How to change the hostname of an RDS session host server

Case

You have an existing RDS collection comprising x number of session hosts and you need to change the hostname of any of these session hosts.

Solution

This procedure has been tested in Windows Server 2019 RDS but it would most likely work in RDs 2012 R2 onwards. The procedure is required because the RDS connection broker database (either WID or SQL Server) is not automatically updated if the RDS session host server hostname is changed outside the RDS topology.

Follow the process below for renaming an RDS Session Host server:

  1. Open Server Manager and add all RDS related servers, in order to be able to manage the RDS topology.
  2. Remove the session host server from the RDS Session Collection.
  3. Remove the session host server from the RDS top level topology.
  4. Change the hostname in the OS of the session host server in question (sysdm.cpl command) and reboot.
  5. Come back to the RDS Server Manager topology and add the RDS server again by its new domain name.

In case you receive an error about missing RDS deployment, following instructions at KB article https://stefanos.cloud/kb/rds-error-a-remote-desktop-services-deployment-does-not-exist-in-the-server-pool/.

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