Move RDS Roles to Another Server

Brass Contributor

I'm in the process of planning for the moving of our RDS Licensing Server to a new server.  I'm currently on Windows Server 2012 and moving to 2012R2.  The information I've found on how to do this is pretty clear, but now I need to confirm how to handle the other roles.


When I first set this up is was a Standard deployment with all roles on one server with the exception of the RDSH role which is currently on its own server and all is good with it.  I just need to build a new Licensing Server along with the other roles of:

  • RD Connection Broker
  • RD Web Access
  • RD Gateway

I don't have anything custom as I mentioned before, it's a default Quick Setup/Standard deployment, so if I can just install the same roles and configure them on the new server rather than migrate anything that would be preferred method.  Looking to get confirmation or anything that might of changed over the years since it's been a while that I had this configured.


Any and all input is appreciated it, thanks in advance!

17 Replies
Installing the new server next to the old one gives you enough time to test, but don't forget about the certificate that you use for the RDS roles. How do people access it and what names are listed in the certificate?
Yes, I have the certificate covered and our people access a RemoteApp collection that's published.
This is a temporary workaround to move it off-premise and into the cloud along with the other host session server.

We're planning an upgrade eventually to newest version of Windows Server, new CALs, etc. but for now I'm wondering about the other roles on this there any info you could provide regarding these?
You could follow this article?
Yes, I found this article as well, but it focused on two of the roles, not the Connection Broker one, so I was hoping to gather as much info as I could for all three roles needed to be moved to a new licensing server.

I found some Microsoft articles that although for older versions of RDS, seems to be the only info that I'm seeing being somewhat relevant. I may just have to keep searching if I don't find what I'm looking for or follow one of these older articles.
Indeed, just 2012R2 and 2016 articles about that. I think you can transfer those two roles and have to install a new connection broker without migrating it and recreate the collection.
I was hoping that since the existing host session server is fine as is and it's already located in our cloud infrastructure and configured with the apps that we publish using RemoteApp collection that I could just move the old licensing server along with its various roles over to a new server in the cloud
I didn't think I would be required to have to recreate/rebuild the collection...I guess I might of missed the info regarding one of these roles handling that aspect of it?
I did find plenty of new articles about moving 2012R2 to 2016, 2019, or newer so I guess I need to read up on this more to future proof what I'm trying to accomplish
If you're migrating to a new server later on, then an in-place upgrade of the existing installation in a planned maintenance window could also be an option perhaps? (Keep backups and snapshots ready ;) )
Did migrating work?
Haven't started that project yet, but I did manage to get a one-on-one session with someone who's worked on this similar scenario before and gave me the info that I needed. I'm going to work up a plan for this and present it and start the beginning stages of it, such as building the new server that will hold the licensing as well as the roles we discussed but full deployment won't happen until the second week of Oct. at the earliest.
Keep us updated :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:
@Harm_Veenstra I attempted to make the move to the new RDS Farm and ran into one problem. I thought that removing the RD session host from old RDS Farm into the new one would bring with it the Collection but it did not. I did some more investigating and found that the only two choices is to migrate Collection using PowerShell (only found one article talking about this) or recreating the Collection on the new RD Farm on the Connection Broker server.

My question now is, does creating a new collection cause any problems to the application already configured on that session host? or is the Collection simply a profile that just points to it to use the parameters we need such as user permissions to access RemoteApp published in collection, etc.?

I'm thinking if the answer is yes, then recreating the Collection seems to be an easier option than the troubles I'm running into trying to use PowerShell, but I'm willing to try both if needed. What do you think?
The collection and the apps in it, that's something you configure for the users (Kind of creating shortcuts to installed apps on the host) Just make note of permissions and settings and recreate them, no impact on the installed applications on the host itself. (It won't remove it from Add/Remove programs :) )
Awesome, I had that feeling but always rather get confirmation. After my last post, I was able to get past the PowerShell hurdles and just for experience...I'm testing this method too but for when I make my next attempt at moving RD session host to new RDS Farm, I'm definitely going to just recreate the collection...I'll keep you posted on how that goes...thanks a million!
No problem, curious how it works out for you
One more thing, when removing the RD session host from existing RD Farm, I believe I did it wrong the first time but figured out how to get back so I'm asking to be sure for next time.

When using Server Manager, you can remove a server from the pool but I did this before removing that session host from the actual Deployment Overview/Collection section, so that's what I want to confirm...I should be removing it from Deployment Overview/Collection first correct?
Yes, remove it first because other wise you can't add it to another collection?
Ok, will do