Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Services

Score 8.1 out of 10
Remote Desktop Services


What is Remote Desktop Services?

Remote Desktop Services from Microsoft is virtual desktop and remote user session technology.
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What is Remote Desktop Services?

Remote Desktop Services from Microsoft is virtual desktop and remote user session technology.

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What is Remote Desktop Services?

Remote Desktop Services from Microsoft is virtual desktop and remote user session technology.

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Windows Virtual Desktop Remote Desktop Services

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(1-14 of 14)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Remote Desktop Services is a handy feature in Windows OS like Windows Server, Windows 7, etc. It is being used in our organization to connect to our server and local PCs. The main problem it addresses is to let a user/administrator take remote of another PC/server to perform various works like configuration, troubleshooting, etc.
  • Easy to use.
  • Good customization options like the screen size of remote session window, remote audio settings, etc.
  • The Window of the Remote desktop connection sometimes does not get maximized to full size sometimes and it is hard to make it sometimes. There should be an option to display a full-size window for easier working.
Remote Desktop services are well suited for people looking to connect to Local computers/Servers after connecting to VPN or Local Area Network. It is easy to use and performs superbly without any issues. However, it does not have support for connecting to Non-Windows-based Devices and Applications like Teamviewer beat RDP when it comes to connecting to machines outside one's network.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have used it for years to allow our Sales Team to get access back to our main office network. This was much more versatile, secure, and faster than using a VPN to access files and programs directly. When Covid hit we were able to have users work from home and simply remote into their workstations at their desks and work as usual. With that said we are using the Remote Desktop Gateway as well for security. I recently looked into using Citrix but the capabilities were the same but the cost was much higher.
  • Access your company PC at work, no loading software on offsite or personal PCs.
  • Secure connection and all documents stay on company PC at the office.
  • Works great even over a 2mb internet connection.
  • Windows already has the client software installed by default.
  • Bad internet connections can cause it to disconnect with no retries. This has got better recently so not sure if Microsoft has made a recent change.
Great for working away from the office or for users that work from home. Might be less appropriate for users or road worriers in bad internet locations. This is where cloud apps might work better.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
My organization uses Windows Remote Desktop Services in several ways:
  • Admin remote access to physical servers.
  • Admin access to cloud-hosted servers.
  • User access to a single desktop from multiple devices. This allows users to connect from any computer across many sites to a single desktop. With this, a physical computer becomes a workstation that is simply displaying content from a remote server.
  • User access to published RemoteApp programs. This allows users to open a program on their device, which is actually hosted on a remote server.
  • It's built into all versions of Windows, so a zero-cost client.
  • It's well established in the enterprise computing industry. Remote Desktop Services has been around for decades; it has been updated but remains familiar to users and admins.
  • You can connect from almost any device. This is especially good in environments that damage computers; a low-cost device can be used, since the local device simply presents a login screen (the desktop is on a remote server).
  • Advanced configuration is required.
  • Off-site access from a different network is very insecure unless a VPN can be used.
  • It's complicated and relatively costly for multi-user environments, as each user or device requires a CAL on top of the server licensing.
  • Incredibly complicated licensing strategy from Microsoft.
Remote Desktop Services is great for some uses, like remote access to servers for admins. For end-users, setup is complicated and costly, but the end solution is great for shared device environments or mobile users. Allowing a user to see the same desktop from any device, on-site or off-site, provides a smooth experience for them. User management is effective once configured.
As with any Microsoft Server product, support for Remote Desktop Services requires a paid support package. These are license-based and very costly, on top of the already costly product licensing. Microsoft's licensing is complicated to begin with, so setting up licensing alone essentially requires a licensing expert's counsel.
There is community documentation and support available on Microsoft websites, as well as community websites.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Remote Desktop Services is being used by many different departments, between direct desktop access or access to a remote terminal server.
Remote Desktop Services addresses software that does not tolerate being run over a WAN connection. Some of the Vendors we use for software requires direct contact to SQL, so we secure that and only allow local access.
  • The ability to have custom resolutions or screen setups.
  • Remote printers.
  • Similar look and layout of any Windows computer.
  • Remote file sharing could be easier.
  • Some better compression for laggy connections.
  • Better security options.
Remote desktop works well in our environment when people in other offices need to connect to isolated systems.
Ho'omana Nathan Horton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Remote Desktop Services to access servers ourselves, provide remote support to users across campus, provide access to servers for end-users, and provide access to RemoteApps for users. For going from Windows to Windows on a local network, this is by far the best solution for remote access that we have found.
  • When you connect with RDS, everything looks and feels (and is) exactly like you're sitting at that desktop. This is great for us and for users.
  • You can sign in with RDS and the desktop will be the same as when you left it (if you choose to set it up that way).
  • Although they take some setup, RemoteApps are a very handy way to let users access a program without requiring them to actually connect to a remote desktop on the server.
  • Frankly, I'm not aware of any way this could be improved on Windows. It's a completely seamless Windows remote access experience.
  • That being said, RDS on Mac isn't quite as seamless an experience, so you may have some difficulty training Mac users in RDS. But that isn't really a fault of the program.
Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services is particularly nice if you have a server license for a program and don't want to install it on everyone's machine but do want to give everyone access to the program. They can either use RDS to connect to the server, or you can set up a RemoteApp.

