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Pau Lo

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remote desktop gateway server/architecture hardware spec

Do Microsoft offer any guidance or recommendations in terms of server resources required for terminal services servers? In terms of CPU, Memory etc. Or if they don’t, where would you as a VMWare admin, creating new VM terminal services servers start to identify required resources?
As a general estimate figure, for a terminal services server that supports 50 concurrent users, what kind of resources would you consider to be a bare minimum?
Also do Microsoft issue any advice in a remote desktop gateway architecture which supports 200 users, as to how many servers would be required to balance the load accordingly provided adequate performance levels, e.g.  a server:user ratio, would 1:50 ratio be a reasonable model, a 1:25 ratio be a reasonable model etc, more/less etc.
Finally which 'component' of the remote desktop gateway service handles the load balancing of which user is logged onto which server in your farm? 
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Lee W, MVP
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Pau Lo


Thank you. What would you class as low to medium resources?
Are you planning to setup and then tell 100 people to use it NOW?  Or would you ease people onto it?  That's what I do/have done.  Presumably, your users are ALREADY using something, so setup an RDS server and start moving people to it.  Keep an eye on performance.  When it comes to CPUs, DO NOT OVER-ALLOCATE.  Start low and NEVER allocate the total your server has (if your server has 16 cores, *I* would never allocate more than 75% to any one VM and then only when the host had very few VMs - for information as to why see:,-2011%20was%20a&text=VMware%20refers%20to%20CPU%20as,threading%20is%20unavailable%20or%20disabled.)

Now, that said, for "average" workloads (where, if you were going to allocate a person a PC with 8 GB of RAM and expect that to be fine) I generally start with 1 vCPU per 4 users (minimum 2) and 4 GB of RAM per user.  That's how I would START.  I'd put 5 people on a system with 2 vCPU and 20 GB of RAM and see how that works.  Then I'd add a couple more... As you grow the server's user base, extrapolate (assuming all users are doing basically the same work).  If 20 GB of RAM supports 8 users fine, great... if 10 seem to get sluggish, bump the RAM at a rate of 2.5 GB per user (MATH!). If 20 GB isn't sufficient for 5 users at the start, increase by 1 GB per user (is it better at 25?  how about 30?)

There are sizing tools out there, but to me, it doesn't make sense; workloads vary.  when you size to a tool, you're sizing to SOMEONE ELSE'S idea of what a workload is like and ought to use.  You need to determine what level of resources YOUR workloads require.  Virtualization is great because (in theory) you have multiple host servers with an abundance of resources and you can increase the VM's resources as necessary with, at worst, a reboot and a migration of other VMs to a different host.  
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There is an existing system would there could be added 'pressure' on it in the near future with different working styles. I appreciate your advice.

Have you ever followed a server:user ratio to determine how many session hosts to build and add in your TS farm?
I have not as I do not believe using that method would be a reliable way to determine needs without first determining the resources per user.