For all those with application compatibility issues why not deploy a RDSH 2008R2 server to a RDS 2012 environment. In this article I will show you how to deploy a RDSH 2008R2 server to a RDS 2012/R2 environment.
I will be showing you how to deploy IE8 to RDWeb 2012 using Server 2012 R2 and Server 2008 R2. I will not be configuring certificates in this article, as this is out of scope of what i am trying to demonstrate.
Point to note: I cannot confirm that this is supported, so i would recommend contacting Microsoft before deploying to a production environment.
Configuring RDS 2008R2 Server Role
You first need to add the RDSH role
Select the Remote Desktop Services Role.
Select the Remote Desktop Session Host.
If you are using versions of windows older than windows 7 don’t use NLA. I would recommend using this if you are running Windows 7/8 as it provides better security.
The configuration of licensing is not required at this point and can be configured latter.
Add the required user groups that you want to access RDS.
You may want to add desktop compression to improve the desktop look and feel.
Restart the Server.
Installing the Desktop Experience Feature
As we are configuring a Remote Session Host , we will need to configure the server for use with end users. So we will need to install the Desktop Experience Feature.
You first need to set the execution policy to remote signed
Import all Modules into PowerShell.
Get-Module -ListAvailable | Import-Module
Add the Windows Feature Desktop-Experience
Grant the RDWA server access to the 2008 RDSH Server
To allow the RDWA server access to the RDSH server, we need to grant access.
Add the RDWA server into the TS Web Access Group. I would also add the Gateway Server if installed on a separate server.
Configure RDS 2012 R2 RDWeb for WS2008R2 Remote Desktop Session Host
This is the important part… We now need to configure the RDS 2012 Web Server to publish the Remote apps from the RDSH 2008R2 Server.
Navigate to the RDWeb folder located C:\windows\web\RDWeb\Pages
and edit the web.config file.
Scroll down or find the </appSettings> section.
And as shown in the above screenshot, add the following Key above the </appSettings> :
<add key=”ws08r2rdserver” value=”<Server FQDN>” />
You will not be able to save the file, so i would recommend saving to the desktop and copying and replacing back into the rdweb directory.
Point to note: if using multiple RDWA servers (load balanced solution) ensure that you copy the config to all RDWA servers.
Adding the Remote APP
Before installing applications, i would recommend reading the following article (Click Me).
For this article i have chosen to roll back IE 11 to IE 8 and publish this as a alternative for users using legacy applications requiring IE 8.
Select Browse… and navigate to the internet explorer directory.
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
You can edit the Remote App program Name and the Alias.
The location path will default to a UNC path, change this to the local path as shown in the screenshot.
Accessing the newly created Remote App
As you can see from the screenshot below, IE8 is now published. The shortcut is showing as a RDP file.
I havent configured certificates in this article so you will see that there will be certificate prompts and a sign in request when launching 2008R2 Remote apps.
The publisher cannot be identified as certificates have not been configured.
Single sign on requires certificates to be configured, hence why we have a Windows Security Prompt.
There you have it , IE 8 hosted on Server 2008 R2 Session host accessible from RDS 2012 RDWA.