WIndows Server 2012 and remote access or terminal services

Posted on 2014-04-11
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We are setting up our first Windows 2012 server in small environment of 15-20 users. WE need to be able to setup remote access for users as they use notebooks and often are out of the office traveling but need to login remotely.  Notebooks all running Windows 7 Pro.

With Windows SBS2008 we used remote web workplace at another location, separate office and company.

Is there some functionality in Windows 2012 Server or do we need to setup a second server (using Dell PowerEdge servers) with Windows Server 2012 OS and Terminal Server licenses as we have ion the past with Windows 2003 Server and a separate Windows 2003 Server with Terminal Server?
Question by:to2007
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 39995374
If you're tight on budget, the Remote Desktop Services, can also be installed on your current server. Of course, another server will be better for performance.

Assisted Solution

smksa earned 150 total points
ID: 39996141
I think remote access is better option, you can also open 9999+++ sessions at a time.

Author Comment

ID: 39996457
ok I am confused.

Currently this office is peer to peer, yes yuck!  and no current remote access  to the desktop computer that is being the peer to peer "file server"

I convinced them to setup server, domain/AD.  Bought two PowerEdge servers when they were also thinking of Exchange/email in house.   Decided to not do in house email and now have  second server to use or sell.

Once we setup the first new server as domain controller/AD/file server we can use the second server for remote access to the network.    They are a non profit so they get Microsoft licenses really really cheap.

My question is if we setup the second new server with Windows 2012 server,  is there built in remote access for multiple simultaneous users as there was in SBS 2008 for example or do we need to buy licenses for and setup whatever Terminal Server is currently referred.

I also thought that Windows server 2012 as in other non SBS versions would not allow remote access with Terminal Server/RDP other than the two built in admin users.

does that help you all help me ???  thanks
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 39996803
Any Windows Server 2012 version can act as a Remote Desktop Server / Terminal Server. You do need to buy licenses though (about 100 bucks per user). All users would log into this server, and that's it (as previously, they had to leave their PC's on, as they were redirected to there).
Please note that the earlier remote access was always possible with only a few router NAT rules! No server interaction was needed, that was meant for an easy to recognise login page and stuff. You always could've forwarded the PC's RDP port, and the user could have logged in with the RDP client and IP:portnumber (ex for one PC, for another)

Author Comment

ID: 39998048
ok, I still believe that you don't want to use the domain controller AD/file server for the Terminal Server and don't want users logging into that server.

 So yes we can use the second server after installing Windows 2012 Server and then adding the Terminal Server licenses.

This is not new and in the past you didn't have to leave each computer on and redirect it to a server if you had a separate Termainl Server. We have done this as far back as Windows 2003 Server with 2003 Terminal Server licenses. You just need to leave the server running obviously and add it to the domain that the domain controller server is managing and running Active Directory

As for leaving on computers  and redirecting etc., we have some sites where they leave on the workstations and we port map on the router to the individual workstations after changing the RSP listening port on the workstations to something unique  and different on each one from the standard 3389 that Windows uses.  This was not done because in the past there was no RDP to a Terminals Server running Windows 2003 or 2008 server with terminals server licenses, but because the client offices were too cheap to buy a server and the licenses to allow multiple users to share one connection to one computer, the Terminal  Server.  

Port mapping and forwarding and changing the listening ports etc. is a bear vs. a Terminal Server.

My original issue here is asking if there is any remote communications/terminal server/RDP functionality built into Windows 2012 Server without getting  Terminal Server licenses and setting that up. (as there was with remote web workplace in Windows  SBS Server  2008 and 20011.

at this point it appears that there is not and we will just setup the second server with Windows 2012 Server and add the Terminal Server licenses and setup.  Is that a good assumption to make or does someone know something different that can be done with the built in functionality in Windows Server 2012?

LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 39998628
Your question is now a bit more clear, and the answer is definitely:

No built-in functionality for RDP like functions IF YOU DON'T BUY RDS licenses.

I said it was built-in, as the function is built-in, I didn't know you meant without buying licenses.
If there was this function, MS wouldn't earn anything.

Author Comment

ID: 39998905
Which they didn't in SBS and one of many reasons why they may have stopped its sale and the bundling of RDP..

 I think the question was asked straight forward in the beginning.   I was also confused when you appeared to state that prior to Windows 2012 you had to leave all the computers on and users logged in through them. That didn't make sense as we had been doing TS and RDP for years before 2012.

got it now
LVL 36

Accepted Solution

Kimputer earned 350 total points
ID: 40000160
I stated "leaving pc on", not because of before 2012, it was meant because you said "built-in" and I also thought you were on budget. This was a solution out of the box supported by the Windows SBS family, no licenses needed (it was only a sort of easier way of port forwarding all pc's, and a recognisable web interface to log into).

Author Comment

ID: 40015378

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