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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 ...
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    ThinClient advice

    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?

    Much appreciated!

    Ant

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    carvjo's Avatar
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    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..

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    Thanks - will check out the capacity planning doc.

    What does 2x offer over ThinStation? anything in particular?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pantscat View Post
    Thanks - will check out the capacity planning doc.

    What does 2x offer over ThinStation? anything in particular?
    RDP7 - and ease of use..

    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..

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    pantscat (3rd February 2011)

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    @ 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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pantscat View Post
    Is ThinStation the best terminal software? Is there anything else that would be better for 'free'?
    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.

    What sort of spec server would I want to use for 60-ish clients?
    This previous thread might come in handy:

    Hardware requirements for Terminal Server

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    pantscat (3rd February 2011)

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    Thanks David.
    Hadn't thought about web-browsing locally... that's an interesting idea!

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    carvjo's Avatar
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    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!)

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    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!

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    carvjo's Avatar
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    iScsi is fine - that's what we use - the iSCSI traffic all runs on it's own vLan and performance is pretty good..

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    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!

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    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?

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    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...

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    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!

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    Hi Pantscat,

    What applications do your users require? In an ideal world and in the future?

    Kind Regards
    James

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