Customize RDP settings for Virtual Desktops

Customize RDP settings for Virtual Desktops

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As mentioned in a previous blog from Soo Kuan Teo, we introduced a new MMC snap-in tool called Remote Desktop Connection Manager in Windows Server 2008 R2 for managing the in-box VDI solution from Microsoft. In this blog, I will explain how you can specify various RDP settings for the virtual desktops published using this tool.

You can specify a different set of RDP settings for each type of virtual desktops (Personal and Pooled) published by this tool.

To modify RDP settings for "Personal Virtual Desktops," expand the "RD Virtualization Host Servers" node, select "Personal Virtual desktops" and then select "Properties" from actions.

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To modify the RDP settings for pooled virtual desktops, select the pool node under “RD Virtualization Host Servers” node and then select "Properties" from actions. This allows you to change the RDP property for the pool that you have selected. If you have more than one pool of virtual desktops, you will have to change RDP settings for each pool by going to their respective nodes.

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For most common RDP settings there is a "Common RDP Settings" property tab with dedicated UI controls for each of the setting. The “Custom RDP Settings” tab allows you to specify advanced RDP settings which are not modified very frequently. Given below is an example of how Custom RDP Settings can be used to enable optimal audio/visual experience for virtual desktop users.

Enabling optimal user experience

By default, the virtual desktops published through this tool are tuned for performance. For example, with default RDP settings, users will not be able to see the wallpaper on their virtual desktop. To enable the optimal audio/visual user experience, you can add following RDP settings under the "Custom RDP settings" tab:

RDP Property

Description

audiocapturemode:i:1

Enables Audio recording redirection

connection type:i:2

Sets connection type to LAN

disable wallpaper:i:0

Allows wallpaper

allow desktop composition:i:1

Enables Aero Glass

disable themes:i:0

Enables themes

audiomode:i:0

Sets audio playback mode to “Play on this computer”

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With the above settings, RDP connections to virtual machines require higher network bandwidth compared to default settings. Therefore the admin should enable these settings taking into account the available network bandwidth and the desired user experience.

For a complete list of RDP settings for Remote Desktop Services, see the Remote Desktop Services Technical Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=139899).

For an overview of Microsoft VDI, see this blog. (http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2009/08/19/microsoft-vdi-overview.aspx)

For details about Personal Virtual Desktops in Microsoft VDI, see this blog. (http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2009/11/16/personal-virtual-desktops.aspx)

For details about virtual desktop pools in Microsoft VDI, see this blog. (http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2010/01/04/virtual-desktop-pool.aspx)

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  • If, after these customizations, your users are still experiencing performance issues with VDI over RDP, you might want to look at Ericom Blaze, a software-based RDP acceleration and compression product that provides improved performance over WAN and congested LANs. Besides delivering higher frame rates and reducing screen freezes and choppiness, Ericom Blaze accelerates RDP performance by up to 25 times, while significantly reducing network bandwidth consumption over low-bandwidth/high latency connections.

    Ericom Blaze works with any standard RDP host, including VDI, Terminal Servers and remote physical machines.

    You can read more about Blaze and download a free evaluation at:

    www.ericom.com/ericom_blaze.asp

    Adam

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