RD Web Access allows you to publish applications through a web interface. To setup RD Web Access in Windows 2008 R2, you need to decide how many server you want to use for load balancing and if you are appending the RD Web Access servers to an existing Remote Desktop Services environment.
This tutorial guides you through the setup of RD Web Access in Windows 2008 R2, assuming that you require two load balanced RD Web Access servers, with an RD Connection Broker (load balancer). To setup RD Web Access in this configuration, you will require 3 Windows Server 2008 R2 servers.
Step By Step – How To Setup RD Web Access
To setup RD Web Access in Windows 2008 R2:
- Name, activate, allocate an IP address to and join each 2008 R2 Server to the domain
- Run Windows Update and reboot afterwards
- On the two RD Web Access Servers, install the Remote Desktop Services role, selecting the Remote Desktop Web Access and RD Session Host role services. You can also install Remote Desktop Session Host if you want users to be able to launch remote desktop connections through the RD Web Access interface instead of just published applications. You can also install the Remote Desktop Gateway if you want users to be able to access terminal services over the internet. This article will only be covering the publishing of remote desktop applications. Memory tells me that you also need the Web Server (IIS) role for RD Web Access, though I can’t be sure because my RD Web Access server already has the role installed
- You’ll need to setup the options for the RD Session Host role. I elected not to Require Network Level Authentication because some of the computers in my organisation are running older, non-Windows RDP clients. My licensing is Per User, but this will depend on the licenses that you bought. Next you will have to select which users can connect to the server via RDP. Best practice is to great an AD group for users with remote access, but I will simply be adding the Domain Users group so that all users on the domain have access. Next, select the tick boxes for the user experience. Ticking more boxes increases the traffic sent over the network, but can be overridden locally on the client.
- On the third server, install the Remote Desktop Services role with the RD Licensing (If you don’t have an RD Licensing Server – Not covered in this article) and RD Connection Broker role services. Again, I think the Web Server (IIS) role may be required
- Reboot the servers
- Login as an Administrator.
- Reboot the servers
- Next install the programs that you would like to publish
- Reboot if necessary
- On the RD Web Access servers, go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services -> RemoteApp Manager
- In the RemoteApp Manager, you will see an overview of the RDS environment. If there are any red crosses or yellow triangles with exclamation marks in them, then these highlight issues with RDS that need to be addressed
- At the bottom of the RemoteApp Manager, right click the table of RemoteApp Programs, and click Add RemoteApp Programs
- Follow through the wizard to add a Remote App. Once you’ve done this, the program will be published. There are additional configuration options available, such as changing the name of the published application or restricting it to specific users or groups, which can be done by right clicking the application and going to the properties, but these are not covered in this article
- Next secure RD Web Access with an SSL certificate
- Start the Server Manager on each RD Web Access server (Or manage them all from one central Server Manager!)
- Click configuration -> Local Users and Groups -> Groups
- Add the group of computers that you wish to allow to run RemoteApps from to the TS Web Access Computersgroup. To allow all, add the Domain Computers group
- Add the Domain Administrators group to the TS Web Access Administrators group
- Under the Overview,
- Next we need to configure an RD Licensing Server to point to. To do this, go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration and click on RD Session Host Configuration: ServerName
- Under Licensing, right click Remote Desktop license servers and click Properties
- Click Add… to add an RD Licensing Server and add your RD Licensing Server…
- On the RD Web Access servers, go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Web Access Configuration
- Log on using an administrative account
- Under Configuration, select One or more RemoteApp sources with the Source name set to localhost, click OK
Sorry, this article is incomplete. I don’t have time to write the rest of the guide, but hope that you find my article useful up to here.
If someone else wants to finish the guide in the comments section, I (and other readers) would be very grateful!