Add an RD Session Host

RD Session Host requirements

An RD Session Host must have the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role installed. You can install RDS right from the RAS Console, as described later in this section.

To push install the RAS RD Session Host Agent on a server, the following requirements must be met:

  • The firewall must be configured on the server to allow push installation. Standard SMB ports (139 and 445) need to be open. See also Port reference for the list of ports used by Parallels RAS.

  • SMB access. The administrative share (\\server\c$) must be accessible. Simple file sharing must be enabled.

  • Your Parallels RAS administrator account must have permissions to perform a remote installation on the server. If it doesn't, you'll be asked to enter credentials of an account that does.

  • The RD Session Host should be joined to an AD domain. If it's not, the push installation may not work and you will have to install the Agent on the server manually. See Installing the Agent manually section.

Note: The rest of this section applies to regular RD Session Hosts only. If you are looking for the information on how to add an RD Session Host based on a template, see Add a template-based RD Session Host.

Add an RD Session Host

To add an RD Session Host to a Site:

  1. In the RAS Console, navigate to Farm > Site > RD Session Hosts.

  2. Click Tasks > Add. This opens the Add RD Session Hosts wizard. Note that you can also open the wizard from the Start category as describe in Set up a basic Parallels RAS Farm.

  3. Click the Tasks menu (or click the [+] icon) and select one of the following:

    • Add from Active Directory: Adds an RD Session Host from Active directory.

    • Add Manually: Adds RD Session Host by entering its FQDN or IP address.

    Note that if you enter the server name (hostname or FQDN), it will be used as the primary method of connecting to this server from other RAS components and clients. If you enter the IP address, it will be automatically resolved to FQDN, but only if the global option to resolve to FQDN is enabled. To see the current setting of this global option, click Tools > Options on the main menu. In the Options dialog, examine the Always attempt to resolve to fully qualified domain name (FQDN) when adding hosts option. When the option is selected, the IP address of every server/component in the RAS Farm is always resolved to FQDN. When the option is cleared, whatever is specified for a server (IP address or name) is used to communicate with a server. This makes a difference in deployments where an IP address cannot be used to access a server, such as when a server is hosted in the cloud. For more information, see Host name resolution.

  4. Click Next.

  5. On the next page, specify the following options:

    • Add firewall rules. Add firewall rules required by Parallels RAS in Windows running on the server. See Port reference for details.

    • Install RDS role. Install the RDS role on the server if it's not installed. You should always select this option.

    • Enable Desktop Experience. Enable the Desktop Experience feature in Windows running on the server. This option is enabled only if the Install RDS role option (above) is selected. The option applies to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 R1/R2 on which the Desktop Experience feature is not enabled by default.

    • Restart server if required. Automatically restart the server if necessary. You can restart the server manually if you wish.

    • Add server(s) to host pool. Add the server (or servers) to a host pool. Select the desired host pool in the list box located below this option. If you are not sure what host pool to choose, select Default Host pool. Host pools are described in detail in the Manage host pools (RD Session Hosts) section.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Add the server (or servers) to a host pool. Select the desired host pool or create a new host pool. If you are not sure what host pool to choose, select Default Host pool. Host pools are described in detail in the Manage host pools (RD Session Hosts) section.

  8. Click Next.

  9. The next page allows you to add users and groupsto the Remote Desktop Users groups in Windows running on the server. This is necessary for your Parallels RAS users to be able to access published resources hosted by an RD Session Host. To specify users and/or groups, select the option provided and then click the [+] icon. In the Select Users or Groups dialog, specify a user or a group and click OK. The selected user/group will be added to the list on the wizard page.

Note: If you skip this step and your users are not members of the Remote Desktop Users group on an RD Session Host, they will not be able to access published resources. If you already used (or want to use later) standard Windows tools to add users to the Remote Desktop Users group, you can skip this page.

  1. Click Next.

  2. The User profile page allows you to select a technology to manage user profiles. You can select from User profile disk or FSlogix. User profile disks are virtual hard disks that store user application data on a dedicated file share. Microsoft FSLogix Profile Container is the preferred Profile Management solution as the successor of Roaming Profiles and User Profile Disks (UPDs). It is set to maintain user context in non-persistent environments, minimize sign-in times and provide native profile experience eliminating compatibility issues. For complete instructions, please see User profile.

  3. The Optimization page allows you to specify settings that will be used to optimize Windows on the RD Session Host for best performance in a Parallels RAS environment. You can select Windows components, services, and other options that will be disabled, removed, or optimized to ensure a more efficient, streamlined, and improved delivery of virtual apps and desktops. For the complete description, please see Optimization.

  4. On the next page, review the settings and click Next.

  5. The Install RAS RD Session Host Agent dialog opens. Follow the instructions and install the agent. When the installation is finished, click Done to close the dialog.

  6. Back in the wizard, click Finish to close it.

If you would like to verify that the RD Session Host has been added to the Farm, click the Farm category (below the Start category in the left pane of the Parallels RAS Console window) and then click RD Session Hosts in the navigation tree (the middle pane). The server should be included in the RD Session Hosts list. The Status column may display a warning message. If it does, reboot the server. The Status column should now say, "OK", which means that your RD Session Host is functioning properly.

Read on to learn how to publish an application from an RD Session Host.

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