Q&A: Microsoft RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Session Host Servers

Q&A: Microsoft RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Session Host Servers

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While we've blogged a lot about Microsoft RemoteFX and how virtual machines benefit from it in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), we realized that we hadn't always discussed it in detail in relation to Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host). We'd like to use this opportunity to answer some questions about RemoteFX on RD Session Host servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Question: Does RemoteFX work on RD Session Host?

Answer: RemoteFX is a collection of features that enhance the user experience in Remote Desktop Services deployments. The advanced bitmap acceleration of RemoteFX works for VDI on Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) servers as well as for session delivery on RD Session Host servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Other features of RemoteFX, specifically virtualization of graphics processing units (GPUs) and broad support for USB devices, are specific to virtual machine delivery through Remote Desktop Services in a VDI environment.

Q: What are the key benefits of using RemoteFX with RD Session Host?

A: Using RemoteFX on RD Session Host servers allows you to use RemoteFX enabled thin clients and zero clients to connect to the server.  It also reduces the bandwidth required for displaying bitmap-intensive applications (such as Flash, Silverlight, and Windows Presentation Foundation applications) on a full desktop

Q: Do any features of RD Session Host not use RemoteFX?

A: RemoteApp programs do not use RemoteFX because they need drawing orders, so RemoteApp programs use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 7. No user action is required to use RDP 7 for RemoteApp programs. Also, Aero® "glass" remoting is disabled when using RemoteFX on RD Session Host servers. When RemoteFX codec is used on RD Session Host, the display driver is RDP's XPDM driver, which does not support 3D rendering.

Q: Can I virtualize an RD Session Host server and use RemoteFX with it?

A: Yes, but this RD Session Host server will not virtualize the GPU of the server even if a GPU is present.

Q: Can a virtualized RD Session Host server use a GPU at all?

A: Yes. Windowed DirectX apps will still work on RD Session Host servers if a GPU is present; however, the GPU will not be virtualized in each session.

Q: How can I learn more about using RemoteFX on an RD Session Host server? How can I tell that it's working? How do I configure the settings?

A: For answers to these and other related questions, see the Step-by-step guide to deploying RemoteFX on an RD Session Host server. For a complete list of all RemoteFX resources, see this blog entry.

Q: How can I evaluate Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1?

A: You can download a 180-day evaluation of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, or, if you already have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can download the stand-alone SP1.

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  • Please add 6 and 4 and type the answer here:
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  • Does RemoteFx on RD session host server support WMP?

  • Will RemoteFX Support for sharing Scanner and Camera attached on a Cleint Machine (Win. 7 SP1) and sharing them to Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 at a remote Loation (Amazon EC2 Server) with a high Network Speed?

    How can we share Scanner/Camera attached on cleint machine with Amazon Windows Server R2 by using RemoteFX? Please help.

    Ghazanfar Latif

    ghazanfar.latif@nu.edu.pk

  • Hi, Ghazanfar,

    This is not supported. From the blog post, "Other features of RemoteFX, specifically virtualization of graphics processing units (GPUs) and broad support for USB devices, are specific to virtual machine delivery through Remote Desktop Services in a VDI environment."

    Regards,

    Christa

  • Hi, Ghazanfar,

    This is not supported. From the blog post, "Other features of RemoteFX, specifically virtualization of graphics processing units (GPUs) and broad support for USB devices, are specific to virtual machine delivery through Remote Desktop Services in a VDI environment."

    Regards,

    Christa

  • Thanks Christa.

    Can you please suggest any other solution for remote sharing of Scanner and Camera.

    Regards,

    Ghazanfar Latif

  • Hi, Ghazanfar,

    A camera may work with the plug and play device remoting available through RDP--you'd have to check with the camera in question to see if it supports the MMTP protocol. For a scanner, you'd need a third-party product for remoting over RDP.

    Regards,

    Christa

  • Is there a way to use RemoteFX for development/testing purposes using RD in Administrator mode. There's licensing for MSDN subscription to use in user mode, but its much less overhead for development purposes in Admin mode. After 120 grace period, RemoteFX stops working until a license server is used. Please advise.

    Thanks,

    Michael

  • Will applications launched using WebApp use RemoteFX.

  • Is there any newer news about RemoteFX than March 2011? Seems Microsoft, Nvidia, and VMware have all dropped the ball on this for about a year.....

  • Would be good if this info could be updated to cover Server 2012, or a link provided to a later blog post that covers these points for Server 2012.

  • I completely agree with robincm2;

    I literally digged the whole RDS blog to get a comprehensive idea of how RemoteFX is implemented in Remote Desktop Session Hosts and whether adding a GPU (physical graphics card to a physical Session Host) will do anything good or no; but could not find anything. just some random comments here and there regarding the support or lack of support of hardware acceleration on session hosts.

    we really need more documentation for RemoteFX on Session Hosts as we have quite a good library on Virtualization host.

  • If I'm using a 2012 R2 Hyper-V HOST server with a RemoteFX Capable GPU (AMD FirePro S7000), can I have a virtualized 2008 R2 SP1 RDSH server using the RemoteFX vGPU or does the Hyper-V HOST also have to be 2008 R2 SP1?

  • RemoteFX vGPU is only available for the Windows Enterprise SKU in a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host deployment. The only exception is in Windows Server Next where we have enabled a Windows Server Next Standard SKU to obtain hardware acceleration (OpenGL and DX) with RemoteFX vGPU.

    At the moment, with RemoteFX vGPU, there are no hardware acceleration capabilities available for Remote Desktop Session Hosts or RemoteApps regardless of the host or guest version.

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