With the technology world turning toward the cloud, containerization, and virtualization, Remote Desktop Services (RDS) have become a key component of business networks. Owing to its popularity and its inclusion in the Windows Server operating system, RDS is the first choice for many businesses when it comes to setting up hosted application and desktop networks. RDS was formerly known as Terminal Services. It allows businesses to centrally host resources and securely publish them to remote devices. When setting up RDS environments, you need to check licenses and policies. The Remote Desktop License Server is a key element in this regard.

An overview of RDS architecture

There are multiple components in the RDS architecture. The server component is called the RDS or Terminal Server. The Remote Desktop Service Gateway (RD Gateway) is used to tunnel the RDP session to connect authenticated users to virtual desktops and apps. The Remote Desktop Connection Broker is used to connect users to existing virtual desktops and apps. Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) is a server role that hosts RemoteApp programs as session desktops. Remote Desktop Web Access is the server role that allows users to connect to server resources using a web browser. The Remote Desktop License Server manages the RDS Client Access Licenses (CALs) that are required by client devices to connect to the RD session host.

How does RDS licensing work?

A Remote Desktop Service Client Access License (RDS CAL) is needed for all client devices to access server resources. When the client devices connect to the server using an RDP protocol, the server checks to see if the client requires an RDS CAL. If so, on behalf of the client device that is connecting to the RDSH, the server contacts the Remote Desktop License Server and requests a CAL. After obtaining the appropriate CAL from the licensing server, it is delivered to the client device and the connection is activated. These CALs are installed and managed on the RD license server by the RD licensing service. Regardless of the size of your RDS deployment, there should be at least one RD licensing server in the network. Small networks can have both the licensing service and RDSH on the same server. However, large deployments require them to be installed on separate servers.

Earlier editions of the Windows Server OS came with Terminal Services licenses. Beginning with the Windows Server 2008 R2 release, the Terminal Services License Server was replaced with the Remote Desktop License Server. RDS CALs are available in two forms: RDS per device CALs and RDS per user CALs. Before purchasing these CALs, you should determine the maximum number of simultaneous remote sessions required for your business.

As many businesses still use Windows as their primary operating system, RDS is the first choice for them. However, the complexity of configuring these services is a big limitation for many. You need to set up and configure multiple components and constantly manage them, which demands technical expertise. Secondly, purchasing RDS CALs is a burden for businesses. In addition to regular CALs, businesses need App-V CALs to implement application virtualization. Purchasing and managing CALs is a challenge. Thirdly, RDS environments support limited platforms, which means businesses are limited when it comes to installing new client devices.

How does Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) extend RDS capabilities?

Parallels RAS enables you to enjoy the benefits of RDS while removing its implementation challenges. Firstly, Parallels RAS is a comprehensive package that includes all features and virtualization components. As major features such as load balancing and printer redirection are auto-configured, you can set up the tool within five minutes. The simple wizard makes the deployment quick and easy for novice users as well. Secondly, Parallels RAS supports a range of devices including iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, and Raspberry Pi, which means your market is not limited by device, platform, or OS. Most importantly, Parallels RAS is significantly cost-effective. With Parallels RAS, you can overcome RDS implementation challenges while extending its capabilities to the entire business network.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to try Parallels RAS for free today!


References

Remote desktop license server: Remote Desktop Services | en.wikipedia.org

Remote desktop license server: Licensing Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services and Microsoft desktop applications for use with RDS | microsoft.com

Remote desktop license server: Remote Desktop Services licensing rules and recommendations | searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com

Remote desktop license server: Setup RD Licensing Role on Windows Server 2012 R2 | virtuallyboring.com

Remote desktop license server: Windows Server: How to Activate a Remote Desktop Services License Server and Install CALs | dell.com

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