What’s New in Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2012 R2

Here’s a rundown of the new functionality in the area of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2012 R2 that was announced at TechEd 2012 in New Orleans. Let’s start with a general overview graph why you should use Microsofts VDI solution:


  • Central data: One of the main reason to do VDI is to keep the corporate data in the corporation. With VDI, corporate date is not transported on laptops or other devices out side the company at Brisbane.
  • With Windows 8 and Server 2012 Microsoft provides a great user experience, powered by Remote FX and the new RDP protocol that give the end user an experience as he would sit in front of a physical computer. Microsoft made fundamental changes to the RDP protocol that now give the user a great experience, even when connecting to the corporation via WAN.
  • With the new deployment mechanisms in Windows Server 2012, deploying and setting up a VDI solution is done in a orchestrated and automated way which saves time and reduces configuration issues. In Windows Server 2008 R2 the setup of the Microsoft VDI deployment was described in a 100 page file document. With Windows Serve 2012, a basic VDI deployment can be created using a wizard with little as six mouse clicks.
  • The management of VDI deployment is now done through a single and central console that allows you to administer all aspects of your VDI solution. With Windows Server 2008 R2 you had several MMC consoles to administer your VDI and session host deployment. With Windows Server 2012, you have a single console that allows you to manage your VDI deployment, your session host deployment and your RemoteApp deployment
  • Storage cost reduction. With Windows Server 2012 you have the choice to use different kind of storage: DAS, Storage Spaces or SAN. This allows you to place the user data and operating system data on different storage regarding the cost and performance needs. Additionally, when using personal VDI deployments, R2 now supports data de-duplication for the operating system VHDs that reduces disk spaces which increases the density of personal VDI instances.

Now to some new (and old) features:


  • Session Shadowing: With Windows Server 2012 R2 session shadowing is now available again. With this, IT personal can shadow what a user is doing in his Remote Desktop session. This feature was already included in Windows Serve 2008 R2 and did not made it into the Windows Server 2012 release. Now with R2, it’s back in.
  • Online Disk De-duplication: Disk de-duplication reduces the amount of storage needed for personal VDI machines greatly. Personal VDI machines use a full operating system that is not shared with another personal VDI machine. Therefore, the more personal VDI machines you are using, the more savings in disk space you will get.
  • Tiered Storage Spaces: With 2012 R2 you can created storage pools that consists of physical disks and solid state disks. The operating system will then figure out which files (and blocks) are used the most and puts them on the solid state disks. Basically, you don’t need to plan where to put your most accessed data, the operating system will do that for you.
  • Dynamically Removing and Adding Monitors: When you are in a remote desktop session and you change the resolution of your local screen, the session will adopt this changes dynamically, not reconnect necessary anymore. Additionally, the operating system resolution of the remote desktop session resizes so that you don’t have to use the scrollbars to get to the edges of the screen or the start button. The same happens when you are on e.g. a Surface device and you rotate the device, the session adopt this change as well.
  • Improved RemoteApp Behavior: With R2, when you drag a RemoteApp across the desktop, you still see the full application instead of just the frame of the application. Additionally, you get a preview thumbnail of the application when it’s minimized in the taskbar.
  • Quicker Reconnect: It used to take up to a minute to reconnect a user when the connection dropped. Now with R2, this reconnection time could be reduced to 5 seconds, in many cases.
  • DX11.1 support and improved Codec performance: The codecs that are used to sending pictures and video down to the user are improved for performance and bandwidth usage.

Gunter Danzeisen hat einen Abschluss in Informatik der Technischen Schule. Zusätzlich ist er zertifizierter Microsoft System Engineer (MCSE 2003) sowie zertifizierter Microsoft IT Professional (MCITP 2008).