This is the last post in my 10 reasons series, to conclude this series we will look at the improvements we’ve made in the Terminal Services. Due to my background this is by far my favorite topic.
A question that we often receive when we announce or introduce new features in Terminal Services is “Will we still need Citrix”. My answer to that is YES you will still need Citrix in certain environments because Longhorn Terminal Services have been designed for the lower complexity scenarios.
The improvements in TS we will open up new scenarios and more customers will start to use the TS, because today the need for Citrix was very high and a Citrix license is not cheap.
Enough marketing, let’s talk about the improvements we’ve made. The Longhorn Terminal Services deliver 4 key enhancements:
TS Remote App: Remote Programs are the new way of delivering applications through TS, it’s not a new technology because this is known as Published applications and seamless windows in Citrix for many years now. We have included the Remote App in Longhorn TS because the way it was today was very confusing. You had to share a full desktop, with Remote App you can define an application that will be delivered towards the clients, this application will then behave like if it is running on the end-user his computer. You can define the applications that will be published through the management console and then deliver the RDP or MSI file through different mechanisms, GPO, file copy, SMS, etc …. Once published you can enable or disable the application for usage through the TS Web Access.
TS Gateway: You can compare this feature with the Outlook feature RPC over HTTPS were your outlook can access the Exchange server without the need to open ports onto a firewall. This TS Gateway is build onto the same principle allow RDP (TS) protocol over the internet without the need to open the 3389 port instead port 443 SSL will be used. How does it work? You need to define two things first you need to create a authorization list where you allow users/groups to access the TS Gateway. Secondly you need to create an resource authorization policy which basically is a policy which let you decide which users can access which RDP enabled machine. This can be any machine that has the RDP protocol enabled going from a session where you take over your machine, to remote management of your servers or Application access on TS.
TS Web Access: With TS Web access it will be possible to have a list of remote applications available through a website. This is only the visualization of the RDP files, once you click on one of the icons it’s still the RDP protocol that is used. If you deploy the remote app through MSI and Group Policies than the list of available remote app’s is user or group based. If you deploy them through other mechanisms than the list of remote app’s is shared.
Easy Print: TS Easy Print is a proxy for every print action that simply redirects all printing-related work to the user’s local machine without the need to install any print drivers on the TS server. This system provides several benefits, such as being able to redirect any printer from the user’s client machine without having to reconfigure the server while still allowing the user to configure the print job as though he were printing on his client machine.
On Longhorn Server, the user’s local client printers installed in a TS session will be installed with the TS Easy Print system. Need more in depth information about Easy Print?
Beside the 4 key enhancements I talked about above we have made some other really useful improvements, let’s review some of them:
New RDP 6.0 client. Here are some of the new features in this version of the Remote Desktop Client:
- Server authentication
- Plug and Play redirection
- TS Gateway support
- Monitor spanning
- 32-bit color and font smoothing
- Single sign on for domain joined machines (after changing some GPO)
More details on the features are in a Knowledge Base article.
New Experience features:
- PnP device redirection framework
- Large display support
- Desktop Experience to support Vista features like Windows Media Player, Themes, etc
- Support for the new Longhorn Audio Mixer
New Management features:
- Terminal Services is a role and therefore managed with the role management tool in Server Manager
- Display Data prioritization, by default Display, keyboard and mouse traffic get’s a higher priority, customizable
- IPv6 support
- Licensing will now have Per User Tracking and Reporting. We will not enforce the licenses but you will be able to easily track usage and create reports of how many per-user licenses were issued.
- Single Unified 32 bit and Active X client integrated with the Windows Update platform.
- Built in UPHclean to prevent the profile issues
These are some the improvements we’ve made for the Terminal Services. This concludes my 10 Reason series for Longhorn server and I hope you found this useful information. In the near future I will be delivering 10 Funcasts about those improvements.
Previous Posts in this serie: