We're investigating different options we have to provide remote access to 1 app on our windows server. In terms of pricing, purchasing CALs is quite cheaper than installing Citrix XenApp.

Would enabling concurrent RDP sessions be enough for up to 20 users accessing the same application concurrently? Our server is well dimensionned and in theory (just doing the linear mathematical calculations) can handle it.

What kind of caveat am I omitting? Our scenario is very basic (1 java based app) but I'd like to make sure.


  • Last I used RDP the biggest problem was printing support was very poor. Also not all applications supported deployment onto an RDP server. There have been third party tools that supposedly help with the printing issues. Jul 16 '15 at 18:03
  • One gotcha: if it's not a terminal server, you're limited to 2 administrative RDP sessions. You need the Terminal Server role as well as the appropriate amount of CALs.
    – Nathan C
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:04
  • @NathanC what about what this link is talking about? vladan.fr/multiple-rdp-sessions-on-windows Wouldn't it work for any windows 2012 server?
    – Sebas
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:05
  • 1
    @Sebas Don't do that...it's a hack at best and not appropriate for business use. Install the terminal server role on your server.
    – Nathan C
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:06
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    @Sebas you also might be interested it setting up your single app as a RemoteApp. That will allow you to run the app from your client machines without running a full RDP session.
    – Byron C.
    Jul 16 '15 at 22:47

A few points of clarification:

On Windows Server 2012 it's called Remote Desktop Services, not Terminal Services.

Microsoft has made vast improvements with regards to printing with Remote Desktop Easy Print.

You can't "hack" the server to allow more than two RDP sessions without installing the RDS role, the RDS License Server role, and purchasing the appropriate number and type of RDS client access licenses.

  • thanks. Can I just install the RDS role on the server and be good to go? I have confirmation that my application is fully supporting terminal services. I mean, after purchasing the licenses.
    – Sebas
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:15
  • You need to install the RDS License Server role somewhere, you need to purchase the appropriate number and type of RDS CAL's, you need to activate the RDS License Server and install the CAL's.
    – joeqwerty
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:37
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    Aside from terminal server concerns, one thing not mentioned is checking to see if the app supports concurrency. It doesn't matter how many licensed users you have if the app isn't set up in some way or has no problems with concurrency.
    – Jim B
    Jul 16 '15 at 22:36
  • @JimB My app is officially supporting terminal services. Is it what you mean? Or other things such as database concurrency access etc,?
    – Sebas
    Jul 16 '15 at 23:15
  • Sometimes apps do things that break multi user access to the app. Lets say the app stores its variables in a text file coded to c:\temp\appdata. User 1 logs in, runs the app and sets the variables as part of the app. User 2 logs in, runs the app changes the file. The app isn't built for multi users so when user 1 goes to complete his action, he's unwittingly using whatever user2 changed instead of the setting he chose. That's an obvious example but I hope you get the idea. If it officially supports TS you are fine. (+1 for remotespp BTW)
    – Jim B
    Jul 17 '15 at 3:33

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