We have a Windows 2012 server that will need to allow 10 users to access it via RDP. The server is setup in our domain. When I go to add the server role for RDP, it gives me the option to install several role services:

  • RD Connection broker
  • RD Gateway
  • RD Licensing
  • RD Session host
  • RD Virtualizatino host
  • RD web access

I am wondering if any of these should be installed on the DC instead of the local machine and also which ones I actually need to install to support plain vanilla RDP access?


Well honestly you shouldn't install any of them on a DC. A DC should be a DC and nothing else. But I know, I'm a purist. So if you must install RDS on a DC, then all you need is the RD Session Host, and RD Licensing. You can install them both together. The session host is what you need to allow 10 simultaneous connections. The RD Licensing role service will store your CALs.

Oh no, I think I misread your question at first. No, none of them need to be installed on a DC. If you don't care about redundancy/broker service, etc., just install both RDS role services on the same member server.

  • What if I plan to have another server that also needs CALs? Should I maintain a separate server for licensing? Also, in order to just get simple RDP up and running (nothing fancy), are there any of the services that I can leave out? – Developr Nov 14 '13 at 19:31
  • 1
    You can have as many license servers as you like. For instance, you could install a backup license server, not install any licenses on it, and if the primary fails, the backup can still issue 90 day temporary tokens while you work on getting your primary back up. That's just example of many possible RDS deployments. And yes, you can leave out all the role services except Session Host and Licensing, until you have a desire to actually use the features of the other role services, which I don't think you do right now. – Ryan Ries Nov 14 '13 at 19:37

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