Deploying Microsoft RemoteFX for Virtual Desktop Pools Step-by-Step Guide

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

About this guide

Microsoft® RemoteFX™ is included as part of the RD Virtualization Host role service, and it enables the delivery of a full Windows user experience to a range of client devices including rich clients, thin clients, and ultrathin clients. RemoteFX renders content by using graphics processing units (GPUs) that are present on the server and then shared across multiple virtual desktops. RemoteFX renders a range of content including DirectX and all types of multimedia, and it is optimized for LAN-based networks.

This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a working virtual desktop pool that uses RemoteFX. During this process, you will deploy the following hardware in a test environment:

  • A Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) server that uses RemoteFX

  • A Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker) server

  • A Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server in redirection mode

  • A Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) server

  • Two virtual machines that are configured in a virtual desktop pool

This guide assumes that you previously completed the steps in the Installing Remote Desktop Session Host Step-by-Step Guide (, and that you have already deployed the following components:

  • An RD Session Host server

  • A Remote Desktop Connection client computer

  • An Active Directory® Domain Services domain controller

This guide includes the following topics:

The goal of a virtual desktop pool that uses RemoteFX is to provide users with a virtual desktop that is dynamically assigned from a pool of identically configured virtual machines. Users can connect to a virtual desktop in a virtual desktop pool and run programs and consume resources as if they were using a local client computer.


When implementing RemoteFX, consider the following:

  • The RemoteFX server and the RemoteFX-enabled virtual desktop must meet the RemoteFX hardware requirements. For more information about the hardware requirements for deploying RemoteFX, see Hardware Considerations for RemoteFX (

  • Ensure that the hyper-threading technology is enabled in the BIOS of the RD Virtualization Host server.

  • Configure the proper RAM as required. Per the Windows® 7 requirements, if you are using an x86-based virtual machine, you must configure at least 1024 megabytes (MB) of RAM. If you are using an x64-based virtual machine, you must configure at least 2048 MB of RAM.

  • Ensure that you are running the matching build of Windows Server® 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) on the RemoteFX server, Windows 7 with SP1 on the virtual machine, and Windows 7 with SP1 on the client computer.

  • Ensure that there is a LAN connection between the client and the RD Virtualization Host server.

  • Ensure that the Windows Aero® desktop experience is enabled on the RemoteFX-enabled virtual desktops.

Scenario: Deploying RemoteFX for a virtual desktop pool

We recommend that you first use the procedures provided in this guide in a test lab environment. Step-by-step guides are not necessarily meant to be used to deploy Windows Server features without supporting deployment documentation, and they should be used with discretion as stand-alone documents.

Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a virtual desktop pool that uses RemoteFX and that users can connect to by using RD Web Access. You can then test and verify this functionality by connecting to the virtual desktop pool from RD Web Access as a standard user.

The test environment that is described in this guide includes eight computers that are connected to a private network by using the following operating systems, applications, and services:

Computer name Operating system Applications and services


Windows Server 2008 R2

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), DNS


Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RD Session Host


Windows 7 with SP1

Remote Desktop Connection


Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RD Virtualization Host, RemoteFX, Hyper-V™


Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RD Connection Broker


Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RD Web Access



Windows 7 with SP1

Virtual machines


The computers form a private network, and they are connected through a common hub or Layer 2 switch. This step-by-step guide uses private addresses throughout the test lab configuration. The private network ID is used for the network. The domain controller is named CONTOSO-DC for the domain named The following figure shows the configuration of the test environment.

The following documents can assist you in configuring Microsoft® RemoteFX™: