In many environments its the applications that stop the deployment of the latest Operating Systems such as Server 2016 and Windows 10.  In an RDS environment its much the same except we can have previous editions of Terminal Serve / RDS running in conjunction with RDS on Server 2012 R2 or Server 2016 which I will demonstrate in this article.

 

Deploy your Server 2008 R2 machine and join it to the domain ETC.

Add the RDS Session Host Role. 

In Server Manager click on Add Roles.

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Select the RDS Role.

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Select Remote Desktop Services Session Host.

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Ensure you haven’t installed any apps yet.  Remember to use the applet in Control Panel once this has all been installed!  Click Next.

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Select the authentication level required.  In my environment its not required then click Next.

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Select your licencing mode.  I will configure later.

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Select the Active Directory group you want to have access to the Application your deploy on on and requires Server 2008 R2 (Windows 7).  I am selecting Domain Users to everyone will have access.

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If the application requires sound and recording then ensure you select the relevant options.  The last option, Desktop composition’ will install the Desktop Experience which makes Server 2008 R2 look like Windows 7 (Aero) and uses resources!

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If you don’t select these now and realise you require them later don’t worry just install the Desktop Experience feature in Server Manager at a later date and then start the Themes service and set it to automatic.

Click Install.

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Close and reboot the server.  It will take a little while whilst it installs the features and will reboot again.

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One you log back on you should see the Installation has succeeded.

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Now you need to add the RD Web servers to the TS Web Access Computers group on the Server 2008 R2 RDS Server in Server Manager.  Both my 2012 R2 RDS Connection Brokers host RD Web therefore I’ve added both below.  Once done click Ok.

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Next you  need to log on to your server(s) where RD Web is hosted and edit the web.config file located in C:\Windows\Web\RDWeb\Pages\web.config

MAKE SURE YOU TAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE FIRST!

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Scroll to the </appSettings> section and as shown above, add the following Key above the </appSettings> :

<add key=”WS08R2RDServer” value=”nameofserver.domain.local” />

Replace nameofserver.domain.local with the FQDN of your new Server 2008 R2 RDS Server.

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You won’t be able to save the file back directly into that folder so save it on the desktop and copy it into the location.  Note by default if you edited it in Notepad it will save it as “web.config.txt” and you will need to display file extensions in order to delete the .txt extension.

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You now need to Publish the RemoteApp on the Server 2008 R2 RDS Server.  Open RemoteApp Manager from Start > Administrative Tools > Terminal Services > RemoteApp Manager and click Add RemoteApp Programs.

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Select the application you wish to publish (I have installed WinRAR for demo).  An ideal candidate would be something like an old version of Internet Explorer.

Once you have been through the wizard click Finish.

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Now log into your RD Web site and you will now see the legacy app available to the users (if they are permitted to do so based on the Security Group you selected earlier).

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You will be asked for credentials due to the certificates not being deployed on the server but I will cover that in another article.

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The app should now launch.

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Pretty simple really.