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Remote Desktop Services on 2012 R2 with Essentials Role

Posted on 2015-02-22
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Last Modified: 2016-06-24
I have a Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller with the Essentials Role installed ("S1") as a virtual machine on Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 ("HV") . I have a second Server 2012 R2 virtual machine that is a domain member ("S2"). I have RDS CALs and want to deploy Remote Desktop Services independent of the RDS that is part of the essentials role as I want to use RemoteFX and the other features of "full" RDS with CALs.

On S2, I've gone through the Remote Desktop Services installation scheme from the Add Roles and Features Wizard and have successfully installed the RD Connection Broker and RD Web Access on S2. I have also successfully installed the RD Virtualization Host on HV.

I'm not sure what to do next. If I go to Server Manager > Remote Desktop Services > Overview on S2, it shows that I still need to add the RD Gateway and RD Licensing. However, the RD Gateway role is already installed on S1 as part of the Essentials Experience Role. My research also suggests that RD licensing should be installed on the DC, S1.

Is there a way to get "full" RDS with the Essentials Role installed and, if so, where do I install the Gateway? On S2?

Or do I need to remove the Essentials Role (or perhaps just the Remote Desktop Services Role that's installed with the Essentials Role)?  If so, where do I install the Gateway? S1 or S2? Licensing on S1?

Many thanks in advance,

John
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Question by:jmlnet
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40624618
Well, you've managed to wander pretty far off into the weeds. Essentials does not include any sort of RDS capability as you imply. Yes, it does utilize some RDGateway technology to power its anywhere access feature. But that is not RDSH by any stretch. Secondly, if you want a traditional "terminal server" as it sounds like, you wouldn't want the RDVH role. That is for VDI. And if you want the full feature set of RemoteFX, you don't want to install in a VM at all. Given these multiple core architectural issues, my strong suggestion is to reach out to an I.T. consultant local to your area. This isn't one simple issue where some simple advice here can get you past a hurdle, but is a systemic planning problem with far reaching implications.
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Author Comment

by:jmlnet
ID: 40624659
I don't think I'm in the weeds at all. I've been my own IT consultant for many years and have successfully set up a quite functional system for myself and multiple users. I'm the owner of multiple companies and don't trust consultants or the cloud. I've used the process I'm going through now for Years (since SBS 2003) to learn and successfully implement my systems. All of which work very good, thank you very much. I pay for EE to help me figure things out along the way so your post suggesting I don't know what I'm doing is not helpful, AT ALL.

Essentials absolutely includes RDS capability. Please do your research as to what's installed with the Essentials role and how it works. It is limited however and that's why i want to move to a VDI. I have multiple win8.1 virtual machines and I want my users to be able to access them anywhere at anytime with full physical desktop like capabilities.

RDVH is not installed in a VM, it can't be. It's installed on the HV host. Are you suggesting I use my HV host for all the other roles?

My question is fairly simple and that's whether I need to scrap the Essentials role. Sure, I might need some help refining my terminology a bit but can someone please try and help rather than suggesting I'm clueless? I'm far from clueless and far more intelligent that most/all so called consultants.

Do you have further (helpful) thoughts or is there someone else that can help?
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40624693
You tell me to do my research; I suggest you do the same. I am not one to brag, but you can view my profile and see how much I participate here and what products I have demonstrated some skill with. I am recognized by Microsoft for my technical knowledge on Essentials. I regularly communicate with the products team. I assist many users with the product. But by all means, if you think you know what it includes better than I, I won't bother to argue!

I was not saying or implying you were clueless. Just as I am an expert on Essentials, I know I am *not* an expert on SQL. And if I hit a wall and a SQL expert told me to hire help, I'd take that advice and do so graciously. My rank here shows I am not opposed to assisting on EE. But recognizing one's limits is also important.

"Do you have further (helpful) thoughts"

If you choose to ignore my advice? No. I have neither the time nor patience to deal with people and a false sense of entitlement. Neither will many experts here. I volunteer my time and knowledge, you may pay Experts Exchange, but remember that experts are NOT paid. We help because we enjoy it, so you have my advice. Take it. Leave it. Good luck to you.
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Author Comment

by:jmlnet
ID: 40624755
Can we stop with the bickering? I don't question your expertise but you insulted me by questioning mine. My expertise is not in any one thing, it's in learning and implementing things and I've been very successful at that. That's what I'm trying to do now so for you to take your valuable time to tell me to go find other help when that's Exactly why I posted here was extremely frustrating. I never said you don't know Essentials but it certainly does have Remote Desktop capabilities, we're using them now. It just doesn't work the way I want so I came here trying to figure out how to get to the next level.

I'm not ignoring your advice. One of my great internal debates is whether I outsource the IT work but I'm constantly reminded that I can't do that. Money is not the issue. It's control, security, trust, finding the right person (nearly impossible) and the ability to fix a problem that only comes from setting it up yourself that are the issues. I have no idea what you mean by "false sense of entitlement". If you don't want to help me, that's ok. I certainly appreciate what you've done for others and that's why this community works. But you don't want to help me. You're simply telling me that I can't figure this out and that's not fair or helpful.

So, can we stop with the flame war and see if there's some advice you can give me that is helpful? Or point me in a direction where I can further inform myself?  In all the guides I've read, VDI installs only have RDVH roles installed on the physical host. The rest of the roles are on the VMs. I'm trying to figure out where to install the Licensing and Gateway roles but am stuck because the Gateway role is already on the Essentials DC. I'm ok with scrapping the Essentials role if that is the issue. I realize now that I've likely confused RDSH and VDI but most everything I've read intertwines the topics but that's part of the learning I'm seeking by asking here. Can you help? Can someone help?
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