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What's New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

Published: June 21, 2013

Updated: June 24, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2



This topic describes the Remote Desktop Services functionality that is new or changed in Windows Server 2012 R2.

The Remote Desktop Services server role in Windows Server® 2012 provided technologies that enabled users to connect to virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops. With Remote Desktop Services, users can access remote connections from within a corporate network or from the Internet.

In Windows Server 2012, Remote Desktop Services offers support for the following enhanced features:

  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployments

  • Session Virtualization deployments

  • Centralized resource publishing

  • Rich user experience with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

For more information about new features and functionality for Windows Server 2012, see What's New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012.

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Remote Desktop Services offers enhanced support in the following areas:

  • Session Shadowing

  • Online Storage Deduplication

  • Improved RemoteApp behavior

  • Quick reconnect for remote desktop clients

  • Improved compression and bandwidth usage

  • Dynamic display handling

  • RemoteFX virtualized GPU supports DX11.1

Each of these is described in the sections that follow.

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Session Shadowing enables you to remotely monitor or control an active session of another user on a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server. The current version includes integration with Server Manager and Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe).

In Windows Server 2012 R2 the Data Deduplication feature, released in Windows Server 2012, can be used with actively running personal desktop collections when the desktop virtual hard disks (VHDs) are stored on a file server running Windows Server 2012 R2 and accessed by using Server Message Block (SMB). Storage capacity requirements can be dramatically reduced by using the Data Deduplication feature. Data Deduplication on the SMB server caches frequently accessed data, allowing performance improvements on many read-intensive operations, including parallel remote client boot.

In Windows Server 2012 R2 RemoteApp programs are one step closer to the look and feel of local applications by including support for transparency, live thumbnails, and seamless application move that allows the application content to remain visible while the application is moved on screen.

In Windows Server 2012 R2 Quick Reconnect improves connection performance enabling users to reconnect to their existing virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops more quickly. The connection process for RemoteApp programs has been redesigned for Windows® 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 clients, to be more informative and user friendly.

Windows Server 2012 R2 improves performance on the Windows Server 2012 remote experience, by using codecs that enable better compression, delivering bandwidth savings (for example video content delivery over a WAN utilizes up to 50% less bandwidth compared to Windows Server 2012).

In Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 support has been added for display changes on the client to be automatically reflected on the remote client. This translates to seamless device rotation, and monitor addition and removal (for example connecting to a projector or docking a laptop) for both remote sessions and RemoteApp programs.

The RemoteFX vGPU in Windows Server 2012 R2 includes support for DX11.1 on systems that have DX11.1 capable GPU cards. Graphics intensive applications that rely on DX11.1 features can be virtualized and run in a virtualized environment on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows Server 2012 R2 introduces the following functionality:

  • Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) support: RemoteFX running on NUMA-based platforms will experience improved scaling capabilities.

  • Video RAM (VRAM) changes: Adding system memory, to the server running Hyper-V, will allow for a dynamic increase in virtual machine VRAM which can improve performance for applications.

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 support a new remote desktop option to connect in RestrictedAdmin mode. When connecting using RestrictedAdmin mode, the user’s credentials are not sent to the host by the remote desktop client. Using this mode with administrator credentials, the remote desktop client attempts to interactively logon to a host that also supports this mode without sending credentials. When the host verifies that the user account connecting to it has administrator rights and supports Restricted Admin mode, the connection is successful. Otherwise, the connection attempt fails. Restricted Admin mode does not at any point send plain text or other re-usable forms of credentials to remote computers.

noteNote
Once connected to a host in RestrictedAdmin mode, the user will not be able to seamlessly access other network resources from that host using the credentials they provided to the remote desktop client.

To connect using RestrictedAdmin mode requires

  • Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 for the remote desktop host

  • Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 for the remote desktop client

Remote Desktop Services is a server role that consists of several role services. In Windows Server 2012 R2, Remote Desktop Services consists of the following role services:

 

Role service name Role service description

RD Virtualization Host

Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) integrates with Hyper-V to deploy pooled or personal virtual desktop collections within your organization.

RD Session Host

Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) enables a server to host RemoteApp programs or session-based desktops. Users can connect to RD Session Host servers in a session collection to run programs, save files, and use resources on those servers.

RD Connection Broker

Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker):

  • Allows users to reconnect to their existing virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops.

  • Enables you to evenly distribute the load among RD Session Host servers in a session collection or pooled virtual desktops in a pooled virtual desktop collection.

  • Provides access to virtual desktops in a virtual desktop collection.

RD Web Access

Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) enables users to access RemoteApp and Desktop Connection through the Start menu on a computer that is running Windows 8, Windows 7, or through a web browser. RemoteApp and Desktop Connection provides a customized view of RemoteApp programs and session-based desktops in a session collection, and RemoteApp programs and virtual desktops in a virtual desktop collection.

RD Licensing

Remote Desktop Licensing (RD Licensing) manages the licenses required to connect to a Remote Desktop Session Host server or a virtual desktop. You can use RD Licensing to install, issue, and track the availability of licenses.

RD Gateway

Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) enables authorized users to connect to virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops on an internal corporate network from any Internet-connected device.

The following table provides additional resources for evaluating Remote Desktop Services.

 

Content type References

Product evaluation

Community resources

Related technologies

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