Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Review

The most valuable features are resilience and thin provisioning.


What is most valuable?

  • Resilience: Has alllowed our 24/7 acute hospital to run electronic prescribing on the wards with limited downtime or post-setup configuration.
  • Thin provisioning: Our core applications mean that our WiFi connected devices can drop-off the network without causing patient record locks.

How has it helped my organization?

It has enabled our clinical staff to get real-time medicine prescribing information at the patients' bedside with a near 100% service uptime.

What needs improvement?

I think that the Single Sign-On (SSO) could be improved.

At release time, there was not a lot of information around. We invested some long hours researching. The documentation from Microsoft was difficult to find. Now there are plenty of step-by-step guides around.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, the configuration I setup used DNS round-robin. This was changed to a NLB setup on our session hosts.

This has improved the stability of the clients' Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connectivity. It has given us granular control over stopping connections for downtime/maintenance windows.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We actioned this with a limited budget. We completed it all in-house with no external technical support other than searching on the internet and testing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We run Citrix alongside this solution for our internet connected clients. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) was used primarily over our LAN/WAN.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex. Like any thin client setup, some applications are trickier than others.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I could not see the benefits of using Citrix as you require RDS CALs regardless. We see this solution as a very good value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Citrix.

What other advice do I have?

  • We have found this to be very stable with a quite straightforward setup. However, Single Sign-On (SSO) certificates are a little fiddly.
  • Ensure that the underlying infrastructure is fully tested, robust, and scalable.
  • Our early problems stemmed from our hypervisor issues. Because clients only heard it was the RDS farm, I took a lot of heat on issues that were out of my control.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

2008R2
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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