Windows Windows Server

How to add and remove RDS collections in Windows Server

RDS-Collection-1

In this post, I will show you how to add and remove RDS Collections in Windows Server. I will be doing this demonstration using Windows Server 2019. The same steps in this article apply to other versions of Windows Server such as Windows 2016, and 2022 when adding and removing RDS collection. To stay informed with the knowledge of RDS Collection, it is important to discuss what RDS collection is about in detail. An RDS Collection is a dynamic pool of RDS session hosts. Depending on the load, RDS host servers are added to and deleted or removed from the pool.

By examining the average CPU consumption across all active hosts in the Collection, the system calculates the load. If you need to “Shadow” users’ sessions or give them messages while serving as a terminal server administrator, having RDS collections might be quite helpful. Additionally, this aids in controlling access to the terminal servers.

With the RDS collection, You, the administrator, have direct control over which users have access to which collections. This way, you can create one group. You can read more about RDS in the following related articles: RDS client access licenses: How to install a new Per User Remote Desktop Services license, Remote Desktop Services: How to Remove and Manage Terminal Server licenses from an RDP client with PowerShell, How to install RDS via Quick Start Deployment: Install, Publish, Update and Uninstall Remote Desktop Web Client, and How to fix the issue “The remote session was disconnected because there are no Remote Desktop License Servers available to provide a license”.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is the preferred platform for developing virtualization solutions for every end customer need, including delivering individual virtualized applications, providing secure mobile and remote desktop access, and enabling end users to run their applications and desktops from the cloud.

RDS Capability

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) allows you to manage user access in a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployment. With RDS, you can create users and groups in Active Directory and also assign users and groups to collections. These users can remotely access graphical desktops and Windows applications from various types of client applications and devices, including non-Windows devices, via Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Adding one Server to Another Server

To enable two servers to easily communicate and share information, they must be in the same network and sometimes added to an existing DC.

To add two servers together, let’s say in my case here I have a server name prod-vm-01 and app-vm-01. Both servers must be in the same network.

Add-servers

From the Server Manager screen, click on add other servers to the manage. Make sure you select the domain to which you want to add other servers. Under the operating system option, you can choose to select based on your preference or leave it at all and click on Ok to add the server.

Searching-for-server-to-add

Adding RDS Collection

To add RDS Collection use the below steps:

Step 1: Press the Windows logo on your key and locate Server Manager in the start-up menu to access the collection.

Server-Manager

Step 2: Once the server manager has opened, "Remote Desktop Services" tab and navigate to it. Once you’re there, double-check that the servers you want to add to your collection are listed in the “Servers” section. If they aren’t already there, add the Server accordingly.

Step 3: Next proceed to the Collections tab, go to the top right corner of the screen and click on Tasks- > Create Session Collection as shown in the below screenshot:

Click-on-Collectiosn-and-tasks

Step 4: Navigate to the next screen, which will present you with the "Before you Begin" screen. Click on Next to follow the prompt and proceed to the wizard. While in the wizard screen type in a suitable collection name as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 5: The next step is to select the relevant servers from the server pool listed that you would like to become part of the collection. For example, you may have multiple terminal servers that you may want to load balance between, this is where you would add them. Once you have added the servers, please press next. In our case, we don’t currently have a list of servers since it’s for demo purposes. But in real life, the screen below is where you find a list of other servers that have been added to your servers.

Select-Servers-to-Add

Step 6: In this next screen, you will be asked to select the user groups that will be granted access to the collection’s servers. If all domain users must have access, then add the group “Domain Users” to this list. On the following screen, you will be asked if you want to create user profile disks. This section is entirely up to the domain administrator; if they have already configured redirected folders, there is no need to use user profile disks. This option is usually left unchecked, and folder redirection is used, but if the administrator wants to use user profile disks, this is the time to enable them.

Step 7: The next screen will confirm all of the settings you’ve chosen and ask you to confirm you’re ready to proceed. Once you are satisfied, continue with the setup, and it will be completed.

In Server Manager, the collection will now be listed under the "Collections" tab.

Removing RDS Collections

The process of removing a collection for any reason is quite simple.

Simply go to the collections tab, and in the top area of the tab, you should see the collections that you have added; just right-click on the collection you want to remove and select "remove collection." It may be prompted to confirm that you want to remove it, once you confirm it, the collection will be deleted.

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