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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS under terminal services in Technical; There seem to be a fair few posts about how best to deploy sims and to permit users to update ...
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    SIMS under terminal services

    There seem to be a fair few posts about how best to deploy sims and to permit users to update sims without makingthem local admins and how to control permissions on local drives. To eliminate all of this how many people have successfully deployed sims using terminal services (Windows server 03?, 08? Citrix?). Are ther any other problems with doing it in a TS environment?

    I'm hoping that by putting the TS server and the SIMS server on a fast network link the apparent slowness in the application (either due to a busy network or a slow user computer) will disappear.

    Anyone running SIMS server under vmware? We've only got ESXi (budget cuts prevented us moving to esx this year) so have no load balancing. If we could get the SIMS server and the TS server for SIMS on the same box that would be great.

    Any feedback/warnings appreciated!
    ChrisJ

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnsonuk View Post
    how many people have successfully deployed sims using terminal services
    It seems to be going okay so far - got this sorted just last week. Make sure you install SIMS in "install" mode on the Terminal Services server. Also, it took me a while to figure out how you actually allowed users to log in to the Terminal Services server - they need to be added to the Remote Logon Users group of the terminal server. Adding them to the domain version of that group didn't seem to make any difference, although I get the impression that it should have done. In the end I found the best solution was to create a "SIMSUsers" security group on the domain and add that group to the Remote Logon Users group on the terminal server. You can get SIMSPERM.BAT to grant permissions to that group, too, so you only have to run it once, when you first install the SIMS client on the terminal server.

    On the terminal server, uninstall the Internet Explorere Enhanced Security component of Windows - that's the annoying widget that pops up asking you to whitelist every website you visit. If end users are using the machine they'll find it super annoying. You'll also find that running SIMS will bring up a dialog box for every user asking if they are sure they want to run the SIMS upgrade application. You can get rid of this by adding your SIMS server to the "trusted sites" list of the Intranet section in network settings (i.e. Tool -> Internet Options -> Security tab from Internet Explorer). You need to add your server with a line of the form "file\\<servername>".

    For each user logging on to the terminal server, remember to make sure the SIMS shared drive ("S" drive or whatever you use) is mounted. Probably best doing this via GPO - I tried adding it per machine and caused much confusion.

    A couple of points worth pointing out for your SIMS server: each SIMS client connects to the SQL Server, so you need to unblock SQL Server's ports on your SIMS server. Also, you need to assign permissions for the SIMSUsers group to the actual shared drive, not just the folder it uses as its root - the exams module, in particular, needs to have write permissions to a folder for outputting files.

    I don't know exaclty what SIMS uses by way of RAM or other resources, but I don't imagine it's the tidyest of programs. Users leaving copies of SIMS open on the terminal server might start to take up a lot of RAM - maybe best to have the machine reboot every night? I haven't figured this one out myself yet.

    Don't forget to install MS Office on the terminal server so reports and whatnot can run.

    Anyone running SIMS server under vmware?
    We're running SIMS/Windows Server 2008 under Xen virtualisation running on top of CentOS. All seems fine so far, complete with DRBD mirroring between two physicaly seperated machines. I haven't taken any performance mesurements, though, and we have relativly few SIMS users.

    If we could get the SIMS server and the TS server for SIMS on the same box that would be great.
    I don't know how well a TS server would work virtualised, that's a separate problem. Our SIMS server is a VM but out TS server isn't - I figure a TS server is basically a big client machine, so we treat it as such.

    --
    David Hicks

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    eejit (2nd September 2009)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Citrix isn't support (I believe)

    TS works quite well, basically don't run it on the same server as the SIMS server, SQL and TS both eat resources. Once you've down any SIMS\FMS upgrades, nip on the terminal server (as admin) then run SIMS(load)\FMS(load). Won't have to worry about setting any special permissions for sims then.

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    dhicks (3rd July 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We have sims.net working fine via citrix/terminal server on 2003 server here. Things we did have issues with were the SIMS.ini file in c:\windows not being correct after install - copying one from a windows xp machine solved that though.

    If you also will be using FMS ensure that Crystal Reports is installed via the simsapplications.exe file, else printing will not work.

    Other than that, we've not had any issues.

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