Diagnosing Remote Desktop Connection Problems

icon-786978_1280A remote desktop connection to a host server or broker is not always seamless. If unsuccessful, you will need to check the network, firewalls, security certificates and many other items to find the problem.

1. Network failure
Underlying network failure is the most common remote desktop problem. To verify connectivity, connect a laptop to the network port from which the user tries to connect, then use a Ping or Tracert command to determine the status of the connection to the host server or connection broker. Remember, however, that this way of testing the connectivity of your remote desktop only works if you allow ICMP packets to pass through firewalls on your network.
If the user who experiences the problem is connected via a virtual private network (VPN) or TS Gateway (Terminal Services), the problem may be with the user’s computer, the VPN or gateway, or your remote office infrastructure. In these cases, to diagnose a remote desktop issue, you must proceed by elimination. For example, try to connect to the VPN using a client computer configured properly and a reliable user account in order to determine whether you can establish a remote desktop connection. An easy way to rule out network failure is to hire a reputable IT support service near you.

2. Firewall Problems
We often forget that a firewall can cause remote desktop connection problems, yet it is quite often the case. To avoid problems related to the firewall, make sure that the port used by your remote desktop software is open to all active firewalls between client computers and the server to which they connect. The difficulty is that you may need to configure multiple firewalls. Thus, the client and server can both run the Windows Firewall, or more firewalls can be installed between the two systems.

3. SSL certificate problems
Security certificates may also cause remote desktop connectivity problems. A number of VDI products use the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) when users access VDI sessions outside the network perimeter. But beware, SSL encryption requires the use of certificates; operation which takes into account both issues related to remote offices.
First, for remote offices that are connected correctly, the client computers must trust the certification authority that issued the certificate. This approval does not normally cause problems for organizations that buy their certificates from widely recognized authorities. However, customers do not always approve of the certificates an organization internally generates. At the same time, customers must be able to verify the certificate used by the server. The verification process may be interrupted in case of expiry of the certificate, or if the name on it does not match the name of the server that uses it.

4. Network Level Authentication
The basic idea is that the host of the session is to authenticate the user before establishing a session. Not only authentication at the network level improves security, but it helps to decrease the amount of resources the VDI session may wish. Authentication at the network level can prevent remote desktop connection problems that may occur later in the session, but not all remote desktop clients support this.
If you use Microsoft and want to know if they provide this care, you can just click on the icon of this function, placed in the top left corner of the “Remote Desktop Connection” menu, then choose ” About “from the menu that appears. It should specify if it supports authentication at the Microsoft network. If no message specifies that your client supports this type of authentication, you can either proceed with the update client component, or disable the network-level authentication requirement on your VDI servers. Remember that authentication at the network activates sometimes via group policy settings.

5. Overflow
Finally, you can have remote office connectivity problems if you exceed the infrastructure capacity; perhaps because you no longer have enough virtual desktops or VDI licenses. Some implementations refuse VDI client connections if the server is too busy, or when launching an additional virtual desktop session is likely to weaken the performance of sessions already in progress. The majority of these remote desktop connection problems can be avoided by advance planning. Make sure your SSL certificates are up to date, configure your firewalls and constantly monitor your VDI capacity.

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