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Q. Which of the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)-related Remote Desktop Services (RDS) roles can be installed to the same server?

A: Want to create a simple VDI-in-a-box solution for a very small deployment? Or, are you interested in demoing Microsoft's single-source solution for VDI? You can do it all on the same server relatively easily.

Creating a VDI environment with Hyper-V starts with the RDS role, which comes a set of six different role services. Four in particular are necessary to create a VDI-capable virtual environment:

  • Remote Desktop Connection Broker. This role service handles brokering users to the correct virtual machines (VMs).
  • Remote Desktop Session Host. This role service is essentially "classic Terminal Services." Used here in redirection mode, it redirects an RDP client connection to an awaiting VM.
  • Remote Desktop Virtualization Host. The Hyper-V role handles the heavy lifting for a Microsoft VDI deployment, but it needs some extra extensions to accomplish that job. These extensions are installed with this RDS role service.
  • Remote Desktop Web Access. Your users need to locate their VMs somehow. One way to do that is through a web page. This role service creates a web page where users can click to launch their hosted desktops.

All four of these role services can be installed to the same server, giving you all the pieces you need to create your own micro-VDI environment.

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