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									Frequently Asked Questions
Windows Server® 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services

What is Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services allows a user to access applications, data and even an entire desktop running on a
remote computer over a network. The client access device can either be a full rich Windows personal
computer, or a thin client (such as Windows CE device).

How does Remote Desktop Services work?
Remote Desktop Services works by allowing individual applications or an entire desktop to run on a server,
rather than on the user’s workstation. Remote Desktop Services simply sends screen images to the users, and
the user’s machine in turn sends keystrokes and mouse movements back to the server. By doing this, Remote
Desktop Services allows clients to run applications or desktop environments that they might otherwise not
have the hardware or bandwidth to support. On the server, applications and desktop environments can either
run as shared sessions, or in the context of a virtual machine environment (aka virtual desktop infrastructure
or VDI).

What are the key benefits of using Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services accelerates and extends deployment of desktops and applications to a wide array of
client devices, helping make your organization more agile and responsive. IT organizations install and maintain
Windows desktops and applications centrally in the data center and make them accessible to users via Remote
Desktop Services. Remote Desktop Services also enables flexible work scenarios such as hot-desking and work
from home.

Remote Desktop Services helps enables greater IT flexibility by providing a secure connection for mobile users
to access the data, applications and desktop environments they need from virtually any access device with an
internet connection. Remote Desktop Services helps simplify remote connectivity, enabling rich applications to
be accessed from a web page, icon or seamlessly integrated into the Start Menu of a local desktop, improving
remote worker efficiency and increasing end-user satisfaction.

Remote Desktop Services helps organizations keep critical intellectual property highly secure. By removing
applications and data from the desktop, Remote Desktop Services helps IT tackle challenges such as access for
remote worker, partners or branch offices, and radically simplifies regulatory compliance.

What are the key features of Remote Desktop Services?
•   Full-Fidelity User Experience significantly improves the user experience of remote users, bringing the
    experience closer to that enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources. The rich remote user
    experience in RDS includes multi-monitor support, support for Windows Media Player redirection, bi-
    directional audio, as well as enhanced bitmap acceleration for 3D applications and rich media content
    such as Silverlight and Flash.
•   RD Connection Broker creates a unified administrator experience for traditional session-based remote
    desktops and applications (“Terminal Services”), and emerging virtual machine-based remote desktops
•   RemoteApp and Desktop Connections simplifies access to a set of resources, such as RemoteApp
    programs and Remote Desktops that are seamlessly integrated with Windows 7. These connections are
    easy to set up and are automatically kept up to date so the user always has access to the latest resources
    that are being made available.

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•   RemoteApp and Desktop Web Access helps simplify application and desktop deployment by making those
    resources available to Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP clients from a web page or a
    SharePoint portal.
•   RemoteApp™ applications appear no different than local applications, tightly integrated with the new task
    bar in Windows 7. RemoteApp helps improve the end user experience and reduce training requirements.
•   RD Gateway provides a highly secure connection between internal applications and data to users outside
    the firewall. It delivers critical applications and data to mobile employees without additional VPN
•   RD Easy Print leverages the client-side print driver (no server side driver needed) to enable fast and
    reliable printing to a local or network-attached printer. End users can more productively work from
    remote locations.

Why upgrade to Windows Server® 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services?
For organizations that are running Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services, there are many reasons to upgrade
to the new version. They include:
     Integration with VDI
Windows Server 2008 R2 considerably improves the platform and tool set for accelerating and extending
desktop and application deployments to any device. In addition to the traditional presentation virtualization
scenario, which Terminal Services has enabled for many years, this new version of the operating system will
expand its role to provide an extensible platform for, and integrate with, a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
VDI is a centralized desktop delivery architecture which allows customers to centralize the storage, execution
and management of a Windows desktop in the data center. It enables Windows Vista Enterprise and other
desktop environments to run and be managed in virtual machines on a centralized server.
     Improved User Experience
We are announcing new and exciting user experience enhancements in Windows Server 2008 R2 in
combination with Windows 7 Enterprise & Ultimate Editions. These new Remote Desktop Services and RDP
capabilities significantly improve the experience of remote users, bringing the experience closer to the
experience enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources.
     Simplified Publishing and Access
The new RemoteApp & Desktop Connections feature provides a set of resources, such as RemoteApp
programs and Remote Desktops. These connections are easy to set up and automatically kept up to date so
the user always has access to the latest applications that their administrator makes available. The new
RemoteApp & Desktop Web Access provides the ability to see the same application and desktop icons connect
to remote program and desktop resources from Windows Vista & Windows XP, in addition to Windows 7.
     Improved Configuration, Management, Security and Control
Remote Desktops Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 focuses on improving management for all the existing
session-based remote desktop scenarios delivered previously in Terminal Services, and the new virtual
machine-based scenarios in Remote Desktop Services; additionally we have added features to help improve
application compatibility such as the new MSI Installer compatibility.
     Better Platform for Partner Innovation
Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 provides an expanded set of opportunities for partners
to create new value added services and solutions through new features, new APIs and documentation.

