This article introduces Collection Pools, a new feature in the itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS) that expands on the functionality previously found in RD Collections. This article will discuss the new feature and how Collection Pools compare to RD Collections; for more details about Collection Pools and how to configure them, refer to the following article: Configuring RD Collection Pools.

Overview of RD Collections

 RD Collections allowed administrators to define different sets of Remote Desktop hosts and settings for different groups of users. Each RD Collection allowed administrators to configure:

  • Autoscale settings such as the base image to use for RD Session Hosts, user counts per Session Host, and CPU/RAM resources for each Session Host in the Collection
  • A unique set of configuration settings for the Session Hosts, such as session timeouts and printer redirection settings
  • A unique organizational unit (OU) in Active Directory to which to link group policy objects (GPOs)

Users were then assigned to an RD Collection and would be configured to connect to the Session Hosts in that Collection. When a new deployment is created in CAS, a default RD Collection was created in the primary region of the deployment, and administrators could create additional Collections as needed.

RD Collections were limited to a single region. Administrators could create different Collections in different regions, but this introduced unnecessary complexity and redundancy in the deployment.

Introduction to Collection Pools

RD Collection Pools function similarly to RD Collections, but are designed to work across multiple regions and to connect the user to their nearest region automatically. When you configure a Collection Pool in a multi-region CAS deployment, you can specify multiple GCP regions for the Pool and CAS will automatically configure the Collection in each region. Collection Pools also introduce new features to help you manage your deployment more efficiently.

Custom Collection Sizing

 Most settings in a Collection Pool will be identical across all regions. However, you can manually specify the number of users for each region, which will affect the number (and instance size) of Session Hosts that are provisioned in that region. Consider the following example:

You have an RDS deployment with 100 users, and you want to create a new Collection Pool for two regions; the first region, us-east4, will host approximately 75 users, and the secondary region, us-central1, will host 25. You want each Session Host to serve a maximum of 25 users.

When you enable Custom Collection Sizing, you can specify these limits in the Collection Pool, and CAS will automatically create the appropriate number of RD Session Hosts based on the sizing you specify. Therefore, using the previous example, CAS will create three Session Hosts in us-east4 and one Session Host in us-central1. If you don't specify per-region limits, CAS will create enough Session Hosts in each region to serve all 100 users in the deployment.

Custom Collection Sizing also applies to deployments in only one region. For example, if you have 1000 users in the deployment but only need to support a maximum of 500 concurrent connections, you can enable Custom Collection Sizing and specify 500 users; CAS will build and size your Session Hosts for 500 users. You can change the Custom Collection Size at any time, and CAS will create or delete Session Hosts to match the number of users you specify.

Nearest Connection Point

When a user is assigned to a Collection Pool, they are configured to access the Collection in each region. When a user generates a new connection file using myrdp.download, CAS will determine their approximate location using their public IP address and will point them to the RD Collection in the nearest region.

Learn More

To learn more about Collection Pools, refer to the article Configuring RD Collection Pools.

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