Desktop Replacement using RemoteFX and a Microsoft Partner solution on WAN Design

Updated: March 23, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

RemoteFX enables access to the RD Virtualization Host server from a wide range of client devices including rich clients, thin clients, and new low cost ultrathin clients. It also ensures lower bandwidth than Windows Server 2008 R2 when transferring rich graphics applications. When used with the optional hardware-based application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), the server running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 is capable of hosting more sessions than previous versions. If the hardware-based ASIC is not present, the server running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 leverages the CPU to deliver the highly compressed rich graphics experience to the wide range of client devices.

RemoteFX delivers a rich user experience for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by providing a 3D virtual adapter, intelligent codecs, and the ability to redirect USB devices in virtual machines. RemoteFX is integrated with the RDP protocol, which enables shared encryption, authentication, management, and device support.

The simplest way to deliver applications from a RemoteFX on RD Virtualization Host server is to install the applications on a Windows 7 with SP1 virtual machine, enable RemoteFX on the virtual machine and then host this machine on a RemoteFX capable server. For detailed instructions for implementing a virtual desktop-based design:

To implement Microsoft® RemoteFX™, use the checklists for deploying a personal virtual desktop, or virtual desktop pool and perform the tasks for RemoteFX.

  Task Reference

Deploy a personal virtual desktop.

 Checklist: Deploying a Personal Virtual Desktop

Deploy a virtual desktop pool.

 Checklist: Deploying a Virtual Desktop Pool

Next, have users log into that RemoteFX capable virtual machine using Remote Desktop Connection version 7.1 and above. To support this model you need to deploy two RDS roles: an RD Virtualization Host server and a RD Licensing server.

When you deploy a single RemoteFX on RD Virtualization Host server for full desktop connections, users can connect to the RD Virtualization Host server 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.

By default, all users connecting to the full desktop will see the full set of applications installed on the RD Session Host server. They will have the permissions associated with their user accounts, so although they will be able to see (for example) the RDS tools they will not be able to reconfigure the server.

The out of box RemoteFX experience is optimized for LAN connections, for example; high bandwidth (>10Mbps) and low latency (<20ms) connections. Several partners offer WAN solutions that optimize the RemoteFX experience for low bandwidth or high latency conditions. For a list of RemoteFX partners, see