Windows 2012 and Remote Desktop Manager

Hi,

In Windows 2008 and all there is the Remote Desktop Manager or Terminal Services Manager where one can login to the console or up to 2 RDP sessions. You could do a remote control and send messages and a few other things like look at another server on it's RDP sessions.

With Windows 2012 Server that capability does not appear to be present in it's entirety any longer. I know there is the QUSER and the closest is the User tab on the Task Manager.

But it appears there one can no  longer get to the console sessions (session 0). So, we went from 3 possible sessions to 2.

One cannot remote control with another session any longer.

One cannot see the RDP session user on another computer. (i.e. Task Manager User tab does not allow for another computer)

Am I missing something or are these features/functions elsewhere? If so, where?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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davismAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Session 0 went away in Vista/2008, not 2012. It became reserved for system processes, not even the console session uses it.

The other stuff did indeed all go away in 2012. It isn't moved. It is gone.  Session shadowing was added back in with 2012 R2, but that's the only feature that has made a return. Everything else is gone. TS Manager will likely never come back. Most session management has been pulled into the Server Manager console, but does require the RDS roles be installed and configured. Misusing the management sessions is now much more difficult.
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davismAuthor Commented:
I tried installing some of the RDS with the roles and everything. I logged into it with RDP and installed the RDS and everything. My session doesn't even show up. It doesn't even should in the RDS Gateway.

"Misusing the management sessions is now much more difficult"; maybe that's because it's not clear on how to even see any sessions.

If I have my RDP session that I used to connect to it. How am I even able to see that? If somebody else were to RDP how can I see that? Or let's say there are 2 people already on and I need to get on to the console session how can I do that?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Management sessions exist only for admins to manage the OS. They are not intended for end user use, and never have been. It us, in fact, illegal. As such, end-user controls are non-existent. Thus my statement that they ate harder to abuse/misuse. As to the rest, that's a lot to try and cover via EE. RDS deployment changed significantly in 2012. From how the RDCB works to defining collections, it was a major overhaul. The RDS team did an entire series of lengthy blog posts on it. Start with those. It doesn't make sense for me to copy and paste 100+ pages of content here.
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davismAuthor Commented:
That's interesting. From my years of experience with it, the admin of the OS exclusively has never been there. The Illegal context I really don't follow and would vary on need and necessity. I am not saying for end-user use. That could better be served in different means. More of a software architecture or application architecture stand-point.

I guess there maybe there is a difference here. I am not talking about computer management  or deployment. Application deployment is and would be different none-the-less anyway, the TFS build or MSBUILD is better suited. I'm speaking of remote desktop interactive sessions. What the previous Terminal Services Management (tsadmin) and Remote desktop management was.

Too many times an overhaul isn't always a good thing, history clearly shows that with MS. So a complete overhaul while not a bad thing it may also not be a good thing. If they took something away that has met the needs of the majority which it seems was the case and does not provide the same abilities then it really drives home a lot of what I have heard and seen with Win 2012.

I'm not looking at the Broker or anything like that. I am not looking for deployment. What I am looking for is what and how to get to what the Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Management like tools. Are you saying that it no longer exists in any way with Win 2012 even those the Task Manager User tab is very close to that? Again albeit one cannot even span to another computer to see connections.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
"That's interesting. From my years of experience with it, the admin of the OS exclusively has never been there. The Illegal context I really don't follow and would vary on need and necessity."

It has been there since Windows has supported Terminal Services natively.  So...2000 era.

"I guess there maybe there is a difference here. I am not talking about computer management  or deployment."

I *know* you aren't.  That's my point  If you were using RDS/TS to manage the computer, that'd be legal.  But to use RDS/TS for anything else requires installing the appropriate RDS roles, owning RDS CALs, and configuring RDS (including a licensing server, etc.)  So by your own admission you aren't using it for management, and that was the driving point I was making.

"I'm speaking of remote desktop interactive sessions."  ...and from your original question:  "But it appears there one can no  longer get to the console sessions (session 0). So, we went from 3 possible sessions to 2."

