a way to accomplish what your trying to do though.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    We have Server 2008 R2 with Remote Desktop Connection Broker enabled on our PDC, and 3 RDP Servers.
    The 3 RDP servers have their own name but under DNS their I.P's are also known as the DNS Name "TS" - this allows Round Robin connections (so users connect to "TS")
    When User A connects it will pick a server at random (first to respond) and depending on load will then jump that user to the less utilized server available.
    That way if a server goes down it will just fall out of the queue until it's back online.

    It's quite simple to set up and manage. The benefits are also that if User A gets disconnected it will reconnect them to the same session on the same server rather than log onto another.

    These URL's should help.

    I'm not too sure why it's not listed here but you used to need the Domain Local group "Session Directory Computers" with the RDP servers assigned as members to function properly.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
    So you have citrix installed?

    What version and licence is that?
    LVL 17

    Author Comment

    >> The benefits are also that if User A gets disconnected it will reconnect them to the same session on the same server rather than log onto another.>>
     Would it reconnect to the same session if the user disconnects at home and reconnects back in the office using same laptop and credentials?
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    Yep, it traces sessions by username rather than device.
    If someone uses the same credentials elsewhere usually it'll kick the existing user off and re-log them in to the new request, good if you forgot to log off elsewhere but bad if someone is trying to access that account illegitimately.
    LVL 17

    Author Comment

    Thank you!  And Just to follow-up how do I make it so whenever the box I logon I will have the same profile and same apps installed?
    Roaming profile or folder redirection helps?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Have mirror setups on each RDP server - you can only do it manually by installing the apps you want on each one, unless you sysprep a master image.
    Just a word of warning, be careful with AntiVirus installs on RDP servers, we had to not use Symantec Endpoint Protection and ended up using something else since SEP didn't behave well with multiple RDP sessions.

    We use a C:\Custom folder on each RDP server with a Destop & Start Menu folder, the users GPO is set to do folder redirect.
    In each user within Active Directory, ensure you have a centralized share and link it to Remote Desktop Services Profile.
    i.e. Profile Path: \\server\rdprpofile\%username%

    If you need help with the above let me know however there are several sites about how to do it, this one will help too although it's for Server 8 (2012)
    LVL 17

    Author Comment

    We use McAfee AV in the environment.  I wonder if that will support RDP sessions.

    I will look into this solution and get back to you.  Thank you!

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