Many people I talk to ask about deploying a RemoteApp deployment. While it makes sense in some cases, in many cases it would make more sense to start with an RDS deployment, then add a RemoteApp collection to that deployment. Keep in mind as I discuss this, I am basing this on the Standard architecture and not the Basic architecture. The Basic architectures only support a single session host, thus only a single collection. For a Basic Deployment, you can only pick a RemoteApp deployment or an RDS deployment.
Standard architectures are what I will focus on for the remainder of this article. When you compare the architecture for an RDS deployment with a RemoteApp deployment, they are similar. The only difference between the two architectures is the size of the Remote Desktop Session Host Servers. If needed, you can review the difference between a RDS deployment and a RemoteApp deployment. For an RDS deployment, we default to D2_v3 VMs, for a RemoteApp deployment, we default to a D1_v2 VM. The reason for the difference is that the RemoteApp deployment does not need as many resources because it is not supporting the full desktop, just the remote application delivery. Now, you can change the VM sizes to any other size you want, but those are our defaults. Remember, by increasing the VM size you will also be using more resources, which will increase your cost.
So, why should you always deploy a RDS deployment instead of a RemoteApp deployment? When you deploy RemoteApp, you can only add additional RemoteApp collections. When you deploy a RDS deployment, you can deploy full desktops (RDS) and RemoteApp collections. Even if you want all your users to have access to only RemoteApp solutions, as an administrator, you will still want to be able to maintain the RemoteApp deployment. Think of patches, new software, software updates, and such… If you start by creating an RDS deployment, you can have a single session host in the Desktop Collection that can be used as a jump box into the rest of the cloud-based deployment. You, as an administrator, can log into that full desktop, then connect to other VMs within the deployment to handle the maintenance and configuration changes.
Now if you ask about the additional cost of this VM that your users won’t use. Remember, just because you have it doesn’t mean it needs to be running all the time. Several of our customers only turn the full desktop VM on when they need to do maintenance, then they turn it off when they are done.
So, to review, 4 key reasons why you should deploy an RDS deployment instead of a RemoteApp deployment:
- You are not restricted to just a RemoteApp model.
- You have access to a full desktop (jump box) for ongoing management.
- You have an administrator only location where you can store install bits and other admin tools.
- You can shut down the full desktop when not needed to save costs.