Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, ThinClient advice in Technical; I'm thinking about dabbling in the world of ThinClients but have a few questions.
I've got about 60 PCs in ...
3rd February 2011, 10:48 AM #1
I'm thinking about dabbling in the world of ThinClients but have a few questions.
I've got about 60 PCs in one particular room (a rather ridiculously huge room) and the performance is suffering (they're low powered AMD Athlons with 512MB ram) - I'm not sure I'm going to get the funds to replace them in the near future and the performance of the machines starting to affect the quality of teaching there.
So... I though I'd have a look at ThinStation with Windows 2008R2 RDS - mainly because it's technology that I'd feel fairly comfy with.
Can anyone offer any advice? These are my main questions:
1. Is ThinStation the best terminal software? Is there anything else that would be better for 'free'?
2. How do you setup a 'base-image' using Remote Desktop Services? Is there a nice guide anywhere?
3. What sort of spec server would I want to use for 60-ish clients? (I do have an old Dell PE2500, dual Xeons 12GB RAM, not much disk space though - maybe 120GB in RAID 5).
4. Is there anything else I need to know before I delve into the world TS?
IDG Tech News
3rd February 2011, 11:09 AM #2
Download details: Remote Desktop Session Host Capacity Planning in Windows Server 2008 R2
This document is useful when capacity planning..
2X do nice client builds - and it is all centrally managed - the converted PC pulls the image by PXE at boot time..
3rd February 2011, 11:11 AM #3
Thanks - will check out the capacity planning doc.
What does 2x offer over ThinStation? anything in particular?
3rd February 2011, 11:20 AM #4
RDP7 - and ease of use..
Originally Posted by pantscat
We have a farm of 4 x RDServers (Terminal Servers in old money) - all running as VM's - 2X does the load balancing and clever stuff like assigning machine images to hardware types..
There are other options though - whatever you are comfortable with and can afford..
Thanks to carvjo from:
pantscat (3rd February 2011)
3rd February 2011, 11:22 AM #5
@ carvjo - Thanks for that - it's all food for thought.
How do you do your storage for the VMs? is it locally attached or do you have a SAN?
3rd February 2011, 11:28 AM #6
I had issues getting ThinStation to boot via PXE, we wound up using first Slax and then SystemRescueCD instead - Slax actually comes with its own PXE server, so you can get started right away, and SystemRescueCD seems to be kept very up-to-date with drivers for assorted network cards. All you really need is something to run RDesktop, although something that can also run an up-to-date local web browser (and plugins) might be a good idea so you can have web browsing happen locally and take some load off your TS servers.
Originally Posted by pantscat
This previous thread might come in handy:
What sort of spec server would I want to use for 60-ish clients?
Hardware requirements for Terminal Server
Thanks to dhicks from:
pantscat (3rd February 2011)
3rd February 2011, 11:34 AM #7
Hadn't thought about web-browsing locally... that's an interesting idea!
3rd February 2011, 11:35 AM #8
We have a Blade Centre with a number of Blade Servers for the processing and a SAN for the storage.. We've got IBM kit because it met our needs/price and there is room to grow - we use VMWare VSphere..
I can't say I know the nuts and bolts of it all - I try to keep my hand in, but spend far too much time pushing paper and smoothing troubled waters (I would be in trouble if our NM ever decided to leave!)
3rd February 2011, 11:38 AM #9
Just curious as I have a vSphere setup here too, but only an iscsi SAN so would be a little bit concerned about over saturating the link.
I think I'll have a play around with the old Dell as a guinea-pig and see how I get on!
3rd February 2011, 11:51 AM #10
iScsi is fine - that's what we use - the iSCSI traffic all runs on it's own vLan and performance is pretty good..
3rd February 2011, 11:53 AM #11
Ah - that's interesting. We have our own dedicated redundant network for the iscsi traffic - so it won't even impact on the 'normal' LAN.
In that case... I'll just fire up a new VM and have a play!
4th February 2011, 10:21 AM #12
Can anyone explain how you customise the RD environment for the logged on user?
Basically the user just gets an RDP session to the 2008 server, is that right?
Do I then just lock it down by applying Group Policy objects to the server? or is there a 'better/proper' way to do it?
4th February 2011, 10:53 AM #13
You can do that - most people probably do...
Or if the Client supports it you can use RemoteApp...
RemoteApp on thin clients
...or when your Axel terminal arrives on Monday you can use a free utility from our website call AxMenu - where you essentially "publish" selected applications
on a per user or per group basis. The users can access these applications only and have no access to a desktop or any other part of the server...
4th February 2011, 10:58 AM #14
Hmm... interesting - hadn't thought of using Remote App - was just playing around with it this morning and thinking that it worked surprisingly well.
Will wait for the terminal to arrive!
7th February 2011, 08:23 PM #15
- Rep Power
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