Deploying RD Connection Broker High Availability in Windows Server 2012

Deploying RD Connection Broker High Availability in Windows Server 2012

The process for setting up a highly available (HA) RD Connection Broker has changed and improved a lot in Windows Server 2012. A wizard has been added to the new server manager to guide you through the process of setting up the HA and adding new RD Connection Broker servers. This Wiki will take you through the process of deploying active-active HA on the RD Connection Broker.


Before we start to configuration, I’ll quickly sum up the prerequisites. At this point we assume that there is a RD Connection Broker already in place (e.g. during the setup of a quick deployment). The prerequisites for High Availability for the RD Connection Broker are:

A Microsoft SQL Server with write permissions granted to all RD Connection Broker servers that will be part of the deployment
The Microsoft SQL Server Native Client is installed on all RD Connection Broker servers that will be part of the deployment
Static IP addresses have been assigned to all RD Connection Broker servers that will be part of the deployment
DNS resource records with a single DNS name have been created for all RD Connection Broker servers that will be part of the deployment

Also note that the SQL Server must be at least SQL Server 2008 R2.

Step 1. Preparing the Broker for HA

Before adding a second server with the RD Connection Broker role we need to prepare the current RD Connection Broker for HA. Which means that during this process, the wizard will create a central database on a central MS SQL Server instance and will transfer the configuration to this database.

We open the Server Manager on the machine that is currently holding the RD Connection Broker Role and we navigate to “Remote Desktop Services” and then “Overview”. We right-click the RD Connection Broker and choose “Configure RD Connection Broker for HA”.

On the "before you begin" screen the previously discussed prerequisites are summed up again, we press “Next”. On the “Configure High Availability” screen we enter the details of the HA setup.

We need to specify the following parameters:

Database connection string
The wizard will use this string to create the database. Pay close attention to the format of the string. Copy the string below and change only replace the <name of SQL server> and <name of database> values.

DRIVER=SQL Server Native Client 10.0;SERVER=<name of SQL server>;Trusted_Connection=Yes;APP=Remote Desktop Services Connection Broker;Database=<name of database>

Folder to store databasefile
Here we need to specify the folder on the SQL Server where we want the databases to be stored. For demo purposes, I placed in C:\RCDB, but in most environments you will probably use an existing HA SQL environment and enter the desired values. Note that we specify the location for the .mdf as well as the .ldf file, so no separation there. However, you should be able to change that in using SQL Server manager after the installation.

DNS Resource Record name
Here we specify the DNS name that we want this HA RD Connection broker farm be accessible on. For this demo I used rdcb.lab.local

We click “Next” and click “Configure” on the confirmation page. Shortly after that we get the confirm that the configuration has succeeded.

A database is created on the SQL Server we specified.

Remember that this was just step 1. We now have prepared the current RD Connection Broker for HA purposes.

Step 2. Adding a RD Connection Broker

As the next step we will add a new RD Connection Broker to the HA setup we just created.

We go back to the server manager and we now have the option available “Add Connection Broker Server”.

After clicking next on the prerequisites page we are presented with the screen below. We select the server that we want to add as a RD Connection Broker and click next. (Please remember that before we are able to add a server here that server must be added to the Server Manager to be able for it to configure it).

We click “Add” on the confirm dialog and the wizard will remotely install the RD Connection Broker on the server we selected and add it to HA environment.

We are now able to remotely connect to the DNS farm name (rdcb.lab.local) we created by using mstsc. An initial connection (as seen here) will be hosted by one of the active RD Connection Broker servers and we get be redirected to one of the RD Session Host Servers in the Session Collection! (And of course this also works in conjunction with the RD Gateway and RD Web Access).

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  • Freek Berson edited Revision 2. Comment: Added the SQL Server 2008 R2 requirement

  • Freek Berson edited Revision 1. Comment: Typo's

  • Freek Berson edited Original. Comment: Added source link

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  • Freek Berson edited Original. Comment: Added source link

  • Freek Berson edited Revision 1. Comment: Typo's

  • hi followd the manual so good that i can but still got the error, installed sql express on the server but that did not help. got the error. the database in the connection string is not available. does someone got any tips.

  • At least SQL Server 2008 R2 must be used, and the minimum recommended SQL Server SKU for this is Standard with at least 4GB of RAM.

  • Thank you sir !. I have been searching for detail info about HA RD connection broker. I have to make a design for 6,000 VDI connection server, and had been studying about the necessity of 1) SQL cluster, 2)SQL, 3)without SQL.

    If possible, please let me know if the SQL cluster is necessary for 6,000 VDI support.

    Kind regards,

    Hitachi Systems, Inc. Japan

  • Freek Berson edited Revision 2. Comment: Added the SQL Server 2008 R2 requirement

  • The SQL process needs to be spelled out in more detail - something is definitely off.  Tried with both sql 2012 express and standard on the RCDB server itself.

  • Hey all!

    We have a 2 node failover cluster running SQL2008R2, on there i created a instance for my 2 server 2012 connection brokers.

    When i try to configure HA on the connection brokers is get the following error in the HA Wizard:

    Database Creation - Failed: Could not create the database 'RDSFARM01'.

    The log files also show the following error:

    The Remote Desktop Connection Broker server could not install the database named RDSFARM01 by using the connection string:

    DRIVER=SQL Server Native Client 10.0;SERVER=SQLCL01R05\RDS;Trusted_Connection=Yes;APP=Remote Desktop Services Connection Broker;DATABASE=master.

    The database name in the connection string is shown as [master] because in order to create a new database with admin specified name, a connection must be made to master database.

    Both nodes have DB Creator and DB Admin rights on the SQL Instance.

    When i install a single node SQL2012 instance is works, but i need SQL2008r2 for another application.

    I tried connecting to the database with a .udl file, this works perfect and when i select the Master database and hit connection is comes back with "Connection Successfull"

    I been looking arround on google and Technet forums but can't find any solution, i hope someone can help me over here.


  • @phantom1122 I believe the connection string is the string the CB will use to track the sessions, so the database needs to be set to VDI or RDSCB - not to master.  You are not trying to write rows regarding session information to the master database.

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