Simple RemoteApp Delivery System

Updated: March 23, 2011

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

When users need to run both locally installed applications and applications running on an RD Session Host, remote applications are best delivered using RemoteApp. RemoteApp technology seamlessly displays applications running on a remote server alongside locally installed applications, even minimizing to the taskbar similar to locally installed applications. For more information on RemoteApp, see How Does RemoteApp Work?

The simplest RemoteApp delivery system is a single RD Session Host server accessed from the local area network. To support this model you need to deploy two RDS roles: an RD Session Host server and an RD Licensing server. You’ll need to install applications on the RD Session Host server and publish them using the RemoteApp Manager tools. When you publish the applications, you will create RDP files that you can integrate with RD Web Access or share using email or on a network location.

When you deploy a single server for full desktop connections, users can connect to the RD Session Host 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. For more information on configuring the Remote Desktop Users Group, see Configuring the Remote Desktop Users Group. When you deploy a single server to host RemoteApp programs, all RDP files will point to that server.


An RD Session Host server delivering RemoteApp programs can also deliver full desktops.

The main benefit to a single-server design for delivering RemoteApp programs is that it is a simple way to deploy applications to be used in a mix of local and remote applications. In a single server design for delivering RemoteApp programs, you will not need to consider the following:

  • Ensure that all servers are weighted appropriately for their hardware capabilities, as you do when deploying servers in a farm to load balance connections properly.

  • Export the RemoteApp list you created in RemoteApp Manager to the other servers in the farm so that the RemoteApp list is consistent on all servers.

  • Ensure that all servers in the farm use the same certificates.

For this design to function properly, the RD Session Host server must have a reliable connection to the RD Licensing server. The RD Licensing and RD Session Host roles may be deployed on the same server if desired.

To determine whether a single-server design for delivering RemoteApp programs is right for you, consider the decisions in the following table:

Design Decision Single-server design for delivering RemoteApp Programs Other Solution

How will you enable users to discover the applications?

Applications will be delivered using the Start Menu or RD Web Access.

Applications will be installed on the desktop.

Will the RemoteApp programs function correctly?

Applications function as RemoteApp programs

Applications function in a full desktop but do not function as RemoteApp programs

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

A single RD Session Host server will support all users

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

Are you 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.

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

What is the impact if this single server fails?

Users can continue working at essential parts of their jobs.

If the server fails users will not be able to work.

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

If the answer to any of these questions leads you to conclude that a single server won’t work for your organization indefinitely, then you may wish to consider a highly-available design by organizing multiple servers into a farm.