What is RDP/RDS Load Balancing?by Wikus Du Plessis on Load Balancing • March 16, 2021
An RDP/RDS load balancer distributes remote desktop traffic between multiple backend resources to improve reliability and performance. It usually includes security, health checking, and monitoring functionality too.
What is RDP/RDS?
RDS (Remote Desktop Services) and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) are industry-leading protocols by Microsoft enabling access to virtualized environments or services running on a remote desktop/server using a graphical user interface (GUI).
Users can use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection tools to connect to a remote computer or server over the internet to gain full access to the desktop environment. Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is an industry-leading service/application virtualization platform. It facilitates efficiency and flexibility regarding remote virtual application delivery and secures virtual machines (VMs) for users to access remotely.
What Does A RDP/RDS Load Balancer Do?
An RDP/RSD load balancer usually provides load balancing for the following resources:
- Microsoft Connection Brokers: load balance Remote Desktop Connection Brokers and multiple Web Access Servers and Gateway Servers.
- RDS Servers: load balance your Remote Desktop servers directly without any Brokers
- Gateway: load balance secure HTTPS data if you are using Remote Desktop Gateway.
Layer 7 Load Balancing For RDP/RDS
Load balancers function at Layer 4 and Layer 7 in the OSI Model.
- Layer 4: The transport layer is responsible for data transmission using protocols. This layer receives data from the session layer, segments it, and sends it to the network layer.
- Layer 7: The application layer is where user data interaction takes place. This layer is responsible for communicating with host-based and user-facing applications.
Layer 4 (TCP) load balancing is not enough to provide load balancing for RDP/RDS. Layer 7 load balancing includes packet inspection and contextual awareness of application traffic, which allows the intelligent handling of connections based on specific criteria.
Learn more about Layer 4 vs Layer 7 load balancing.
Do I Need RDP/RDS Load Balancing?
RDP/RSD load balancers ensure the performance, reliability, and security of Remote Gateway, Connection Broker, and terminal servers. If you use RDP/RDS, especially at a high scale, then you need to use RDP/RDS load balancing to ensure that your remote desktop services are highly available, secure, and maintain fast performance for users.
Does Snapt Provide RDP/RDS Load Balancing?
Yes. Snapt Nova includes templates and wizards for RDP/RDS load balancing. Snapt Nova provides load balancing and WAF security on-demand to every node in your network. Centralized control enables to you monitor all your RDP/RDS traffic and server health in one place, apply security configuration consistently, and scale application services automatically in response to demand.
Resilient Global Load Balancing
Snapt includes a Global Server Load Balancer (GSLB), which enables RDP load-balancing based on geographical location and provides RDP failover between different locations.
Better Security and Anomaly Detection
Snapt Nova can protect your RDP/RDS infrastructure from brute-force attacks, botnets, and control servers. Using a machine learning engine and AI logic, Nova can monitor and analyze every single request that gets passed to your remote desktop infrastructure, looking for performance issues, traffic spikes, and potential threats.
Monitoring and Alerts
Snapt can send alerts via email, Slack, and webhooks (enabling a broad range of platforms). The entire platform can also be monitored and even controlled via a full REST API.
Weights and Backups
Configure weighted load balancer routing and backup policies for your critical services, ensuring the most optimal remote desktop service is always used.
Snapt provides HA (high availability), ensuring redundancy and dramatically increasing RDP reliability.
RDP cookies are used to assure you are load-balancing based on individual identities. Like source hashing, where you can balance based on IPs, RDP cookies balances based on RDP identity. The cookie contains all information required to find the server in the list of available servers.
Ease of Use
Snapt offers easy-to-use wizards to automatically set up RDP load balancing optimization, compression, and SSL encryption. With a few clicks, you can deploy a predefined Snapt RDP load balancer into your cloud, VM, container infrastructure, or traditional environment.
Snapt has quick and easy wizards which allow you to set up load balancing between as many RDS/RDP servers as you require, and many more advanced options are available for the perfect set-up.
Rest easy knowing that thousands of customers run Snapt on Microsoft and Azure infrastructure.
Watch our CTO give an introduction on Nova RDP/RDS implementations: