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Test Lab Guide: Unmanaged Pooled Virtual Desktop Collections

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: June 24, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2



In Remote Desktop Services, there are two types of virtual desktop collections available: personal and pooled. You have the option to let Remote Desktop Services automatically manage virtual desktops in a virtual desktop collection, or you can manually manage them.

An unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection offers the following capability:

  • User profile disk support. A user profile disk stores user profile information in a separate virtual hard disk so that user profile settings are persistent across pooled virtual desktops.

This test lab walks you through the process of creating an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection, which completes the following tasks:

  • Creates a network share used to store the user profile disks.

  • Creates an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection by using Server Manager.

This guide contains instructions for setting up a test lab that is based on information in Test Lab Guide: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Deployment. You will deploy an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection that uses four servers and one client computer. The resulting lab demonstrates how to successfully create an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection.

ImportantImportant
The following instructions are for configuring an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab that uses the minimum number of computers. Individual computers are needed to separate the services that are provided on the network and to clearly show the desired functionality. This configuration is not designed to reflect best practices or to reflect a desired or recommended configuration for a production network. The configuration, including IP addresses and all other configuration parameters, is designed only to work on a separate test lab network.

In this test lab, Remote Desktop Services is deployed with:

  • One computer running Windows Server 2012 named DC1 that is configured as an intranet domain controller, Domain Name System (DNS) server, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, and an enterprise root certification authority (CA).

  • One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named RDVH1 that is configured as the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) server.

  • One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named RDWA1 that is configured as the Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) server.

  • One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named RDCB1 that is configured as the Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker) server.

  • One client computer running Windows 8 named CLIENT1 that is used to connect to the virtual desktop collection.

In addition, the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab consists of one subnet (10.0.0.0/24) that simulates an intranet named Corpnet.

Computers are connected to each other by using a Hyper-V virtual switch as shown in the following figure.

Network diagram

The following are required components of the test lab:

  • Two identical client virtual machines must exist. These virtual machines will become part of the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection.

  • A network share must exist that is used to store the user profile disks. The RD Virtualization Host computer accounts must have Write access to this location.

  • The product disc or files for Windows 8.

  • A physical computer that meets the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Server 2012.

There are four steps to follow when setting up an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab based on the Test Lab Guide: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Deployment.

  • Step 1: Complete the VDI standard deployment test lab   The unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab requires the VDI standard deployment test lab as its starting point.

  • Step 2: Configure RDCB1   RDCB1 stores the user profile disks that are created for the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection.

  • Step 3: Create the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection   The unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection is created by running the Server Manager Create Collection Wizard on RDCB1.

  • Step 4: Test Remote Desktop Services connectivity   CLIENT1 is a Windows 8 computer that is used to test that you can successfully connect to the virtual desktop collection.

  • Step 5: Take a snapshot of the configuration   At the completion of the lab, take a snapshot of the configuration so that you can later return to a working unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab.

noteNote
You must be logged on as a member of the Domain Admins group or a member of the Administrators group on each computer to complete the tasks that are described in this guide. If you cannot complete a task while you are logged on with an account that is a member of the Administrators group, try performing the task while you are logged on with an account that is a member of the Domain Admins group.

This test lab guide uses the VDI standard deployment test lab as a starting place. Complete the steps in Test Lab Guide: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Deployment before you proceed with the remainder of the steps in this guide. If you have already completed the steps in the Test Lab Guide: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure standard Deployment, and you saved a disk image or a virtual machine snapshot of the VDI standard deployment, you can restore the VDI standard deployment in Hyper-V Manager, and then proceed to the next step.

You must create a network share on a computer in the CORP domain to store the user profile disks. In this test lab, we will create the network share on the RDCB1 computer.

Use the following procedures to connect to the virtual desktop collection:

  • Create the user profile disk network share

  • Adjust permissions on the network share

  1. Log on to the RDCB1 computer by using the CORP\Administrator user account.

  2. Open Windows Explorer.

  3. Click Computer, and then double-click Local Disk (C:).

  4. Click New Folder, type UPD and then press ENTER.

  5. Right-click the UPD folder, and then click Properties.

  6. Click Sharing, and then click Advanced Sharing.

  7. Select the Share this folder check box.

  8. Click Permissions, and then grant Full Control permissions to the Everyone group.

  9. Click OK twice, and then click Close.

  1. Right-click the UPD folder, and then click Properties.

  2. Click Security, and then click Edit.

  3. Click Add.

  4. Click Object Types, select the Computers check box, and then click OK.

  5. In the Enter the object names to select box, type rdvh1.corp.contoso.com and then click OK.

    ImportantImportant
    Each RD Virtualization Host computer account in your deployment must have Modify permissions on the user profile disk network share.

  6. Click RDVH1, and then select the Allow check box next to Modify.

  7. Click OK twice.

Use the following procedure to create an unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection:

  1. Log on to the RDCB1 server by using the CORP\Administrator user account.

  2. Server Manager will start automatically. If it does not automatically start, click Start, type servermanager.exe, and then click Server Manager.

  3. In the left pane, click Remote Desktop Services.

  4. Click Collections.

  5. Click Tasks, and then click Create Virtual Desktop Collection.

  6. On the Before you begin page, click Next.

  7. On the Name the collection page, in the Name box, type Contoso Unmanaged Pool, and then click Next.

  8. On the Specify the collection Type page, click the Pooled virtual desktop collection option, clear the Automatically create and manage virtual desktops check box, and then click Next.

  9. On the Specify the existing virtual desktops page, click the name of the virtual desktop, and then click Add.

    noteNote
    If the virtual desktop does not show up, you should close this wizard, add the virtual machines by using Hyper-V Manager, and then create the collection again.

  10. Click the name of another virtual desktop, click Add, and then click Next.

  11. On the Specify user groups page, accept the default selections, and then click Next.

  12. On the Specify user profile disks page, in the Location of user profile disks box, type \\rdcb1\upd, and then click Next. Make sure that the RD Virtualization Host computer accounts have Read and Write access to this location.

  13. On the Confirm selections page, click Create.

    noteNote
    This procedure will take a while to complete.

You can ensure that the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection was created successfully by connecting to the RD Web Access server on the CLIENT1 computer, and then connect to a pooled virtual desktop in the Contoso Unmanaged Pool virtual desktop collection.

noteNote
If you plan to connect to an RD Web Access server website from a server, you must use Server Manager to turn off Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

Use the following procedure to connect to the virtual desktop collection.

  1. Open Internet Explorer. To open Internet Explorer, click Start, and then click Internet Explorer.

  2. In the Internet Explorer address bar, type https://rdwa1.corp.contoso.com/RDWeb, and then press Enter.

  3. Click Continue to this website (not recommended).

  4. In the Domain\user name box, type CORP\Administrator.

  5. In the Password box, type the password for the CORP\Administrator user account, and then click Sign in.

  6. Click Contoso Unmanaged Pool, and then click Connect.

This completes the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab guide. To save this configuration so that you can quickly return to a working unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection configuration from which you can test other Remote Desktop Services modular test lab guides (TLGs), TLG extensions, or for your own experimentation and learning, do the following:

  1. On all physical computers or virtual machines in the test lab, close all windows and then turn them off.

  2. If your lab is based on virtual machines, save a snapshot of each virtual machine and name the snapshots. If your lab uses physical computers, create disk images to save the unmanaged pooled virtual desktop collection test lab configuration.

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