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How-To: Configure RemoteFX on Hyper-V R2 SP1

One of the cooler announcements from Microsoft this year was the release of Windows Server 2008 SP1, which included several enhanced features for key components. One in particular that I am excited about is the inclusion of RemoteFX directly into a Hyper-V server. This is huge especially for desktop virtualization enthusiasts like me.

Let's walk through configuring RemoteFX for Hyper-V R2 SP1.

  1. It is important to note that your very first step before configuring or enabling RemoteFX should be to install the drivers for the graphics card; otherwise, Hyper-V will not be able to provide that card as part of the virtual hardware later when you try and add it to a virtual machine.
  2. Open Server Manager by going to Start | Administrative Tools | Server Manager
  3. Expand the Roles node on the left and click on Remote Desktop Services
  4. Under Role Services, click on Add Role Service
  5. Find the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host and select the check box next to it to enable it
  6. You will then be able to select the RemoteFX checkbox; do that as well
  7. Click on Next and then on Install to get the process going
  8. When the wizard completes the configuration click on Close to exit

Once you have successfully installed and configured RemoteFX on the Hyper-V host, you will be able to configure virtual machines with the RemoteFX #D Adapter.

When configuring your VMs with RemoteFX, be careful how many monitors you choose to support and the maximum resolution for each. These settings directly impact and affect the amount of GPU memory needs to be reserved on the Hyper-V host. Of course the more monitors with high resolution that you configure per VM, the fewer VMs you can configure with RemoteFX. Be careful and give users exactly what they need, not more than what they need, which is what we tend to do with all virtualization technologies these days. Resources still matter, so use them wisely.

Now, let's configure the maximum number of monitors and their resolution:

  1. Click on Start | Administrative Tools | Hyper-V Manager
  2. Locate the VM you want to configure for RemoteFX and make sure it is powered off
  3. Highlight the VM and in the Actions pane, select settings
  4. In the Navigation pane select RemoteFX 3D Adapter
  5. You should now be at the RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter page
  6. Specify the number of monitors and their resolution
  7. Click OK to commit the changes to the VM virtual hardware

It is important to note that when you are using the RemoteFX 3D virtual adapter, you will not be able to connect to your VM using Virtual Machine Connection. Instead, you should use the Remote Desktop client to connect to that VM. If, for whatever reason you need to use the Virtual Machine Connection, you will need to remove the RemoteFX 3D virtual adapter.

I am curious: How many of you are using RemoteFX with VMs and how do you like it?

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 05/12/2011 at 12:49 PM


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