If you've seen some of my latest posts you'll know that I've been looking into Terminal Services, Citrix, Thin Clients. After several suppliers came with differing quotes for the MS licenses I decided to go to the source MS UK sadly I talked the poor guys ear off for forty minutes trying to make sure I got everything right, frighteningly he suggested the cheapest solution first. I actually had a positive response when dealing with Microsoft I take it all back guys! Well most of it ;)
Could you giove us some idea on what prices/details you found out about?
ALso have you got anything set up yet at your place?
Well it was all to do with Terminal Services licenses. Connections to the servers can be done one of two ways:
Firstly you have internal and external access this does not mean access from inside the school and outside however, it actually means employees (internal) and guests (external) employees in a school of course are faculty and associate staff guests would be the students and parents depending on what you wish to do tis can apply to Sharepoint. So as a scenario say you have 50 staff and 1000 pupils (just cause the figures are easier lol) you now have to decide how you would like to license these individuals, you can still get external connector licenses this give you unlimited external (read student/parents) access to that specific server (you will need one for every accessible server I think this also means DC, storage etc because they will be connecting to it waiting for a full document from MS to be completely certain), for internal access you will need the per processor license for every server that you'll be connecting to. Right so if we look at the scenario again and say 3 servers each quad core twins say this means you have two processors (MS only charge per actual physical cpu not the amount of cores that may have) for the external connections you will need 3 external connector licenses, for the staff you'll need 6 per processor licenses, so around about £16k if however all of these where to use them of course the servers couldn't cope so multiple the figures by about 6 and you'll have an idea of the cost associated with this method if you were to give every staff and pupil a concurrent connection (Which I'm looking to do over the next three years)
The second option is to license the individuals directly so more on a per user basis to do this you need to buy 1 Windows CAL and 1 TS CAL for every user that will be using the system and that's all so around £10 for TS CALs and £3 for Windows CALS multiple this by every possible user and it comes to £14K which doesn't seem like much of a saving at first from the original figure but you could add another 100 servers and the price wouldn't change.
Sharepoint you need the external connector license (its changed its name to Internet Server 2007 I think or something along those lines) for the pupils and parents and of course you don't know how many potentials there could be but thats fine for sharepoint it a one off payment.
The main cost associated with TS is usually Citrix (when you're talking about a server farm of 10+ servers the management of the software installation and load balancing becomes a priority so Citrix, Tarantula, Sun Ray would be used) my opinion formed on the overall functionality of the main Citrix rivals and Citrix isn't necessary here I'm going down the Citrix route but each to their own. Citrix always works it licensing via concurrent connections so if you think the 1050 people will only use a maximum of 500 connections concurrently then you need to buy 500 licenses at £100 - £130 each. So it isn't cheap lol however I'm looking within the next 4 to 5 years every pupil will bring in their own laptop purchased by them or by the school if they are financially unable to. This means that in all probability all of the users will be on concurrently so 1050 at £100 - £130 Sun Ray and Tarantula are much cheaper but still it is a hefty price having spoken to our supplier he came up with the point that the school wouldn't need to update XP/Vista/Vienna(2009) so we'd save that cost and he's right of course.
Looking at the overall cost we'll need 1050 (our school isn't actually quite that big ;) ) Terminal Server CALs, Windows 2k3 CALs, Citrix Licenses, Office 2007/8/9/10 et cetera so the cost is high but still cheaper than replacing all of the lab hardware in the school to allow for this. We'll be testing the system wired and wireless and after six months of detailed testing (Live :o ) we'll be able to say whether or not it's possible to run the entire school like it. We'll still need about 19-20 servers in the citrix server farm to do it but this isn't a big deal (I'm gonna be using 1U servers twin dual core, blades were dismissed as for 10 servers they still take up 7U of space so the diifference is negliable).
More to come....
P.S. Just realised its my 666th post and they say there's no evil in our Department lol!