Mar 20, 2013

Windows Server 2012 RDS: Changing the Default Deployment Export Path

Paul Bell

Paul Bell

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For a recent Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployment, I chose to use virtual servers to host the Connection Broker role. This allows the VM to live migrate between Server 2012 hosts and avoid any downtime due to maintenance. However, I ran into a problem with the deployment. The source VMs were being exported locally on the Connection Broker server, which caused significant delays in the creation of collections. The value could not be found or changed in the deployment dashboard.


I built eight collections of managed desktop pools and the Connection Broker’s VHDX file grew exceptionally large. This extra space was not budgeted and I wanted to determine the culprit. As it turned out, RDS exports the VM image from the Hyper-V source to C:\RDVirtualDesktopTemplate on the broker serve. It is shared, so all virtualization host servers in the deployment can access it. From there, it copied the image again to the virtualization host where the desktop pool was created from that parent image.


Since I chose to go with highly available connection brokers, I knew the configuration setting was hidden in the SQL database. Sure enough, I found it in the RDS table. I connected to the SQL server running the VDI database and ran the query below to view the default setting:

SELECT [Name] ,[ValueStr]   FROM [VDI].[rds].[DeploymentSetting]

WHERE Name =’DeploymentExportPath’


Two changes were needed in order to make this fix. First, I configured a network share on the storage server and shared it as RDVirtualDesktopTemplate. Then, I went back to my SQL Server and ran:

UPDATE [VDI].[rds].[DeploymentSetting]

SET ValueStr = ‘\\[NEWSHARE]\RDVirtualDesktopTemplate’

WHERE Name =’DeploymentExportPath’

The next collection I created used this path for the initial exported image from Hyper-V. Now, I can keep this extra copy of the parent image on fast storage for increased performance building collections.

Making the Plunge to VDI

VDI makes an excellent choice for users who need a standard desktop with similar applications. Key features include increased manageability and security. It also allows access to a standard company desktop from any device with remote desktop client access like thin clients, tablets, home PCs, teleworkers, and some smartphones. This makes VDI an easy sell to management. VDI’s ability to lengthen the lifetime of your desktop hardware and reduce the cost per desktop overall further increases the ROI over a traditional full desktop solution.

Need help in deciding if Microsoft Server 2012 Remote Desktop Servers is right for your business or identifying which desktop model is the best fit? Credera is available to guide you through initiating a proof of concept implementation where you can choose to utilize one or all of the new Remote Desktop Services offerings.

To contact a VDI expert, email or call 972.759.1836. For more information on Microsoft Server 2012 and RDS, please visit our blog or follow us at @CrederaMSFT.

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