One of the biggest criticisms of Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2012 has been its general lack of manageability. The first thing RDS admins notice is the disappearance of TSAdmin. Now, in order to manage RDS on Windows Server 2012, you must use the RDSM (Remote Desktop Services Manager) component embedded inside Server Manager. However, the RDSM component will not work in workgroup deployments of RDS, and it also requires specific roles (e.g. the Connection Broker) to be deployed in order to work properly. Even then, the UI can be clunky to work with and in larger collections, does not scale well.
For RDS admins coming from a Windows Server 2008 RDS deployment who used to use TSAdmin and TSConfig, the differences around management techniques could not be any starker, and in general frustrates them to no end. Look no further than the Remote Desktop Services Forums on Microsoft’s TechNet site if you don’t believe me.
Remote Desktop Commander Lite, from RDPSoft, is a free TSAdmin replacement for all RDS deployments
Full disclosure: I am the CEO of RDPSoft.
Given all of the turmoil around RDS management options in Windows Server 2012, I have decided to make Remote Desktop Commander Lite free for all users, whether they use it for commercial, personal, or non-profit use. By doing so, this solves a lot of problems for admins dealing with the limitations inbuilt to RDSM in Server Manager. For instance:
- You can manage Remote Desktop Session Hosts deployed to workgroups
- You can manage different OS levels of RDS farms (e.g. Server 2008, Server 2012, and even legacy Server 2003 RDS deployments
- You can manage Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 workstations allowing remote connections through RDP
- Our tool is fully extensible with parameterized PowerShell scripts and cmdlets, meaning, you can pass farm RDSH members, individual computer names, user(s), process names, etc directly to PowerShell for specific management tasks you conduct frequently
- You can perform intelligent shadowing operations – e.g. our tool will look at the remote OS level of a session host and will automatically use MSTSC or an in-built Terminal Services Client to start the shadowing process.
- You can do a lot of additional tasks not available in RDSM, such as looking up bandwidth statistics by session, reviewing session latency and error rates on RDP 8 connections, viewing the OS level of the client, etc.
For complete information, including feature lists, screenshots, a demonstration video, and a download link, please visit the Remote Desktop Commander Lite product page at RDPSoft. I sincerely hope it makes your life a lot easier.