A remote desktop connection broker is software that allows clients to access various types of server-hosted desktops and applications. In hosted desktop environments, the remote desktop connection broker is the “middle” component, in-between the desktops in the data center (hosted virtual machines, shared terminal server desktops, and blades) and the clients that are used to access the desktops (thin clients, soft clients, and mobile devices, among others).
Remote desktop connection brokers perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Checking user credentials.
- Assigning users to remote desktops.
- Turning remote desktops on and off as needed.
- Load balancing the servers that host the desktops.
- Managing desktop images.
- Redirecting multimedia processing to the client.
VMware, Citrix, and several other vendors offer remote desktop connection brokers. Some are offered as stand-alone products and others as a part of a complete desktop virtualization solution. Compatibility with other vendors’ products is affected by choice of remote display protocol and, in the case of VDI desktops, the choice of the hypervisor that is used to host the desktop virtual machines.
Remote Desktop Connection Broker (in this context, also known as RD Connection Broker) is also the name of a role available with Microsoft Windows Server. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Broker can provide access to Remote Desktop Session Host shared desktops and, with the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, individual virtual machines in Microsoft Remote Desktop Virtualization Host.