Desktop Replacement using RemoteFX on RD Virtualization Host on LAN Design

Published: March 23, 2011

Updated: March 23, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RemoteFX enables the delivery of a full Windows user experience to a range of client devices including rich clients, thin clients, and ultrathin clients. RemoteFX delivers a rich user experience for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by providing a 3D virtual adapter, intelligent codecs, and the ability to redirect USB devices in virtual machines. RemoteFX is integrated with the RDP protocol, which enables shared encryption, authentication, management, and device support.

The key decisions you need to make when designing the RD Virtualization Host server environment to include RemoteFX are:


Design decision


How to choose

What server encoder to use

  • Make and model of GPU that meets the RemoteFX additional qualifications for the Windows Logo Program.

  • Optional RemoteFX ASIC encoder (in addition to GPU) for higher scale

Based on

  • Organizations hardware provider offerings

  • Desired server cost

  • Desired server scale

For more information, see

RemoteFX Hardware considerations document

Type of end point access device

  • Rich clients with Remote Desktop Connection 7.1+

  • Windows Embedded or Windows CE software Thin Client with Remote Desktop Connection 7.1+

  • Hardware thin client with RemoteFX ASIC decoder

Based on

  • Desired client end point cost

  • Desired client end point power consumption

  • Desired client end point maintenance

To access a RemoteFX session, a client computer must use the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 7.1 client. RDC7.1 is included in the Windows 7 with SP1 operating system. RDC7.1 is also available for Windows Embedded 2009 and Windows CE operating systems.

The simplest way to deliver applications from a RemoteFX on RD Virtualization Host server is to install the applications on a Windows 7 with SP1 virtual machine, enable RemoteFX on the virtual machine and then host this machine on a RemoteFX capable server. For detailed instructions for implementing a virtual desktop-based design:

To implement Microsoft® RemoteFX™, use the checklists for deploying a personal virtual desktop, or virtual desktop pool and perform the tasks for RemoteFX.


  Task Reference

Deploy a personal virtual desktop.

Checklist topic Checklist: Deploying a Personal Virtual Desktop


Deploy a virtual desktop pool.

Checklist topic Checklist: Deploying a Virtual Desktop Pool

Next, have users log into that RemoteFX capable virtual machine using Remote Desktop Connection version 7.1 and above. To support this model you need to deploy two RDS roles: an RD Virtualization Host server and a RD Licensing server.

When you deploy a single RemoteFX on RD Virtualization Host server for full desktop connections, users can connect to the RD Virtualization Host server by typing the server’s name into their Remote Desktop Connection client. Only users with the right to log onto the RD Session Host server and members of the Remote Desktop Users Group will be able to connect using RDP.

By default, all users connecting to the full desktop will see the full set of applications installed on the RD Session Host server. They will have the permissions associated with their user accounts, so although they will be able to see (for example) the RDS tools they will not be able to reconfigure the server.

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