Who can benefit from Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services is a cost-effective infrastructure platform for any type of organization, particularly
those with a mobile workforce, structured task workers or knowledge workers with a need for flexible desktop
or application access, including contractors, offshore workers and office workers that require a free seating
environment. If the organization is supporting remote offices or home workers, Remote Desktop Services can
significantly reduce remote deployment costs, IT support and infrastructure requirements. Also, organizations
who are daunted by the complexity of application rollouts or desktop refreshes can benefit from Remote

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Desktop Services. Providing access to the application or new desktop environment via Remote Desktop
Services can significantly speed up deployment. The same is true of organizations who not able or willing to re-
write applications. Remote Desktop Services allows them to “Web-enable” existing applications for remote
employees, partners and customers.

What are the deployment scenarios supported by Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services supports four key deployment scenarios:
        Session-based Remote Desktops
        Session-based Remote Applications (RemoteApp)
        Virtual machine-based Personal Virtual Desktops
        Virtual machine-based Pooled Virtual Desktops
    Session-based Remote Desktops
With session-based Remote Desktops, administrators install and manage a complete desktop on centralized
servers in the data center; screen images are delivered to the users, and the users' client machines then send
keystrokes and mouse movements back to the server. This deployment benefits task or office workers who
require access to an entire desktop that contains few simple applications or which is not suitable for the
client’s machine.
    Session-based Remote Applications (RemoteApp)
Like session-based remote desktops, RemoteApp programs are programs that users access remotely on a
Remote Desktop Session Host; these programs integrate with the client's desktop, running in its own resizable
window with its own entry in the taskbar, and appear as if they are running on the end user's local computer.
This feature is valuable when, for example, users need to run custom applications regardless of their client
hardware. Local application compatibility problems can be avoided because the application is not installed
    Virtual machine-based Personal Virtual Desktops
The Personal Virtual Desktop uses a dedicated VM that is assigned to a particular user. All user data (such as
My Documents) and profile information (personalization) is retained on an image specific to the VM, so the
experience is similar to a physical desktop client. This deployment is suitable for knowledge workers (for
example software developers or testers) who require administrator rights to have full control over their virtual
desktop to deploy their own applications and to customize and personalize the virtual desktop environment.
    Virtual machine-based Pooled Virtual Desktops
Another way of deploying VM-based desktops is through pooled VMs that are identically configured and
hosted on one or more Hyper-V servers. Pooled Virtual Desktops are best suited for office or task workers who
need to work on some standard applications and do not require personalized desktop configuration or
customization. In this configuration, when a user’s session ends their data is not stored on the virtual machine.
A typical configuration uses folder redirection to save their data to another server so it is available when they
next log on, but no configuration data is saved between sessions. The Pooled Virtual Desktop is a more
efficient use of VM resources—a set of VMs can support a larger number of users than the Personal Virtual

Why or when would an organization want to choose a Remote Desktop Services
architecture as opposed to other client computing architecture options?
Remote Desktop Services can be an excellent choice if the organization is facing any of the following
challenges: A need to centrally manage applications and data, for security or regulatory compliance reasons; a
need to provide highly secure access to remote users; a need to simplify branch deployments with centrally
hosted applications; or a desire to simplify application or desktop deployment. Remote Desktop Services can

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be used for the deployment of specific applications or an entire desktop, improving flexibility and agility of
application or desktop deployments.

Should I use thin-client hardware with Remote Desktop Services?
Thin clients, like PCs, are highly configurable in terms of options, expandability, features and price. Acquisition
cost depends on software, OS, memory, processor configurations and other elements of hardware. Thin-client
hardware is generally less expensive than PCs; however with market size and intense competition among PC
manufacturers, PC prices can typically be very close to thin-client hardware prices and provide a rich Remote
Desktop Services experience.

