Saturday, 15 January 2011

SBS – Setting Limits To RDP Sessions

As the Windows Server operating system gets more advanced in the methods that we use to remotely connect to our Remote Desktop Services/Terminal Services servers or desktops behind TS/RDS Gateway we need to be mindful of the bandwidth requirements for the connections.

With SBS 2011 we can connect to our office based PC with multiple monitors, stream video, stream sound, and a lot more on that one connection.

So, out of the box we set some limits to what we can and cannot do with our RDP connection to an SBS network.


The above screenshot is of a GPO setting opened in our SBS 2011’s GPMC. In this setting we are putting a limit on the number of monitors that a remotely connected user can use for their connection at 2.

Note that in any GPO setting that allows for a comment, including the GPO itself, we put comments in as above or with a brief description as to why the policy was enabled or disabled. We try and do this to keep track of the changes we have made with the descriptions helping us to understand why things were they way they were later on in the life of the SBS network.


The rest of the settings in the Windows Computers Policy are as follows:


  • Enforce removal of the remote PC’s wallpaper.
    • This one is pretty obvious as the high resolution colour images will hit the screen refresh rate significantly.
  • Limit colours to 15 bits.
  • Maximum remotely connected monitors: 2.
  • Remove the “Disconnect” button from the Shutdown Dialogue.
    • We request that users always log off their remote sessions when done.
  • Enable the Windows Security item on the Start menu.
    • This item gives them the ability to access the Windows Security menu to make changes if they get stuck.
    • image

The settings will be in a slightly different location for GPOs in SBS 2008 and SBS 2003 as RDS was Terminal Services in those editions.

In certain circumstances we will also enable the Restrict Remote Desktop Services users to a single Remote Desktop Services session setting.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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