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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Flash usage in Technical; We've had our TS server (Server 2003) in for a while now, and we've noticed our server starts to die ...
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    Flash usage

    We've had our TS server (Server 2003) in for a while now, and we've noticed our server starts to die when 4 or 5 users start playing flash videos at the same time. Obviously, this isn't very good. Does anyone have any solutions?

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    AppSense if it can be used in in a TS environment. You can then cap resources.

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    What spec is the server?

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    Some flash sites are epically badly written. It does sound like your server may not have enough CPU cores available. As kmount asks - spec?

    Butuz

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHiLL View Post
    We've had our TS server (Server 2003) in for a while now, and we've noticed our server starts to die when 4 or 5 users start playing flash videos at the same time. Obviously, this isn't very good.
    In what way does your server die - does it run out of RAM, is the processor at 100% the whole time, or is the harddrive activity high? When you say "flash video" do you mean a video as in YouTube video, or just a flash animation? I've had 18 workstations simultaniously running different YouTube vieos all at the same time just fine, although that was with Windows Server 2008 R2 - video performance of remote desktop clients seems rather better under 2008 R2 than previous versions.

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    Sorry, I should have been more specific. We are running;

    HP ProLiant DL360 G7
    2x Intel Xeon E5640 @ 2.67GHz (2x quads)
    RAM appears to be around 50GB. (Using vSphere to check)

    It is running VMWare ESX, with Server 2003 as it's TS.

    When the problem occurs, the CPU maxes at 100%. From the testing we've done, it appears to effect all flash videos.

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    We're Citrix here and often used to get the same issues. Kids playing flash games etc. Anyway we purchased AppSense and capped various things and now the system is running alot smoother.

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    Virtualised TS is a fun experience when it comes to load.

    How many vCPU have you allocated out and how much RAM (check in windows if necessary)?

    You may find it better to create several smaller TS with 1vCPU and spread the load this way as it is heavily documented that virtual TS do not scale anywhere like physical boxes so lots of small are often necessary.

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    This server was initially for outside access to our system for staff and students. So we have 1 outside facing connector. We have about 30x laptops connected to this terminal server from within the school (connect internally). Licensing is a problem we might face, as we only have the license for 1 instance I think.

    Currently, the server is split into 4;

    ESX (Physical)
    TS (Virtual)
    VCTR (Virtual)
    VIEW (Virtual)
    WinXP-VM (Virtual)

    The last isn't being used at the moment.

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    Yeah, but how many vCPUs and ram is allocated to the TS VM?

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    2 vCPU and about 12GB of RAM.

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    Ok, how many vCPU are allocated on the other VMs that are working?

    We need to work out whether this is hitting a scheduler problem or simply out of resources.

    2 cores (or in this case vCPU) isn't an awful lot when you consider 30 kids on there we'd normally spec twice that for that number on a 32bit OS.

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    Yeh I run my terminal servers virtualised on ESXi and allocate 4 3.06ghz vCPUs to each. Can hit 100% on occasion so I wouldnt fancy running 30 clients on 2 x vCPU.

    In the process of setting up new TS VM's to try and optimise things a bit and also splitting it up more so that there are only 16-17 clients per TS rather than the @32-36 as it is currently. Should give more scope for running flash animations with whole classes because at the moment this can max out the server.

    Butuz

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    Even 4 kids using flash killed it, so I don't think the amount isn't it's downfall.

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    Troubleshoot it like you would any other box.

    Look at the resource utilisation and see whether it is the iexplore process for 1 user or whether it's shared out.
    Pay close attention to processes that occupy figures such as 25% on a quad core box etc as they could be looping.
    Has this always been the case or just recently, what's changed if just recently.
    What else is happening on the virtual environment, could it be busy and you're seeing a by-effect?

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