8 Benefits of Using Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

January 24th, 2022
04 mins 42 seconds

Author: Denis Tumuhaise

RDS-v2cloud

Any organization that has ever outsourced IT services has probably worked within the Microsoft environment. If so, chances are that their tech team has used RDS to find and fix remote employees’ computer problems.

What is RDS?

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is essentially a virtualization technology offered in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R21 and Server 2012. This technology fundamentally allows multiple users to access different applications, data, and virtual desktops located on a centralized server.

Formerly called Terminal Services (in Windows Server 2003), RDS is a cost-effective method of deploying apps to an enterprise that allows users to remotely access graphical desktops. It also centrally controls which remote desktop hosts can be accessed, who can specifically access them, and even device redirection.

How Does RDS Work?

In the simplest sense, RDS focuses on enabling organizations to provide better management of apps, especially in unique situations where users might not have access to a company PC.

There are different scenarios where RDS makes sense. For example, providing server-hosted access to proprietary apps from branch offices with slow connectivity. Or even giving users secure access to sensitive corporate applications from their home computers. Essentially, RDS ensures a company’s data remains secured remotely. So that in case of any issue with the hardware, important documents do not get lost.

For example, RDS can provide doctors with server-hosted access to important medical apps. Or even fully featured Windows-based desktops from thin clients. Since all application processing is executed centrally on a server, the thin clients require minimal resources to deliver adequate computing power to end-users.

So, how does RDS work from a technical perspective? In practice, RDS delivers presentation virtualization and VDI technology. Basically, local or remote users, all connect to the RDS server from low-end PCs or thin clients. Subsequently, the app is presented to the end-user while being executed on the RDS server. Therefore, giving an equal performance to both remote and local users running the application.

So, whenever applications need to be patched or upgraded, they are updated only on the RDS servers. So, when users next connect and start the application, they receive the updated version. This completely eliminates the need for sensitive apps to be installed and run locally on any individual workstation.

8 Benefits of Using RDS

  1. Cost savings: Remote desktop services enable companies to cut down costs on company hardware. This is because RDS enables them to keep operating old machines, but with resource-intensive software.
  2. Security: If a technical problem appears, RDS allows tech teams to investigate from miles away. Also, with RDS, organizations can secure remote access connections without establishing a VPN connection.
  3. Operability: RDS can enable interoperability across different operating systems as Mac users can tap into Microsoft products. It allows the same image to be utilized.
  4. Storage: Sensitive files are in the cloud with RDS, not on a device. Hence, optimal security for sensitive information is ensured. So, even when an end-user device fails, or is lost or stolen, data remains safe.
  5. Configuration: It is faster and easier to configure new devices with RDS.
  6. Management: RDS offers simplified ways to efficiently manage apps,
    virtual machine-based desktops, or session-based desktops on centralized servers
  7. Computing Resource Distribution: RDS delivers more compute resources to apps without upgrading everyone’s device. This reduces hardware costs for organizations whose users require more computing power in certain seasons.
  8. Cross-Device Compatibility: RDS can deliver Windows-based applications to devices that run iOS, Linux, Android, Windows operating systems. Whether mobile or desktop devices.

How Is RDS Different From a DaaS

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based service that allows an organization to run desktop environments on virtual machines, hosted in a public cloud. With DaaS, one can create a virtual machine employing a public cloud service like Azure Virtual Machines. Then proceed to install an operating system on it and deploy it to users.

Similar to RDS, DaaS provides users access to the same apps and system resources they would be able to employ if their virtual machine environment were a physical computer.

So, at a high level, DaaS and RDS both deliver the same end result, but in quite different ways. Let’s break down the main differences:

RDS DaaS

Connectivity and Availability
In case of a power outage at the server station, you won’t be able to access your desktop environments with RDS. On the other hand, the Cloud service that hosts your Cloud desktops would need to fail to make your desktop environment inaccessible with DaaS.

Operating System
You require a server running the Windows Server OS to create guest environments that are shareable over the network. You do not need to run Windows Server.

Security
Because multiple desktop environments are hosted by the same Windows Server instance, a spill-over of security problems poses a higher risk. DaaS allows organizations to configure an isolated virtual machine for each desktop they want to host. So, a security issue in one machine won’t affect others.

Scalability
The number of desktop environments one can host, and the amount of CPU, memory, and storage resources that can be assigned is limited by the resources available to the host machine With a DaaS platform, however, one can easily allocate more resources to their cloud desktops as needed.

When to use RDS or DaaS?

Because of the above operational differences, RDS and DaaS cater to different types of scenarios. RDS is suited to scenarios where the users of remote desktop sessions are in the same physical location as the RDS server.

On the other hand, DaaS is best suited to organizations desiring hands-off remote-desktop capabilities that can be accessed anywhere, with minimal deployment and maintenance.

How V2 Can Serve Both?

Remote Desktop Services provide multiple advantages to businesses like increased productivity and efficiency, reduced travel costs, fast resolution to technical problems, etc.

The significant benefit of RDS is that there’s only one machine to manage for multiple users to access locally or remotely. Because the world is shifting to a remote work economy, RDS expertise is more critical than ever. Especially for companies seeking to save costs while transitioning to a fully remote workforce.

If you are stuck with how to implement RDS, V2 Cloud provides off-site and on-site assistance for any RDS-related needs such as licensing and configuration servers.

Want to know more on how V2 Cloud can compete with RDS? check out our pricing page.

Written By: Denis Tumuhaise

Denis is a Professional Computer Engineer, Technical Writer, and Software Product Manager. With over six years of experience, he is exorbitantly passionate about helping businesses create software products and succeed with technology by simplifying complex tech topics.