You mention the inherent 2-session limitation.  Now, to be clear, that changed in Vista. Not 2012.  But as far as how those 2 sessions can be used, I refer you here:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/WindowsServerRDS_VLBrief.pdf

Specifically the note near the top of the second page: "Note: No RDS CALs are required for up to two users to access instances of the server software *FOR ADMINISTRATION PURPOSES.*"  (emphasis mine.)

The "administration purposes" has *always* been there.  

"I'm not looking at the Broker or anything like that."

And *that* is why I referred you to the RDS blog for starters.  It by no means covers everything, but I can't begin to explain all of the architectural changes here.  The text box wouldn't be big enough.  The RDCB is now a core component and without it, you won't get all of the features you are looking for.  The RDCB tracks sessions, manages the properties of the RDS deployment (don't let the term "deployment" here confuse you, RDS itself is now managed as an entire deployment), and is what lights up various features in Server Manager.

"Are you saying that it no longer exists in any way with Win 2012 even those the Task Manager User tab is very close to that? Again albeit one cannot even span to another computer to see connections."

In part that is what I'm saying.  Some functionality has been moved into Server Manager, but requires actually *deploying* RDS properly (there is that deployment term again, but again, in a different context.)  Some has simply been removed. Some no longer applies because of changes made.  And some aren't in 2012, but *are* in 2012 R2, such as session shadowing.

You can rail against changes made in 2012, whether they are good or bad, or what you've heard all you want.  Luckily I am not here to defend Microsoft's changes. It has no bearing on the question asked. You asked *how* to do something, and so my answer is going to be scoped to that.  And for the parts where the answer is "you can't" ...well...like I said, the underlying why you can't and whether that is good or bad, is a philosophical debate and not one I choose to engage in.  I'm not here to MS bash for the sake of MS bashing.  It won't help you answer the question.
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davismAuthor Commented:
Well Vista was never used as a server. Windows 2008 yes, Windows 2008 did have 3 possibilities to connect RDP (1 being the console). So, again, that question related to that.

I am not nor have I have questioned the intro of TS or RDP services.

You appear to have taken too many things out of context and question my statements of MS.

I completely agree with you on that is something to not engage in. I think this conversion is actually over with you. You have provided somewhat vague answers to part of the question I posed. So in a sense my question really was not really answered.

Thanks for your time and appreciate the attempt.

If anybody else has any clear/concise information regarding the op question please share. That would be greatly appreciated.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Vista shipped before 2008 by a year, so that is the mark by which I say the change happened. But 2008 had the same change. You were limited to two sessions total. If someone was logged into the console, a second RDP session would fail.  That was triggered by the same change that made "session 0" reserved for system processes.
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davismAuthor Commented:
You are the one throwing out the dates and Vista. My question really had nothing to do with Vista. Vista is pretty much dead and buried. Let it go.

You are obviously using a different 2008 that I and even on our 2008 Servers now. We do not have that problem. I repeatedly connect to the console if the other 2 are taken and the console is free. And sorry, I get no failure when I do that.
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davismAuthor Commented:
Does anybody have any other information on this? I see that using the task manager that there are 3 sessions logged into a Win 2012 machine and one of those is mine. However, how can I see how is logged in on another Win 2012 machine from that Win 2012 machine?

On the one machine, how can I do a remote control of one of the other sessions?

I have the RD Gateway installed but it's not showing any connections but there are RDP sessions there (3) so it's not even showing the 3 which is leading me to believe the RD Gateway is not it and will not allow the capability.

Anybody have any information on this?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
rdp gateway by itself does absolutely nothing.

and you are only allowed to have 2 sessions active at one time (total) you can have many more logged in but NOT active

Server 2008 is where the major change came as this picture shows
2 remote sessions .. console wants to login
how can I see who is logged in on another Win 2012 machine from that Win 2012 machine? On the one machine, how can I do a remote control of one of the other sessions?  You can't without implementing a complete remote desktop solution. In this case only your limit of # of RDS cals will come into play on how many users can be logged in and active at one time
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davismAuthor Commented:
David Johnson, thank you so much for the information. As much as it's not a great answer it is still a quality/reality answer. It's not a great answer because what was ones a very simple, effective and useful aspect is now not so easily done or not completely able to be done. However, I do appreciate the information.

Thanks!
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Windows Server 2012

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