Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile and remote, as many of us can now work effectively outside our traditional offices thanks to broadband connectivity, advances in networking technology and more capable mobile devices. Remote working not only increases employee productivity but also makes for happier employees who don’t have to contend with the stresses of commuting and can more easily balance work and life commitments. Companies that offer remote working are also more attractive to talented job seekers. But businesses need to be smart about how they support remote access to internal servers in order to minimize costs, prevent network downtime and provide secure connections.
A common way of enabling remote access is via Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). RDP allows users to connect remotely to a centralized terminal server or computer that they can work on; when working outside the office, users can access virtual desktops and files as well as perform tasks like troubleshooting. RDP clients are supported on most operating systems – including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android – which means it can be used on almost any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, giving users a lot of flexibility in how and where they work.
If you’re already using Microsoft RDP, or are considering adopting it, then you’re probably well-versed in how it works. But it’s also important to consider the implications for your servers. Having many users remotely accessing centralized servers places a lot of load on them and this needs to be managed effectively to ensure high performance and to keep your costs down.
Here are some of the common challenges that businesses encounter with Remote Desktop Services implementations, and how intelligent load balancing resolves them:
1. Server overload.
Regardless of company size and number of servers deployed, allowing many users to have remote access puts heavy strain on centralized servers. They can quickly become overloaded, which causes performance to deteriorate or even service outages.
A load balancing solution will evenly distribute the load across servers so that they don’t become overwhelmed and your systems stay up and running with high performance.
2. Inefficient user distribution.
Many load balancing solutions allocate user connections inefficiently, which results in businesses paying for more capacity than they really need.
RDP applications require intelligent load balancing so that users are connected to the right servers and their connections are maintained on the same servers, even when they log in from a new location. That is, if users log in at the office during the day and then later log in from home, they would be connected to the same server based on their username. Any load balancing solution also should have support for Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) so that users are routed to their nearest servers, either in the same country or in the same region.
3. Escalating costs.
As your business grows, you need flexibility to scale RDP server deployments. But with increased scale, businesses often find themselves having to buy additional connection manager servers to manage RDP deployments.
Businesses can avoid excess connection manager costs with the right load balancing solution. For example, Snapt doesn’t need extra connection managers because it can use the direct terminal servers that the RDP server runs on.
4. Lack of system visibility.
Businesses need to know how RDP servers are performing at all times, but they often don’t have full visibility of these systems, which means faults can go undetected and cause performance problems.
A load balancing solution must monitor RDP servers constantly and provide alerts and warnings about capacity issues or when servers go offline. Having early warnings of performance problems will reduce the disruption to remote access services.
An RDP load balancing solution, like the one provided with Snapt’s Application Delivery Controller (ADC), will ensure that your remote and mobile employees have access to the systems, files and applications they need to do their jobs, whether they work from home or on the road. The intelligent solution allows you to distribute remote users evenly and reliably across RDP servers and keeps you continuously informed about real-time system performance.
Snapt is a Microsoft partner and our ADC comes preconfigured to load balance RDP. To learn more, sign up for your free trial today.