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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS + Terminal Server in Technical; We are not convinced that virtualisation of TS is the way to go with this either. You will need to ...
  1. #16
    linescanner's Avatar
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    We are not convinced that virtualisation of TS is the way to go with this either.

    You will need to go to big boys Virtualisation to get the performance required out of the TS units. The added cost and complexity of this may be too much.

    4-5 1U dual dual core servers is probably the best bet if 150 is going to be the concurrency you are looking for.

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    I'm looking at trialling SIMS.net via Windows 2008's remoteApp

    So far it runs well with a few machines.
    We have it on a 2k3 Terminal Server as well though only used by 5 Thin Clients and 1 VPN (myself for testing)

  3. #18

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner View Post
    We are not convinced that virtualisation of TS is the way to go with this either.

    You will need to go to big boys Virtualisation to get the performance required out of the TS units. The added cost and complexity of this may be too much.

    4-5 1U dual dual core servers is probably the best bet if 150 is going to be the concurrency you are looking for.
    The added cost and complexity should be outweighed by the reduced power consumption, reduced equipment outlay and reduced cooling.

  4. #19
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't virtualise terminal services unless you really have to. There have been considerable gains in performance for recent releases of the various products, but it's still one of the worst possible candidates for virtualisation.

    Also keep an eye on Microsoft office licensing if you have it on the terminal server - every client that accesses it needs it's own office license, and there are some heavy restrictions on which licenses are valid for remote office use.

  5. #20

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    I wouldn't virtualise terminal services unless you really have to. There have been considerable gains in performance for recent releases of the various products, but it's still one of the worst possible candidates for virtualisation.

    Also keep an eye on Microsoft office licensing if you have it on the terminal server - every client that accesses it needs it's own office license, and there are some heavy restrictions on which licenses are valid for remote office use.
    I would not virtualise TS either ... even on big boy kit like yours.

    Also ... I will double check again on the license, but the last conversation I had with MS (and included in the licencing thread) was that if the connecting client had a full office pro client then you did not need to pay for the licence again on the TS. Obviously, if you use a thin client a licence is needed (and no ... I never did get to the bottom of the reference to per user Office licences ... I may start digging at that again after I have gotten this week's work out of the way ... so, sometime in June then!)

  6. #21
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I would not virtualise TS either ... even on big boy kit like yours.

    Also ... I will double check again on the license, but the last conversation I had with MS (and included in the licencing thread) was that if the connecting client had a full office pro client then you did not need to pay for the licence again on the TS. Obviously, if you use a thin client a licence is needed (and no ... I never did get to the bottom of the reference to per user Office licences ... I may start digging at that again after I have gotten this week's work out of the way ... so, sometime in June then!)
    I think we worked it all out

    If the machines you access the TS from have a vol office license then you don't need to spend any money. If they don't then they will need a vol or full retail (ultimate!) license to access a TS with office (all other versions of office license prohibit remote access *with 2007*, 2003 is a little better). I think there are some links at the end of the licensing thread.

    I might still use the blade and SAN setup, or even just the blade setup for the front end servers to save a bit on space and power, more, less powerful blades. Just without the virtualisation.

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    Apologises, my posting last night was incorrect. The actual position is as follows:

    To service 285 schools in Oxfordshire they have:

    • 6 SQL servers for .net. Schools are not evenly distributed on these. 2 are mainly the 27 secondary schools.
    • 13 terminal services servers
    • 1 file server with the .net and FMS program files on (1 per school)
    • 3 SQL FMS servers fairly evenly distributed
    • 2 domain controllers and an IIS server

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    I've had a slight re-count on the concurrent connetions. Approx 12 lessons in a faculty during any one period, 6 faculities, that makes a potential 72 concurrent connections via the TS (mostly using lesson monitor) and then 30-40 admin staff that will have the sims client installed on their local machine.

    Looking at what hardward I have currently available, i'm thinking about load balancing 2 TS servers and then hosinting the DB somewhere else.

    Does that sound ok given the new number of concurrent connections?

  9. #24
    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Close just make sure you have plenty of ram (3gb - 4gb) and they should handle it without too much trouble just think about a little redundancy though 3 TS servers should do it and they won't be heavily worked unless a TS server dies.


    Wes
    Last edited by wesleyw; 21st April 2008 at 09:21 PM.

  10. #25

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    2 TS boxes sounds good for the 72 connections but beware ... the staff will leave themselves logged in and hog the server. If the staff have a laptop or desktop can I ask what your criteria are for having them connect to TS to access SIMS? Ease of administration? Remote Access? You may be challenged about the additional cost that TS would cause (initially) rather than just using the SIMS.net client on a local machine.

  11. #26

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    planning to virtualise most of our network soon so may cluster the remaining servers to a big TS cluster

  12. #27
    linescanner's Avatar
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    @adamf

    I would look at 3 servers, gives you some room to breath.

    @Gatt

    All the really big boys warn about clustering Terminal servers

  13. #28


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    I wouldn't virtualise terminal services unless you really have to. There have been considerable gains in performance for recent releases of the various products, but it's still one of the worst possible candidates for virtualisation.
    Don't tell Citrix, XenApp (terminal services) on XenServer (xen) is a major selling point:
    Citrix Systems » XenApp » White Papers

  14. #29

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    @CyberNerd: I think the link you mean is Citrix Systems » XenApp » White Papers

    Citrix seem to think that the Xen hypervisor is the key and I think that they are only promoting the installation of a single instance when talking about XenApp. They do seem to talk mostly about underutilised servers which is unusual in education.

    I think that in education you would only use the virtualisation to allow for speedy recovery and dynamic provisioning, rather than consolidation.

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    Am I missing something??? TS vs Web

    Surely working with TS to acheive a remote working facility is taking us back to time warp of terminal based remote working - yes???

    What a waste of computing resources!!!

    What you need is to look for a web based MIS solutions which now coming along.

    Web based MIS also solves at a stoke other big problem of upgading client PCs with each monthly update which many of us bitterly complain in various treads in this forum. :-)
    Last edited by Tiger; 21st April 2008 at 10:39 PM. Reason: typo

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