It's also nice if you have people who work on two different workstations in two different locations. We have several people who sometimes work at one desk and sometimes in an office, so it's nice for them to be able to access one machine or the other easily without having to walk back and forth.

One note, if users don't have an Active Directory account, or if you don't want to mess with putting people into various permissions groups, RDS may not be the best solution for them. This wasn't an issue for us since our organization was small enough that we could manage AD permissions and groups rather easily.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It is currently being used by Information Technology to access both internal and cloud systems.
  • Easy access to systems
  • Response time is good
  • Some nice tools & options are available
  • Connect to/from anywhere is an obvious win
  • File movement
  • Reboot process
  • BIOS/POST display and access
Remote Desktop Services is great for a non-critial role. We use it for support on desktop and servers, however, we do not use it as a primary for servers. There can be issues with restarts and when you need to see POST/BIOS.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Remote Desktop Services is being used by our entire organization. It solves the purpose of connecting to production systems through our local desktop. I also connect to my PC at the office from my home if I have to login from home. I connect to production systems using Remote Desktop to start, stop and deploy applications on the production system. It works seamlessly.
  • Remote Desktop Services provides seamless connection to production systems while running applications.
  • It provides a fast and reliable connection while connecting to the remote systems and execute commands
  • Secure and 100 percent robust. Never experienced any issues
  • Whole desktop can be mirrored and it feels like you are physically working on the remote systems.
  • Remote Desktop Services team needs to focus on improvement in the magnification of remote images.
  • Remote Desktop Services team should focus on the requirements of internet services speeds while connecting to remote machines.
  • Team should work on improving performance when accessing images and videos so that the chipping won't occur.
Remote Desktop Services is especially good to access files and run programs remotely on the destination machine. It is Less effective if playing videos or accessing graphic content remotely.
Paul Li | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We as an entire company started using Remote Desktop Services about 6 years ago. We wanted to provide a way for multiple staff working outside the office to have access to data files on the network. The simplest method we came up with was to setup Remote Desktop Services with Microsoft Terminal Services. All the applications would be installed on a single server. This server also has all our network drives mapped providing access to all network data files. Our staff then can remote into this server using Remote Desktop Services. The server now acts like a terminal giving our staff full use of the applications like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suites to work on the data files located on the network drives.
  • Remote Desktop Services does an excellent job in providing a way for our staff to be working outside the office as if they're actually sitting inside the office. As long as the staff has an internet connection and a computer, he can use Remote Desktop Services to access files on our network.
  • Remote Desktop Services also eliminates a need to have a very fast internet connection to access files on the company network. Once a Remote Desktop Service session is established, the only bandwidth it takes up is the transfer of images you see on the display. It's like surfing on the web because you are using the company server as the resource to run the applications.
  • Remote Desktop Services provides a way for users to transfer files back & forth to/from staff's offsite laptop to/from the company network . There would be times when staff forget to copy a particular file onto the laptop for a presentation. So the way to retrieve the data from the network is to establish a Remote Desktop Session and then using Windows standar copy & paste feature to transfer the file from the network onto their laptop for use.
  • Remote Desktop Services currently does not support multiple monitors on the terminal server. Unlike other applications such as TeamViewer, there's no feature to toggle between multiple screens even if they were connected to the terminal server.
  • Remote Desktop Services should provide an option to scale up or down the screen size after a connection is established. Currently you can only adjust the screen size prior to a connection is established. So you'll have to take a best guess at what display screen resolution will fit best on your screen.
  • Remote Desktop Services should offer some kind of menu to send special key strokes like Ctrl+Alt+Del to the terminal server. Currently the substitute for that particular combination is Ctrl+Alt+End. But I have yet to discover a replacement for other combination keystrokes such as Alt+PrintScrn.
Remote Desktop Services is well suited for companies where staff may have to quite often work from outside the office. With Remote Desktop Services established, now staff can have access to all their needed applications to modify all the data files on their network servers without having to step foot into the office. But I would not recommend attempting to copy very large data files back & forth between the offsite laptop and the network server. Even if you have access to very fast broadband internet speeds, the transfer rates are still not going to be as fast as you're sitting at your desk inside the office local area network environment.