Should I use Citrix XenApp or Citrix XenDesktop with Remote Desktop Services?
Citrix is an independent software vendor that develops end-to-end application and desktop delivery solutions
for a Remote Desktop Services environment. As with any product, we encourage customers to evaluate
Remote Desktop Services on its own and the customer can decide whether or not to invest in the additional
functionality that Citrix provides. We have found that many customers that are currently using Citrix XenApp
for session-based application and desktop deployments plan to continue with XenApp for Windows Server
2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services. In the emerging market for virtual machine-based desktop deployments,
also known as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), we are finding that most customers are large organizations
today who need the enterprise-level delivery and provisioning capabilities of Citrix XenDesktop on top of the
Hyper-V virtualization platform. Citrix XenDesktop integrates with System Center Virtual Machine Manager

What about other ISV solutions for Remote Desktop Services?
Many independent software vendors create solutions for the Remote Desktop Services platform. A list of those
solutions and details about how they can add value to your Remote Desktop Services environment can be
found here:

What are the most common user scenarios for using Remote Desktop Services?
        Task Workers: Structured task workers, such as call center and retail branch employees, often don’t
         need to access many applications to complete business processes. Sometimes the location is not
         appropriate for PCs, e.g., a factory floor. Whether the client machine is a legacy desktop, a non-PC
         desktop, or a thin client, Remote Desktop Services can often provide a better user experience than
         when installing the application on the machine itself. This type of deployment can extend the reach of
         Windows applications within the enterprise and is a valuable way to offer access to applications that
         the user might need only infrequently.
        Contractors and Offshore Workers: In an environment where there are complex applications such as
         Line of Business or customized in-house software, Remote Desktop Services can greatly reduce the
         burden of having to deliver access to these applications to outsourced firms or partners. The client
         machines can access the applications they require from a central source, rather than having to have
         everything installed on their local machine. It is possible to limit access to specific LOB applications,
         rather than providing access to the full corporate network.
        Mobile Workers: Today’s employees are often mobile, work from home, hotels or customer sites.
         With Remote Desktop Services, an organization can enable employee productivity virtually anywhere
         and increase effective user collaboration without compromising security features. Remote Desktop
         Services can offer highly secure access to desktops and applications from any device and via a low
         bandwidth connection, as no data are sent over the network. Instead, employees see a consistent set
         of applications, and can access their own data regardless of location.

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        Roaming Office Workers: Some office workers, such as analysts and lawyers, are connected to the
         corporate network most of the time, and expect a rich client experience that can handle a broad
         range of tasks which fall under their responsibility. They use applications such as Office, CRM and ERP
         Line of Business (LOB) applications, as well as web and project management tools. Many of these
         users move frequently from one workstation to another and therefore require a free seating
         environment. Office workers may also have an occasional need to connect to their corporate
         environment from their home PC.

Why use Remote Desktop Services instead of locally deploying applications or desktops?
        Infrequently used applications: If users only access an application once in a while, it makes sense to
         run it remotely on a server rather than installing it locally on every device.
        Frequently updated applications: Rather than continually updating or installing the application on
         every device, organizations can be much more productive by deploying applications on servers and
         giving all users immediate access to applications.
        Low-bandwidth access: The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has been designed and optimized to give
         users a good application experience over low-bandwidth connections. Because only keyboard, mouse
         and screen drawing information is sent over the network, a quality user experience can be attained
         under very low-bandwidth conditions.
        PC-unfriendly areas: Remote Desktop Services can be a great choice for areas in which customers
         would not want to locate a PC for security or environmental reasons; such as shop floors or in public
         areas. In these environments, thin client are good choices and with Remote Desktop Services, these
         devices can be used without compromising security.
        Applications in transition: When an application is being updated or enhanced, it can be too much
         overhead to continually deploy on each user’s device or computer. Remote Desktop Services can
         provide a way for users to access the most up-to-date software at all times.
        External business partners and users: Remote Desktop Services can be a great way to give external
         business partners and customers access to data, applications and even an entire corporate desktop
         without having to install and control the device that they access the applications from. Since it is
         usually impossible to manage or control devices that a company does not own, it is usually very
         difficult to allow business partners and customers to access some applications. Also, since data and
         applications reside in the data center instead of on local disks as in a traditional desktop environment,
         a higher level of security for intellectual property can be ensured with Remote Desktop Services.

How can I purchase the new Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services functionality is a role of the following Windows Server® products: Windows Server®
2008 R2, Standard Edition; Windows Server® 2008 R2, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server® 2008 R2,
Datacenter Edition. Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS-CALs) are required for users to
connect and use the Remote Desktop Services functionality. TS-CALs from Windows Server 2008 Terminal
Services deployments will also meet this licensing requirement.

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