Updates from QA Training

Windows Server 2012 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Provisioning

On September 25th, QA was a senior sponsor at the Windows Server 2012 launch and as part of that event Microsoft asked me to produce some videos. The video used on the big stage was a whirlwind tour of the new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provisioning engine within Windows Server 2012 and by popular demand, here it is!


Paul Gregory | 30 October 2012

On September 25th, QA was a senior sponsor at the Windows Server 2012 launch and as part of that event Microsoft asked me to produce some videos. The video used on the big stage was a whirlwind tour of the new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provisioning engine within Windows Server 2012 and by popular demand, here it is!

With Windows Server 2008 Microsoft introduced the concept of Roles and Features. With Windows Server 2008R2 Remote Desktop Services (RDS) got a lot more complex with the introduction of VDI support. This leads us to Windows Server 2012 where Microsoft have added a number of features:

  1. Server Manager supports scenario deployment configurations for RDS solutions
  2. Auto provisioning of Pooled and Personal virtual machines from a gold VHD VM
  3. Remote app publication from VM's
  4. User Profile disk
  5. Rolling updates of Pooled VM's when the based disk needs to be replaced because of being updated
  6. Ability to increase VMs deployed easily

The video demonstrates the deployment and provisioning features. I will address the remote app, user profile disk, updating and scale in another blog & video later.

With Server Manager instead of just deploying individual roles in Windows Server 2012 the whole RDS solution can be deployed for a single wizard across a number of servers. When the wizard is launched the wizard allows selection of the computers that will perform all the different functions within and RDS deployment and for VDI this would possibly include:

  • RDS Virtualization Hosts
  • RDS Connection Broker
  • RDS Session Host
  • RDS Licensing
  • RDS Web Access
  • RDS Gateway

The RDS Gateway & RDS Web Access are optional components. Having selected the host(s) that will run each piece the scenario wizard will deploy all the required features onto each of the targeted hosts. Once the deployment has been completed a collection of VM's can be created within the RDS section of server manager. The main requirement here before you start is to have a prepared gold image VM. This will need a VM to exist on a Hyper-V host which has all the configuration settings set as required, removed from your active directory domain and be sysprepped. This VM can be either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8. When the deployment wizard has been completed this gold VM will be exported, duplicated, copied as a base file to each Hyper-V hosts (if there is not any shared storage) and then differencing disks will be built referencing the copied base file.

Please watch this video to see this feature in action, or attend a training course on Windows Server 2012  @QATraining


QA Training | Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Head of Microsoft Infrastructure

A Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1995, Paul has worked both for and with some of the world's leading IT Services organisations – including Unisys, Dell and Microsoft during the Microsoft Windows (TAP) Technology Adoption Programme. Paul specializes in delivering training around the Windows Operating system as well infrastructure and management solutions around System Center going right back to SMS 1.0. Paul is a frequent visitor to Microsoft's Global Headquarters in Seattle to attend early product workshops and for many years has delivered training courses around the world on behalf of Microsoft. In addition to being actively involved in Microsoft's Windows TAP programme, Paul has recently delivered both Microsoft's Private Cloud 2012 readiness training to partners in the UK and was a member of the Microsoft global training team delivering Windows Server 2012 early adopter training. During recent years Microsoft has requested Paul to deliver System Center training at both Redmond and The South American head office to Microsoft Partners.
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