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Set Remote Desktop in Server Manager or Install Roles?


netmation
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Messing with Windows Server for the first time using 2012 R2.  I was able to Enable Remote Desktop in the Server Manager Local Server screen, and this enabled me to use Remote Desktop into this server from another workstation on the network.

 

But searching the web it is explained that to use Remote Desktop you need to go into Add Roles and Features, and install Remote Desktop for Session Based?  What extra capability does this give you?  Confused that I did not need to install this to get Remote Desktop working?  Can someone explain the distinction between just enabling Remote Desktop and installing the Role for Session Based remote desktop?

 

Thanks.

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IIRC, you should be fine either way, and both set up the same things. 

 

But the reason for the difference is that there is "Session based" vs "Account based". The difference is licensing.  You need TS/RDP CAL's for the second, which are EXPENSIVE. The first (session based) is limited to 2 sessions, IIRC. 

 

(I could be wrong on this, as it ha been a while).

 

That said, you may want to look into the "Windows Server Essentials" role. This configures and automates a lot of the configuration for you.  It makes running the server MUCH simpler. The caveat, is that it does promote the server to a domain controller.

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Thanks for the explanation of the difference from the two different role based installations.  But I was a bit confused as to why I was able to get it to work without installing either one, and just enabling Remote Access in Server Manager?

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