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Recently setup a new 2012 server. After I create two Remote Windows connections to the server using ordinary user accounts (not administrators), I get this error when I try to create a third connection:

Select a user to disconnect so you can sign in
There are too many users signed in

I read that you can only have two admin connections (one physical and one virtual) but these are not admin users. In the datasheet for this product it says I can have unlimited RDS users. Wish the messages had a bit more information on this server!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Windows by default allows two RDS RDP* connections out of the box, and they are known as "administrative connections" regardless of if the user account is an administrator or not. If you need more remote connections you need to research RDS which requires it's own set of user connection licenses in addition to CALs.

RDS can allow for a number of simultaneous connections that is only limited by your bandwidth and server hardware. To do so, you will need a multi-server infrastructure of at least two machines to host the various RDS roles as well as at least one domain controller. TS Gateway and RDS Session Hosts shouldn't be included on a domain controller, but you can potentially get some of the services to work on a domain controller. It's a terrible hack that will probably break every time Windows applies patches, or it might be the opposite scenario where the hack will break certain Windows patches.

*(I edited this to clear up some of the confusion. The term "RDS" refers to a larger suite of products that implements virtual desktops and RemoteApp. RDP is the protocol and the term "Remote Desktop Connection" [RDC] is typically used to describe the generic Remote Desktop Connections that administrators would typically use to work on a server directly.)

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can you site any sources? The datasheet on this page says you can have unlimited number of Remote Desktop sessions on Standard edition: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server_2012 also this technet post says "If the RD Session Host role service is not installed on the computer, a connection can only allow a maximum of two simultaneous remote connections to the computer. Use the following procedure to configure the number of simultaneous remote connections allowed for a connection." technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753380.aspx but i can't figure out how to do this in 2012 –  Max Hodges Mar 23 '13 at 7:03
i mean, correctly, can you cite any sources? –  Max Hodges Mar 23 '13 at 7:09
Yes you can have unlimited RDS connections, but RDS is different from remote desktop. RDS is the larger ecosystem of services and roles that allow for what used to be termed "Terminal Services." "For those people that are not familiar with RDS, it is the workload within Windows Server that enables users to connect to virtual desktops, session-based desktops and RemoteApp programs." –  Wesley Mar 23 '13 at 7:24
Once you know more about RDS vs simple Remote Desktop Connection / Remote Desktop Protocol, you'll start seeing the distinctions that are subtle at first in the product brochures. So to reiterate, you can certainly have as many RDS connections as your hardware can handle, but it'll cost both licenses and the time to set up that rather more complex system. It's not as simple as lifting a RDC limit, since really, RDC is just a subset of what we're dealing with here to get more than two simultaneous connections. –  Wesley Mar 23 '13 at 7:28
ok, if I may ask one more question, is it possible for me to increase the number of Remote Desktop Connections on a domain controller? or, from what I've read, do I actually need to setup another damn server as a remote host controller or something to manage these connections/licenses? –  Max Hodges Mar 23 '13 at 9:23

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