Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Review

Good remote application access that can be allowed on a per-user or per-group basis


What is our primary use case?

We are a solution integrator and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is one of the products that we have been implementing for our clients. This software provides a Windows 10 desktop on a virtual machine.

It's a multi-session VDI solution that allows people to work from home. It allows users to access company resources and applications, which is important because we don't want them using their personal home networks to access corporate devices. This helps prevent problems such as the introduction of a computer virus from home to office.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the remote application access. You can update applications and assign them to different groups of users. For example, one user might require Microsoft Visio, whereas another user does not require it. Access can be granted by segmenting users into different groups.

What needs improvement?

There are problems with using Microsoft Teams within a virtual desktop on a mobile device. Specifically, if you are using Teams and conferencing, then there is no microphone capability. To be clear, if you install Teams directly on your mobile device then it will work. However, if you use it as an application within the virtual desktop that is running on the mobile device, it does not work. This is something that needs to be fixed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with RDS for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Generally, this solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it is very good. There is auto-scaling, so if there are more users required then Azure will help you to automatically manage it. In addition, it is HA, so I think that the overall scalability is pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in contact with technical support. There is a good community of people who write about Microsoft solutions in blogs, which is helpful.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up the basic service is quite simple. It's more of managing your Windows image, such as a Windows 10 image, which probably requires some expertise. It is very fast to deploy and you can have everything ready within a day.

What about the implementation team?

The setup is quite clear and you don't need a team to do it. All of the instructions are available on the internet and because it's a Microsoft solution, there are many blogs available with the steps for you to follow.

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

It will probably cost about $500 USD to get the resources set up in the cloud.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to first ensure that the network is set up properly. The applications need to be set up properly because if the applications are being used on-premises, but the virtual machines are stored in the cloud, then you will incur additional charges for accessing them.

This is a good solution, although it is still new compared to some other remote desktop services that have been out there for a very long time. It still has room for improvement such as accessing the microphone for Android remote access. Because of this, using it on an Android device may not be the best choice.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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