Luigi Vecchione | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It's used by the whole organization. We are mainly using it to allow us the possibility of connecting to a remote server on which are standing the Data Warehouse we are managing. Sometimes we also use it to connect to our servers while we are standing inside the customer organization.
  • Easy Configuration
  • Fast Connection
  • Very Good Reliability
  • Low Memory and Resource Usage
  • The GUI interface is outdated
  • Sometimes there are unexpected crashes during work sessions
  • Difficult to customize
  • Not really intuitive
RDS Is very well suited when you need to make a fast connection to a remote server without spending too much time in searching and configuring. RDS is not well suited for complex operations.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is used in my company to provide remote access to data and services for people working outside the office.
  • RDS is fast. Having tried various remote access options, I have found RDS to be far superior to VNC offerings.
  • RDS is built into Windows so it does not take extra software installation and setup.
  • While it works well as it is, it is possible to further secure the connection by routing it through an ssh tunnel using simple port forwarding.
  • I would like to see stronger encryption for the connection without the need for an ssh tunnel.
Remote Desktop Services works very well for remote users to be able to use local resources. It is also very helpful if your company needs to have tight control over what software people have access to. Performance can be less than what you might expect from software run from a local computer, however, since it is running over a network.
Satish Kumar | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Initially we started using Desktop services on a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Desktop as a Service architectural level. Subsequently we implemented Direct Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) consoles of Windows server 2012 with terminal services and profile based usage to end users. Security was definitely an issue initially, but we had a quota system to ensure security level for each user to maintain isolation between users. This worked for about 30 users on 2 baremetals, deployed in-house. We later went on to dupe the system on the VMware virtual machines, which is the currently deployed solution which is working well in our test environment.
  • Cost effective, less hardware more outcome
  • Good use of resources - Optimization is possible with minimal efforts
  • Secure as it can get
  • Ease of control from an admin point of view
  • Scalability is one point where a better option is welcome
  • More security in terms of user based operations
  • Resource availabilty on the fly
I guess it's better suited to test environments as there will be less security impact and fewer administration issues. Also user isolation will help with secure access, and the organization will be able to reduce costs in all areas and, additionally, remote desktop services can introduce the BYOD concept.
Will Smothers | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We currently use Microsoft's Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services to provide a centralized interface from which to access data in our data center. The entire company uses this to access our accounting and project management software. This keeps us from having duplicate systems in different locations from which disparaged information must be combined. Additionally, since the Remote Desktop Services is in the same data center and network segment as the backend systems, access to data is much faster and more reliable.
  • While it is not to the level of Citrix, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services does a good job with video compression.
  • Universal printing works very well.
  • Management via group policy allows me to lockdown our environment to keep users from making changes that might affect the entire system.
  • I think that while the compression rate it good, there is always room for improvement. I would like to see the RDP protocol skinned down even further and made more efficient.
  • Dynamic screen scaling would be a nice way to utilize the most screen real estate when switching from an undocked connection to a docked connection with larger monitors.
I always want to know what problem they are trying to solve. Remote Desktop Services has its place and is good for a number of reasons BUT, if it will not solve the problem there is no reason to implement it. If they are looking to address constrained bandwidth issues caused by some type of file replication, Remote Desktop Services can help solve that. If they are looking at how to reduce storage costs or redundant hardware and software at other sites, Remote Desktop Services can help solve that.
Jeremy Travis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is used to help publish a line of business applications to nearly every device. We use it across the entire organization and even with a few support vendors. RDS helps solves issues by simplifying the IT infrastructure and reducing network traffic. Software maintenances and Windows updates are more controlled. I only have to upgrade a few servers versus the entire enterprise of remote desktop, laptop, and tablets.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is fast and light on bandwidth. With increased compression, RDS is really only sending screen-shots with keyboard and mouse events. No SQL connection across the LAN or WAN. All Client-Server applications can be set up locally in a small network.
