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Server 2012 R2 remote desktop farm guide

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-05-15
Greetings experts,

Does anyone know of a 1-2-3 guide in setting up a Server 2012 r2 Remote Desktop farm?

There have been changes from 2008 and 2012 r2, so a 2008 guide will not work.  

This is what I want to accomplish:  

1. Setup multiple remote desktop servers to work with a barracuda load balancer, Lets start with 2 just to keep it simple.
      a. I already setup the load balancer, which works great, so don't need help with that.
2. This is a very simple environment.  Will only be using MS office, a .net app and Internet.     I have already tested everything in 2012 r2 and it all works.
3. would like to see who is logged on (preferably which server) and be able to send messages to the users via remote desktop messenger.
4. would like to make sure that once a user has a session open, if disconnected, is returned to the same session once they log back on.
5. I think I want a session based environment, not 100% clear on why to use either session or virtual, again MS gives information, but not a real world example of which to choose.
6. Have two physical servers, would be great if I could introduce a Hyper server as well, but the two physical servers are most important.

Please don't point me to the MS TechNet article on 2012 r2, it just goes through features and doesn't give you the steps on how to accomplish.

Thank you for any help..
Kacey
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Question by:kaceyjames
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11 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:kaceyjames
ID: 39913571
Thanks ITGuy..

I'm looking through it now.

2 quick questions:

1. when the user logs in for the first time and has to configure an outlook profile, will they have to do this for each server they log onto until they have hit every server in the farm?  or does the session create a profile on each server?

2. How do you assign printers?  do you just install on each server and the users can pick or do you use Group policy?

thanks,
Kacey
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Author Comment

by:kaceyjames
ID: 39913600
ITGuy,

Forgot to ask about certificates.. do you put a unique cert on each server?  Or just one that holds the RD Web Access?
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39914362
For load balancing you would have to use your barracuda to set the affinity so that the user can reconnect to the same server.

Use Folder Redirection for the user data this way their data / configurations will follow them.

The servers can be server core with or without virtual servers using hyper-v it all depends upon what you have, what resources each server has, the storage subsystem... physical or virtual machines can be treated almost identically  .. replication helps a lot here.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kaceyjames earned 0 total points
ID: 40067459
There was an original post from "IT GUY" that was deleted by the administrator.  It had a link to a good guide, I guess you can't have links for some reason on this site anymore.  

If the administrator can give IT Guy the points it would be great.

For all of you that are interested, 2012 r2 has changed.  So this is what you do.

1. go in and install the Remote desktop services
2. go to server manager and then click remote desktop services
3. configure everything from there, you don't have to use the RD manager, except to configure specifics (maybe cert).
4. The certificate is important for the remote gateway.  Configure that in IIS and send it out to godaddy or wherever, then install in IIS.  Then configure the certificate.
        a. I had a slight problem here: after I installed cert originally the key was missing.  so: go to cert mmc - personal, delete the cert
        b. re-import into personal.... reason you do this is the first time it's imported via iis, it won't let you export private key.
        c. after import, export with a private key, give it a password, don't have to give it an id.
        d. go to sessions in remote desktop services and add edit deployment, go to certificates.  add the new cert to
connection brokers and rd web access.  
        e. Install the RD Gateway, might not let you install cert.  So you have to go to RD manager and find the cert tab in there
add it there.

5. If you are using more than one server you no longer need a separate load balance box, MS has added something called a collection.  You can configure that, and it will do the load balancing for you.  
6. I installed two servers, the main server has gateway, web and session host, while the other just has a session host.
7. another problem I had was security, for some reason the security in the collection properties was changed.. Users kept
getting kicked out and only able to log on sometimes.  After we changed it to "Negotiate" it started working a lot better.
9. Also be careful with the user profile disk option.  I enabled it and then it was causing problems with people getting temporary files.  If this gets corrupt, MS said you might have to rebuild.  After a few times turning it on and off and tweaking some things, it is now working good.  Just wanted to put a warning on that, MS tech said there is still problems with this function.

Good Luck...
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Author Comment

by:kaceyjames
ID: 40067669
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for kaceyjames's comment #a40067459

for the following reason:

The original post was deleted by administrator from IT Guy...
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zac Harris
ID: 40067670
The author requested that I receive the points for this question. I agree.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zac Harris
ID: 40068102
Can you please explain what was non compliant about it so this issue doesn't happen again?
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