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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Terminal Server Spec for Remote Access in Technical; I'm expecting many and various replies to this one... I'm speccing up a machine to act only as a terminal ...
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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Terminal Server Spec for Remote Access

    I'm expecting many and various replies to this one...

    I'm speccing up a machine to act only as a terminal server for staff to connect into from home (to see network drives, SIMS etc.) via Sun Global Destop which is provided via the LEA. We've only got 30-odd staff in total and I wouldn't expect there to be more that 4 or 5 users on at once (though when report deadlines are clost there may be a few more).

    I've got one of these SCL Online - Scorpion A AMD Phenom Quad 9650+ 4GB DDR2 500GB DVD RW running XP on my desk and it's RAPID, no matter what I throw at it during the day (Including SIMS, Sage, Nova, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and Word at the same time) it rarely slows down; I'm considering getting another one, sticking Server 2003 on it and using that as the remote access machine. Will that cut it or do I need to think on a more industrial (server-like) scale?

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    The main issue you'll face isn't the CPU I'd say. It will be hard disk and RAM.

    I'd be looking at at least 10k rpm HDD's. 4GB RAM will be fine if, as you say, you end up with half a dozen users - it should be fine up to about 10 or so running SIMS.net for anything memory intensive (I regularly see Pulsar.exe processes with 150MB of memory in use, sometimes more for things like Assessment Manager users). Add in word/excel for reporting, and whatever other processes are running and you can easily hit 400MB of RAM per user in use, which is why the HDD speed is important. Fast swapping will speed things up to no end.

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    BatchFile (23rd November 2009)

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    Seriously.. dont spend any more than a few hundred quid on something like an entry level HP proliant tower, then just beef up the RAM (cheap as chips on this type of server) - that machine you linked to seems ideal although you'll never need the 500gb of disk space - maybe get two lower capacity drives and Raid mirror them if it supports it?

    We have a TS farm here and put in one of these lower spec HP servers when one of the main servers needed a rebuild as a test.. was amazed at how well it coped even with >15 concurrent users and my ML115 has a low spec dual core AMD with 4gb of RAM.. been ultra reliable for me also. It has boggo standard SATA drives as well like the one you linked to.

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    BatchFile (23rd November 2009)

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    We have <100Gb disks in all of our Citrix boxes you don't need loads of space, as stated above fast disks are a must and i'd be tempted to get hardware that will allow you to mirror them. As localzuk saysSIMS.net can be a bit of a killer if you have a few sessions it depends how they use it i've seen it use over 1Gb of RAM if a user pulls up all of the school registers.

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    BatchFile (23rd November 2009)

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    Dual processor boxes with 4GB RAM see to easily support 20 concurrent users - you can push them to 30+ but there is noticeable slow down.

    As others have said, fast hard disks are a must and (ideally) shed loads of RAM - you are limited by the fact that SIMS doesn't really like x64 though. TS on x64 is much more efficient and from my experience the same 4GB box can run 30 users on x64 rather than 20 on x86 Windows.

    As for type of box... personally I would go for a 'proper' server from Sun or HP. You are going to be relying on this box quite a bit (plus you are talking about a single box so there's is no redundency there) so you need to know that the hardware has been rigerously tested.

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    BatchFile (23rd November 2009)

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    We just bought a couple of cheap HP rackmounted boxes (DL140 IIRC) - they were only a few hundred quid. As other said we just stuck a bunch of RAM in. They serve a classroom or 2 in the day and staff use them for external access out of hours.
    Really cheap solution for us and it seems to work well.

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    BatchFile (23rd November 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    We just bought a couple of cheap HP rackmounted boxes (DL140 IIRC) - they were only a few hundred quid. As other said we just stuck a bunch of RAM in. They serve a classroom or 2 in the day and staff use them for external access out of hours.
    Really cheap solution for us and it seems to work well.
    I use the same model server here with no issues.



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