Remote desktop protocol (RDP)
Remote desktop protocol (RDP) was developed by Microsoft to provide a graphical terminal for remotely connected clients. This functionality is also known as terminal server or terminal services. It listens for connections on TCP port 3389.
In essence, RDP allows a client to connect to a server through a software interface. The user is presented what looks like a complete desktop through this application. It can also run an application mode, which loads a shortcut from the user’s desktop and appears as if it’s a standard application.
In reality it is an RDP session established from the server. Every version of Windows since XP has a copy of the RDP client installed. A version of the RDP server was introduced into Windows XP versions, save for home, to act as a remote administration portal. Terminal services have been available on Windows servers since Windows NT4 Terminal Server edition. Standard Windows servers since 2000 have included terminal services allowing two users to connect remotely for administrative purposes.
Newest Windows server
The newest versions support a plethora of great features, like 32-bit color, TLS 128-bit encryption using the RC4 algorithm, audio redirection, which allows audio to be processed remotely, then sent to the client, file system redirection, allowing local files to be used over the RDP session, printer redirection, which allows local printers to be used over a remote session, port redirection for use of local ports over the remote session, clipboard sharing, terminal services gateways now allow a client to connect via Port 443 to an IIS server.
This will proxy a client to an internal terminal server. Bandwidth tuning for WAN connectivity, multiple monitor support, RemoteFX was introduced in Windows server 2008 R2 service pack one to include virtualized GPU support. Like most popular software packages, there are open source versions for non-Windows operating systems like Linux and Mac. This covers both client and server versions. Browser-based clients are starting to gain in popularity.
This prevents an admin from having to install any client software. More and more enterprises are moving to a thin client model. This means users connect via lightweight terminals from their remote office to a central server. This central terminal server is usually collocated in a data center. Data centers generally have redundant power as well as redudant connectivity, which will provide a higher level of reliability for INN clients. Centralized servers also lower the administrative burden for CIS admins.
Instead of maintaining multiple desktop PCs, they only have to facilitate updates on a handful of servers. The thin clients usually cost less than traditional PCs and don’t need to be cycled out at regular intervals. RDP is key to many enterprises, and now you should have a few solid ideas why.
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