I would like to run an application on one Windows machine (2008 server preferably, but any platform is okay) and display the UI on another Windows workstation.

I'm not sure what blend of technologies I need to do this. I've looked at MS Application Virtualization 4.5 (formerly SoftGrid), but that's not quite what I'm looking for. I don't want the app to run on the local host, just a remote interface. All app CPU activity and network activity needs to be localized on the remote host.

I know it's dissimilar technologies, but think "Parallels" for the Mac... is this even possible with Windows Remote Desktop/Terminal Services?

  • mac can probably do this as it is based on linux, which has a graphical client/server model, and runs just as easily with the gui client on a remote machine. I don't think that is the case with windows. – Brent May 7 '09 at 14:29
  • The Mac OS is based on BSD, and not Linux. And with this we're only talking about the lowest levels. On top, especially the GUI, the Mac does not use a client/server model. Mac GUI remoting is done through a brute force copy-bits method (VNC variant). Very inefficient compared to something like X or even MS's RDP, which are tied directly into the rendering system for optimal remoting. – scobi May 12 '09 at 1:02
  • Scott, from your comment "compared to something like X or even MS's RDP" I get the impression you are saying X's rendeing is faster than RDP. From my experience over different remote connections, RDP seemed superior to X in most setups. Am I missing something? – mit Dec 11 '10 at 12:21

Sounds like you need Terminal Services Remote Apps, which is in Server 2008. As the technet blurb says:

With Terminal Services, organizations can provide access to Windows®-based programs from almost any location to almost any computing device. Terminal Services in Windows Server® 2008 includes Terminal Services RemoteApp (TS RemoteApp). You can use several different methods to deploy RemoteApp programs, such as Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access). With TS Web Access, you can provide access to RemoteApp programs through a Web page over the Internet or over an intranet. TS Web Access is also included in Windows Server 2008

Im not sure if a web interface is good enough for what you need, or if your looking for something more integrated. See here for details on TS Remote Apps and here for details on how to do it.

  • 4
    Actually, I will point him to this instead: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753844.aspx as he isn't setting up TS RemoteApp just yet, he is just asking for information on the technology. – user1797 May 7 '09 at 13:09
  • Thanks for the info. I will play with this today and see if it meets my needs :) – Simon Gillbee May 7 '09 at 13:33

Citrix does this (seamless window) if you want to pay for it, or as already answered - this is possible as part of the Server 2008 and onwards without Citrix.

You can even package this as an msi and do a very simple policy deploy of it to user's start menus ^^

There are also a few hacks out there to do this with the old Terminal Services and some viewport cropping... I haven't tried them though.

  • Citrix does do it, but with Win2K8, you don't need Citrix. – seanyboy May 8 '09 at 10:36
  • Yeah I wrote that, but I've tried to clarify my hopelessly vague sentence now ;) – Oskar Duveborn May 8 '09 at 12:03

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