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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin clients in a Server 2003 environment: in Technical; Hi everyone, I am thin client newbie but diving right in with a client of mine that is currently using ...
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    Thin clients in a Server 2003 environment:

    Hi everyone,

    I am thin client newbie but diving right in with a client of mine that is currently using a Server 2003 fat client network.

    What I would like to know is the best way to transition into thin client. Can I install a single thin client and have it work with our current server? If so, what server software is best for a simple setup?

    Sincerely,

    Johnathon

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnson13 View Post
    Can I install a single thin client and have it work with our current server?
    Yes, you can simply add the Terminal Services role to your Server 2003 machine and clients will be able to connect. You'll eventually need to buy Client Access Licenses for all connecting clients, but you can test for 60 days before Windows requires you to buy a license. It's not a good idea to have your clients connecting to your main production servers, though - I treat TS "servers" as workstations, anything on them is ultimatly disposable, they just run programs, nothing else. If you're buying CALs they'll be for Server 2008 R2 anyway, so all you really need is another license for Windows Server (100 or less at educational prices) and some spare hardware to run it on - for a few test clients, a spare desktop machine with maybe 4GB of RAM would be fine.

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    David Hicks

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    Thank you for the great info!

    I appreciate the info!

    Johnathon

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    Hi Johnathon,

    David's advice is very good also but I would add that you should think about the bigger picture of objectives/targets inclusively.

    Does your client wish to move to a Terminal Services environment (software compatibility needs to be tested extensively to be sure of success) or are they looking to retain the look/feel of their fat clients (ie, an XP or Windows 7 desktop).

    If your client is looking for TS then yes, as David said you should build up a spare box and tweak the GPOs to make it work nicely, you will have 120 days grace on the TS Licensing and need to decide whether to license per physical device (Device CAL) or actual users (User CAL) but you will have 120 days to do this and if you opt for User CALs it isn't actually enforced by MS but that isn't an excuse for not purchasing them. If you opt for Device CALS you will see them being issued out on a TS Licensing server which is good to see. (Depends upon the number of users vs machines)

    If on the other hand they are looking for XP/W7 desktops you should look to consider a VDI system such as Oracle VDI or VMWare View (or Citrix Xen) which can be connected to by thin clients and then of course you need to decide on which brand of thin client you are interested in as they vary extensively in cost and functionality and it's one of those decisions you can make as an all-in-one with your backend VDI/TS choice.

    It would be interesting to ascertain what the clients current systems are running and what they hope to achieve from this system change. There is a great deal of pressure on organisations to sweat their assets at the moment to get more out of them whilst the economic climate improves and this too may need to be factored into your thinking, ie. can you reuse old PCs as thin clients with the chosen solution to the point where only when they physically fail (PSU/MB/CPU) they are replaced with thins?

    Has Remote Working been discussed as a requirement?

    I am of course a little biased given this is what I do for a living but if you do wish to have a chat or any impartial advice drop me a line and I'll be more than happy to chat it through with you.

    Cheers,

    Kim

  5. Thanks to kmount from:

    jjohnson13 (9th September 2010)

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    Kim, very excellent discussion and thoughts.

    Our goal is really cost savings, my client saw thin clients work at a similar store as his thinks it's "neat". I have advised to him that we can keep the fat clients running and get more ROI. However I am convinced that he will want to move to thin clients as the fat ones need to be replaced.

    Remote work in only a requirement for management/accounting. And yes they will want to keep the feel of XP/W7.

    Thank you again and this forum will certainly be on my radar now.

    Sincerely, Johnathon

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    No worries Johnathon.

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