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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, RDP, 2X, Loadbalace and Gateway in Technical; hi all, I am looking and working on a plan to get thin clients in the school. I am on ...
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    stariq's Avatar
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    RDP, 2X, Loadbalace and Gateway

    hi all,

    I am looking and working on a plan to get thin clients in the school.

    I am on a steady learning curve finding things out which all help.

    I am using HP Blade technology - HP BL460c which have 1 quad core processor, and 4GB of RAM in each. Using win 2k3 server and Terminal services

    I am looking at the following setup in school, I will try this with our admin users first:

    Have a thin client terminal which just boots up an RDP session to a terminal server (Axel terminals do this)

    Install all the software admin users would need on to 2 terminal servers (MS Office, Outlook, CMIS, IE etc)

    Would this be a suitable setup to have? is RDP up to the job to deliver?

    Where I am stuck with is the following:

    Printing - how do i do this? some users have their own printers connected to their desktops, some use network based printers
    GPO's - where do i start? I know I need to create a new GPO but thats it
    Sound - why is it not working??!! how do i redirect the sound?
    Server spec - what would you guys reccommend? Are the blades up to the job? (i know I need to increase the RAM, but by how much?)

    Also looking at getting the user to have access to the same desktop they would have in school at home, what else do I need?

    Many thanks for any pointers

    STariq

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    BL460c's are fine servers, we have a customer using several of them (2 CPU with 16GB of RAM) to serve their needs and they work beautifully.

    Printing - how do i do this? some users have their own printers connected to their desktops, some use network based printers
    VBScript on a logon script to identify the thin client to its location and map the correct printer.

    GPO's - where do i start? I know I need to create a new GPO but thats it
    Create an OU in your AD, block inheritence to it and put your TS in there, then lock it down/configure it as you wish.

    Sound - why is it not working??!! how do i redirect the sound?
    Have you set this up? There's TS specific GPO's you can use or the TS Configuration mmc.

    Server spec - what would you guys reccommend? Are the blades up to the job? (i know I need to increase the RAM, but by how much?)
    Depends really... If you're using apps which won't run on 64bit then there's not much point in my opinion pushing the memory beyond 4GB. I don't rate PAE and other stuff like that.

    We built one of these blades up to 20GB of RAM and ran 4x32bit Windows 2003 VM's under ESXi under it but the I/O isn't great with only 2 SAS disks mirrored on it.

    How many users are you looking at this for?

    Also looking at getting the user to have access to the same desktop they would have in school at home, what else do I need?
    This is where there's plenty of options, I'd personally (from the company perspective here) use Sun Secure Global Desktop but you can use the Microsoft TS Gateway amongst other technoligies, Adito SSL works too.

    We specialise in these exact deployments from the TS, Thin Client & Remote Access methods if you do want to have a look at a Sun system in action let me know.

    Otherwise if this is something you'd rather deploy in house I'm here for advice as and when necessary

  3. Thanks to kmount from:

    stariq (6th January 2010)

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    I use 2x Loadbalancer here on the kids TS farm and everything you mention would work fine on plain old MS terminal services / RDP.

    The server spec seems fine if not more than generous for basic tasks..! I am running 1 TS server for staff office and home use and its a dual cpu, 4gb of ram running 2003 32bit and that supports around 20 concurrent users no problems at all.

    Printing.. either look into scripting it like kmount suggested or you can pay for a software solution (Tricerat, thin print etc) - Im using Tricerat with success. We are using 2x ThinOS on our thin clients and converted PCs to support the local usb / lpt1 printers.

    OU / Group policy - create ou, block inheritance and enable loopback processing - google it

    Sound - you need to enable audio redirection on the TS or group policy locking down the TS.
    Dont get your hopes up on this though..basic stuff is ok but sound redirections not great unless you look at Citrix.

    For remote access I am using a ssl vpn and then connecting people to the loadbalancer but theres many ways of doing this - depends on your budget and security concerns I guess!

    Hope that helps.

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    stariq (6th January 2010)

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    To get sound working - enable on terminal and terminal server (audio mapping) - please see screen shots below





    The are many ways to set up printing:

    Print-server
    The terminal has embedded a full 'network printer server' (ie equivalent to HP Jet-direct type print server). This will let "anyone" access a locally attached printer.

    RDP/ICA redirection
    The printer is 'seen' only by the user sat at the terminal the printer is attached to, but this has the benefit of applying RDP data-compression on the print data.

    Networked printers.
    These don't have to involve the thin client directly as the print job essentially goes direct from server to printer (ie doesn't go via the thin client). However - you can set a networked printer as a local printer to the terminal, which can have some interesting bandwidth saving applications. In this scenario the print data goes direct from the terminal to the n/w printer, so for example a screen dump goes direct from terminal to printer - avoiding the server/WAN. (The terminal's "default" printer is set as the printer's IP address) This may just be an interesting peculiarity for schools where most of the infra-structure in LAN based - but does have some interesting applications in the commercial world.

    All the above are hardware/network topologies, so are controlled by GPOs - but this is not our area of expertise so we'll leave that for someone else to comment on...

    Homeworkers
    Homeworkers will access the same desktop as they would from school - the only implications are, as previous poster commented, security...

    I hope this helps your Axel trial progress - please let me know if we can provide any more screenshots...

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    stariq (6th January 2010)

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    stariq's Avatar
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    Many thanks for all your comments,

    @Kim 'Cutter' project many thanks for your reply, I am looking into getting extra RAM for the blades and creating the new OU for TServers. Around 20 users to start off with but will hopefully extend to a 100 or so then 150 and eventually the most of the ICT classes.

    @ ssiruuk2 would sites such as youtube, audio/video files work in RDP or do I have to look elsewhere for sound. Most of our teachers use youtube and our VLE for their lessons so it will be a big downer if RDP dont work

    @Axel; the pics dont show mate but the demo unit is working spot on. How do i enable the terminal to print? I know i need some sort of script (like we have now for our printers which goes on by location) but how does TS do it?

    Many thanks

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