Highly Available Desktop or RemoteApp Delivery System

Updated: March 23, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

A single server design for RemoteApp or desktop delivery is simple to deploy but has the following drawbacks:

  • Single point of failure

  • Difficult to add capacity

  • No scalability (especially if the design does not plan for adding additional servers)

For these reasons, you may want to deploy multiple RD Session Host servers into a farm. Although RD Session Host does not enable failover clustering, when deployed in a farm it is highly available so long as you follow these design recommendations:

  • Deploy an RD Connection Broker server so you can configure the RD Session Host servers in a farm.

  • Ensure all RD Session Host servers in the farm have the same configuration. All servers in the same farm should have the same configuration and application set to ensure a consistent user experience.

  • Do not store any user-specific data on the RD Session Host servers, store user specific data on a network share accessible to the servers in the farm and implement roaming user profiles and folder redirection. For more information on user profiles, see User Profiles on Remote Desktop Services.

To determine whether a highly available RemoteApp delivery system is right for you, consider the decisions in the following table:

Design Decision Highly Available RemoteApp Delivery System Other Solution

How many users will need access to the RD Session Host server?

Multiple RD Session Host servers are needed to support all the users.

A single RD Session Host server will support all users.

Are you planning to add additional RD Session Host servers in the future?

You are planning to add additional RD Session Host servers in the future.

You are not planning to add additional RD Session Host servers in the future.

What is the impact if this single server fails?

High availability is needed.

For more information on server availability see, Capacity Planning for RD Session Host servers.

A single RD Session Host server meets the requirements.

In a highly available RemoteApp delivery system, you will install multiple RD Session Host servers, and configure them as members of a farm on the RD Connection Broker. Users will connect to the RD Session Host servers using the farm name, instead of connecting using a single server name. The connection requests to the farm name will be forwarded to the RD Connection Broker. The RD Connection Broker will then use internal load balancing logic to determine which server in the farm is the best one to accept that connection. If you add more servers to the farm, this process will be transparent to the end users. For more information on the RD Connection Broker, see The RD Connection Broker.

The licensing model does not change when RD Session Host servers are deployed in a farm. Each RD Session Host server in the farm must specify an RD Licensing server to use.