Remote Desktop Services

What are Remote Desktop Services?

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a comprehensive suite of tools developed by Microsoft that allows remote access to applications and desktop environments for many users.

RDS had advanced security features such as session encryption, identity federation, and two-factor authentication. Moreover, it includes features like user profile management and load balancing to facilitate remote access for several users.


RDS is different from Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The key difference lies in the array of features offered and the complexity level. While RDS enables remote access to several users, RDP is a simpler solution that offers basic remote access capability to only a few users.

Organizations that require advanced security features and need to offer remote access to a large number of employees prefer RDS. For smaller organizations, RDP is a suitable choice.

How Does RDS Work?

Here are the six main components of remote desktop services and their functions:

Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH): It hosts remote sessions on a Windows server. This component allows several users to share a server simultaneously. By doing so, they can access their individual applications and desktop environment from a remote location.

Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RDCB): It’s the RDS component that is responsible for managing user connections across different RDSH servers.

Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG): This is what maintains a secure connection between RDSH servers and remote clients (Windows, iOS, Android).

Remote Desktop Web Access (RDWA): The web-based interface that connects remote applications and desktops is referred to as remote desktop web access.

RD License Server: This component manages and distributes Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs). It tracks available licenses and issues them to clients when they connect.

Active Directory (AD): It stores crucial data about network resources such as computers, users, and groups. Moreover, it allows administrators to organize and manage these resources efficiently.

Benefits of Remote Desktop Services

Listed below are the key benefits of RDS:

1. Scalable

As opposed to RDP, remote desktop services are scalable with changes in user demand or organizational growth. It’s easy to remove or add users, servers, or applications without changing the existing IT infrastructure.

2. Secure

RDS employs advanced security measures, such as using the Remote Desktop Gateway, which offers a safe connection between RDSH servers and remote clients.

3. Easily configurable

Thanks to RDS, IT administrators don’t need to worry about separate installations on every user’s device. They can easily deploy and manage desktops and applications from a central location, reducing the risk of configuration inconsistencies.

4. Centralized data storage

Organizations using remote desktop services have the advantage of centralizing their data storage. This has numerous benefits, such as enhanced security, improved accessibility, simplified management, and scalability.

5. Guaranteed currency of technology

It means that organizations can make sure that their employees are using the latest versions of applications, irrespective of the operating system or device they are using.