Using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is an established remote access method for companies of all sizes.
But beware: even following all of Microsoft’s steps to deploy RDS could be involved and leave you vulnerable to security issues.
Let’s explore two ways to install Microsoft RDS on your network and compare which method is easier.
How to Install Microsoft RDS, According to Microsoft
Remote Desktop Services comes standard on Windows Server operating Systems, but there’s a whole list of setup instructions you’ll need to follow to take advantage of it.
The traditional method of implementing RDS is a highly manual process and could take up to a week to get it fully functional.
Set up the RDS Farm
To initiate the setup, IT departments must set up a server farm that includes several servers used for various RDS roles. You’ll have to manually deploy the Remote Desktop Services components, including selecting the right servers for RD Session Host, RD Web Access, and RD Connection Broker.
You will also need to set up and activate the RD License server.
Set Up the RDS Gateway Server
The gateway allows users to connect to internal resources over the internet, whether they’re accessing a virtual machine, app, or session-based desktop.
You will also be required to set up the SSL certificate for the gateway.
Create and Install Certificates for RD Connection Broker, RD Web, and RD Gateway Servers
Another intricate process, you will need to manually create, store, and apply certificates to the RD Gateway, Broker, and RD Web Access servers.
All total, this process is comprised of 11 steps and some waiting period to approve the SSL certificates.
Configure RD Licensing and RD Gateway Deployment
This step is fairly short and straightforward, requiring just a few clicks. You’ll edit the Deployment Properties to deploy RD licensing per user or per device.
Create a Basic Session Collection
This step tells the RDS which apps and programs you want to make available for your end users. Once you create the collection, you must publish it to make it available.
You can choose to create a pooled collection or personal collection. Pooled collections are those that allow several users to share resources, whereas personal collections are created for a per user basis. Personal collections are best utilized to create virtual desktops, just like being able to access their own computer while off-site.
Customize Your Remote Desktop Services Infrastructure
The above steps create a basic remote desktop infrastructure. If you need high availability (e.g. you have a significant portion of your workforce working remotely), there are additional steps required to build your infrastructure.
You can also install third party security features such as multi factor authentication to strengthen the security to your network.
You can view Microsoft’s lengthy process step-by-step here.
Installing Microsoft RDS the Easy Way
TruGrid was developed as a solution to bypass much of the labor-intensive setup required for RDS deployment.
Rather than taking upwards of a week to fully implement, TruGrid’s deployment takes as little as 15 minutes. Here’s how it works:
Register and Validate Your Domain
In order to use TruGrid, you register and validate your domain that requires RDS. This ensures that only authorized domains will be accessible. This process usually takes about five minutes or less.
Install and Activate TruGrid’s Sentry Software
Once you’ve taken care of your domain, you will need to download and activate TruGrid Sentry software on at least one server in your data center. This software will protect your datacenter from direct Internet access.
By doing this, you eliminate the need to open ports, and no one will know that your RDS system exists. It also connects you to the TruGrid cloud without having to modify your firewall.
This part of the setup process usually takes about five minutes.
Populate the TruGrid Active Directory Security Groups
These security groups ensure that only authorized users can access remote desktops via the TruGrid Cloud. This phase is usually completed in about five minutes.
Assign Users to Desktops
Once the installation and deployment phases are complete, you’ll have invested about 15 minutes into the entire process. That’s a huge difference from the highly hands-on traditional method that takes nearly a week or more.
Once you finish the first three steps, you’ll use the TruGrid Cloud to assign users to desktops. TruGrid is packed with built-in security features, including multi factor authentication and a Dark Web Scan that will alert admins if a user’s credentials have been compromised.
TruGrid is also designed to protect against denial of service attacks that traditional deployment methods and integrations may leave you vulnerable to. Its MFA does not send passwords to the Active Directory until all steps of MFA have been verified, which makes it impossible for password credentials to become compromised.
How TruGrid is Adding Simplicity to Microsoft RDS
Quicker deployment is a significant advantage of installing RDS the TruGrid way, but it’s not the only way it simplifies the process.
Because TruGrid hosts everything in the cloud, you’re left with less server and hardware maintenance to help cut down on operating costs. The only thing you will need to maintain are the desktops your users will connect to. TruGrid can be deployed to access hundreds of devices within minutes, making it a scalable, versatile solution for your company.
Also, because TruGrid is a complete solution, there’s no need for third-party integrations and the time it takes to configure them into a wholly functional system. TruGrid incorporates some of the robust security features in existence, so there’s never a gap in defense.
See TruGrid in action for yourself by taking a free 30-day test drive and experience the safer, simpler, streamlined RDS solution that can make a valuable impact in your company.