Anyone doing an RDS deployment in the cloud

Is anyone doing a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployment in the cloud? I have 3 RDS servers supporting roughly 80 people. Our servers will be 6 years old next year. It’s time to think about replacing them. A vendor suggested RDS in the cloud. I wasn’t sure it was realistic.

There are many ways to do this successfully. With reserved instances you can build quite powerful VM’s in Azure to run an RD Farm for a reasonable price. You can also use Azure Active Directory Domain Services to join your Azure servers to AzureAD allowing users to log in with their actual Office 365 credentials.

Personally, I would re-evaluate what you need an RD Farm for before doing this but it is absolutely doable.


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Yep, this is done all the time. It’s a little bit tricky to license it correctly in Azure as you must have active software assurance on the BYOL CALs. There are some other options too: Paperspace, Amazon WorkSpaces, and some other service providers that run big RDS farms.

I think one of the main factors to consider is the bandwidth and latency requirements. If your 80 staff who used to connect to the older RDS on the LAN starts connecting to a newer Cloud RDS, you will have to ensure you have sufficient internet bandwidth and that the latency to the Cloud RDS is not too high.

Microsoft has a new solution called Windows Virtual Desktop (on Azure, currently preview stage and planned for Q1 2019 for public preview) which you can test out to see if it works for your environment. The youtube clip gives a pretty good idea what you can do with it.