Configuring Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Farm with Connection Broker
In my previous article about Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services (RDS) I set up a single server with the RD Session Host and Web Access roles. Now I will expand on this and add an additional Session Host/Web Access server to create an RDS server farm for redundancy. I will use the RD Connection Broker role to provide session reconnection and load balancing features. Both of my RD servers are members of an Active Directory domain. This is a requirement for using the Connection Broker role.
Install RD Connection Broker Role
The Connection Broker role can be installed on a separate server or on one of your Session Hosts. For the highest reliability and in larger environments I would recommended installing the Connection Broker on a separate server. That way you can bring down either of your Session Hosts for maintenance while ensuring that the Connection Broker service is available for the remaining server(s). I will be installing the Connection Broker role on a server that was previously configured with the RD Licensing role. In this example my Session Host/Web Access servers are named RD1 and RD2, and my Connection Broker is named DC2. All of the configuration will be done using a Domain Administrator account.
Go into Server Manager.
In the left pane highlight Roles, then on the right under Role Services select “Add Role Services”.
Check Remote Desktop Connection Broker, then click Next.
Click Install at the confirmation, then click Close once the install completes.
Install RD Session Host and Web Access Roles on Second Server
On the second Session Host/Web Access server follow the steps in the article Installing and Configuring Remote Desktop Services under the section “Install Remote Desktop Session Host and Web Access Roles”.
Add Web Access and Connection Broker Servers to TS Web Access Group on Session Host Servers (RD1 & RD2)
Now on both Session Host servers we’ll need to make sure that our Web Access and Connection Broker servers are included in the TS Web Access Computers group. Since the Session Host/Web Access servers are dual role, I’ll specify both itself and the other server in the pair. Doing this will allow both Web Access servers to enumerate all of the applications published on your RDS farm.
On each of your RD Session Hosts go to Start > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.
Open Local Users and Groups and select the Groups sub-folder on the left, then double click the “TS Web Access Computers” group in the center.
Click Object Types.
To allow us to add computers to the group we need to check Computers in the Object Types and click OK.
Now in the “Enter the object names to select” field type the names of your RD Web Access and Connection Broker servers. Specify the names of each separated by a semicolon. Click Check Names to verify the names you entered, then click OK.
Click OK back at the TS Web Access Computers properties dialog box. Be sure and repeat the section above on all of your Session Hosts.