Windows Server 2008 RemoteApps is COOL
Originally known as "TS Rail", the RemoteApps feature of Windows Server 2008 makes Terminal Servers an absolute essential on everyone's network. There is no way I won't have a TS running full time from here on out, and RemoteApps is the reason. So, what's so cool about it? Utter transparency. The application behaves just as if I were running it on my local machine, but I don't have to have it loaded there - just on the terminal server. And it's a great workaround for applications that are ONLY available on Server 2008, or for any direct management of Server 2008 from your desktop, since we all know that the new AdminPak still isn't available for Vista. So, what got me excited about it today? Getting around a major PITA with Hyper-V. Here's the scenario:
- New Hyper-V server running Server Core (hp380-core-08, 192.168.51.8)
- It's in the other office
- It's not in the same domain as my desktop (it's in example.local)
There's no way to configure Hyper-V on the new server. I can't Remote Desktop to it (different domain, and it just doesn't like it.) Even if I could, the Hyper-V Management Console won't run on it because it's Server Core. So, what to do?
- Remote Desktop in to the TS (hp350-ts-05, 192.168.51.5, running the x64 version of Windows Server 2008, build 17119, the public Hyper-V enabled version.)
- Open ServerManager, add the Remote Administration feature, including the Hyper-V Tools
- Open the Hyper-V Manager and connect to the HP380-core-08 server.
- Open Administrative Tools ->Terminal Services -> TS RemoteApp Manager
- Click on Add RemoteApp Programs in the Actions pane. Click Next.
- Click Browse, navigate to Hyper-V folder, and change the File Name type to All Files (*.*).
- Select virtmgmt and click Open. Repeat 6 and select vmconnect. Click Open.
- Click Next and then click Finish.
- Highlight the two files in the RemoteApps Programs section and click Create Windows Installer. Select the defaults for the wizard to create two .MSI files.
Now all you need to do is copy those MSI files to your local workstation, and install them like any other programs.
Once you've installed them, you can run the Hyper-V Manager, or the Hyper-V Connect application (the "VMRC" of Hyper-V) on your workstation. Even though Microsoft hasn't made either of these available for Windows Vista 64bit yet.
So, I used the Hyper-V Manager application to create a new VM (hp380-srv-03), and connected to it using the vmconnect application as shown here:
Now this is cool. And gives me the tools I need, on my desktop, transparently.