Adding second server to existing Windows Server 2008 (Standard) domain

My customer wants to add a second server (Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard) to an existing domain (existing server/DC is Server 2008 Standard).

The purpose of the new Server 2012 is to run SysPro software for a maximum 3 users.  The server will also have an installation of Microsoft Office, and the users will do their work via Remote Desktop sessions into that new server.

I've always dealt with small/medium businesses using single servers.  The new server will have no domain/AD functions - it is just running SysPro for a subset of users who are already on the existing domain.  Is adding the server by simply joining the domain (like a regular workstation) enough, or are there other things I must do?

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Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
You just add the server.
Windows Server only allows two simultaneous Remote Desktop connections, and by default these are for administrators only. If you need three users at the same time you'll have to enable Remote Desktop Services, which provides certain other benefits but you might want to read up on how it is different from the regular "server admin" remote desktop. Including how to licence it...!

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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Is adding the server by simply joining the domain (like a regular workstation) enough, or are there other things I must do?
This really all depends on the Software itself and what the requirements are. At a bare minimum it should be a good idea to add this machine to the domain as it will not hurt any. It also provides greater security and more administrative control if it is required.

DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  One thing I'm wondering about is the way to initiate a remoter desktop session on this new server.  I'll be enabling Remote Desktop Services, and I am unclear about how this new server knows how to allow existing domain users to log into a remote desktop session, i.e. how does it know to check with AD on the domain controller?  Is it like a workstation, where you list the allowed users in the "select users" area of Remote Desktop?

Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
There's a Remote Desktop Users group on the server that you can add the active directory users into (or, ideally, create a group in AD, add the users to that and add that AD group to Remote Desktop Users on the server).

RDS is a big topic, and you can do all kinds of useful and clever (and complex) things over and above opening the RDS client on a PC, typing in the server name and hitting "Connect". How much of that is overkill for your small deployment is up to you to determine.
DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Thanks; this is exactly the information I was looking for.
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Windows Server 2012

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