Connect Users to VDI Sessions

Applies To: Windows 8.1

For a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment in education you can create connections for VDI sessions by using Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 or through Remote Desktop Session Broker.

Users need access to their VDI sessions through their institution-owned devices. Connections for VDI sessions go:

  • Directly to Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 for all Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 clients. Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 supports four types of connections:

    • Direct video–connected stations

    • USB zero client–connected stations

    • USB-over-Ethernet zero client–connected stations

    • RDP-enabled devices

    Of these connections, only RDP-enabled devices are able to connect over remote access connections (such as a virtual private network [VPN] or Microsoft DirectAccess). The other connection types will not function properly over WAN-speed connections.

    Institution-owned devices can use any combination of connection types as appropriate. Personally owned devices can only act as RDP-enabled devices.

    For more information about how to select the right Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 client, see MultiPoint Server Stations.

  • Through Remote Desktop Session Broker for all session-based and VM-based VDI sessions. The Remote Desktop Session Broker supports the following RDP clients:

    • Remote Desktop Client. This RDP client is included in full Windows operating systems (such as Windows 8.1, Windows 7, or Windows Vista). Select this client when the client device runs Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista.


RemoteFX is only supported on Windows Vista and later operating systems. The Windows XP operating system supports only a standard RDP client connection and does not support the enhanced features in RemoteFX.

  - **Remote Desktop Web Access.** This client allows users to establish VDI connections through a web browser (such as Internet Explorer). No client software need be installed on the target device. Select this RDP client when you cannot install the Remote Desktop Client on the client device or the client device is running an operating system other than Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista.  

  - **Windows Thin PC.** This operating system includes the Remote Desktop Client and can be installed on older devices that are unable to support Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. For example, you could install Windows Thin PC on a device that has sufficient resources to support Windows XP only. Windows Thin PC is provided as a part of Software Assurance. Select this method when the client device has insufficient system resources to run Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista.  

  - **Thin Client Devices.** These types of devices are provided by Microsoft partners and have the RDP imbedded in their firmware. These devices typically have little or no capability to perform any local processing but do support USB devices. Select these types of devices when users need access to VDI sessions only and do not need to perform any local processing.  

  - **RemoteFX Devices.** These devices are provided by Microsoft partners and run a superset of the RDP that also includes support for RemoteFX. Select these devices when you need to support enhanced multimedia.  

  - **Partner Products.** Many Microsoft partners and software vendors create RDP clients for other client devices (such as iOS or Android devices). These products enable these devices to connect to VDI by using RDP or RemoteFX. Select this method when you need to support specific types of client devices.  

All clients that support RPD and RemoteFX can function over remote access connections (such as a VPN or DirectAccess), but RemoteFX connections typically require higher available bandwidth than a standard RDP connection.

Additional resources

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