  • Maintaining a line of business applications in your IT infrastructure is a breeze. Once set up, users can connect to a published business application from nearly every device. And with so many companies going to a “Bring Your Own Device” model, end users can purchase an endpoint device such as a laptop or tablet (Windows, Android, or MAC) and simply launch an icon from either the start menu or desktop. It can also be launched from a web browser. Really cool stuff!!
  • A Remote Desktop Services farm instance gives the system administrators a little more flexibility by allowing the IT department to schedule a maintenance window to perform software or Windows updates to that server while new connections are routed to the other servers. This is usually done with a load balance device that either makes connections via Round Robin or CPU usages. Load balancer controls [based on] which server is available for connections.
  • In a few cases, I have seen where applications may have screen flicker. Or if application is running a large report and query the database, the application screen will ghost out while waiting to response.
  • I have also seen that a few applications that have detailed information will not appear under the remote app but will appear in the full desktop mode.
If there is an application that is required for the business to run and is needed by a small to large pool of end-users, a system administrator will need to set this up. For example, one company I worked for was running SAP as a client - server application that was installed on EACH desktop and laptop in the company. When we upgraded MS Office from 2010 to 2013, some SAP features did not work. SAP provided a patch, but I had to deploy a patch to each workstation within the enterprise. With RDS, a few servers and I was done and started another project.
Nathan Ziehnert | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are currently hosting three separate farms across approximately 20 servers. One farm dedicated to a published shared remote desktop (RDSH), one farm dedicated to hosing a number of RemoteApps (HEAT, Exchange Management Console, etc), and a dedicated RemoteApp farm for Elite Enterprise. In conjunction with the Remote Desktop Gateway server, Remote Desktop Connection Broker, and Remote Desktop Web Access server, we give users the ability to do their work from wherever they are most comfortable and ease the upgrade burden on our staff when it comes to upgrading particularly cumbersome software like Elite Enterprise. The applications available to our users via our RDS platform cover about 30-50% of our employees with plans to potentially expand that further as budget and time dictate.
  • Relative ease of setup: in comparison to some of the other solutions on the market (Citrix, etc.), Remote Desktop Services is rather easy to set up and get configured in your environment.
  • Feature set: Microsoft offers a good deal of the same features many competitors offer in the same space including a mobile app and the ability to have a "native" app feel for a remote application.
  • Inexpensive Licensing: in comparison to other solutions on the market Remote Desktop Services is inexpensive.
  • Move LOB applications closer to their server counterparts: this goes for all remote solutions, but if you have a line of business application that makes a great deal of calls across the network to your data center, your remote office users will likely benefit from the performance and stability side by moving those client side applications into the data center.
  • No centralized management: unlike other products on the market, Remote Desktop Services in 2008r2 provides no single management console. Users are managed through a console on the connection broker, web apps are managed on a per server basis (even when those servers belong to a farm).
  • Image Management: because no use of an agent like PNTools is made, bringing up servers and adding them to the farm is inconvenient. Static IPs are a must and round-robin load balancing is really your only option with the connection broker. Updating a farm of 5+ servers becomes a chore, but still easier than updating 2000+ machines.
  • Still a very green product: while Microsoft offers a lot of the same features as the big guys, it's obvious that Remote Desktop Services is still in it's infancy and has a lot of room for growth. I have discovered and requested fixes for a number of bugs in the mobile app alone - something about the QA process for these apps seems to be lacking.
- Do you have a well developed and managed application list? Without an understanding of the applications that are actually in use in your environment on a day to day basis, a shared remote desktop will not be very useful for your end users and will end up not providing a very good ROI.
- Are there applications that your users would benefit from being able to access from anywhere, or are there applications in your environment that are installed on a significant amount of machines and are cumbersome to update? In both cases you may see benefits to migrating those applications to a virtual environment.
- Is your network connectivity good across all sites - including low latency? RDS and remote desktop in general rely on solid network connections to maintain peak performance, although low bandwidth and high latency still work.
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