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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Terminal Server Spec Advice in Technical; I'm proposing for next year that we invest in a terminal server in a couple of the smaller IT Rooms ...
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    Cache's Avatar
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    Terminal Server Spec Advice

    I'm proposing for next year that we invest in a terminal server in a couple of the smaller IT Rooms and at the random machines dotted arround at the back of classrooms. The main use for these is Microsoft Office and web browsing/research.

    As I'm fairly clueless about the requirements of Terminal Server I just want to check that roughly what I've been quoted for matches up with the expectations I'm putting upon it based off what I've read hear.

    The requirement given was for a server which would be able to cope with approx 30 simultaneous users, mainly using Microsoft Office and web browsing/research, but the server must have room for expansion in the future if needed.

    (I realise that there's 8x2GB of RAM in there which should probably be swapped for 2x8GB)

    Dell PowerEdge T710 Tower Chassis for Up to 8x 3.5" HDDs (6Gbps) and Intel 5500/5600 Series Processors
    Primary Processor Intel Xeon E5506, 4C, 2.13GHz, 4M Cache, 4.80GT/s, 80W TDP, DDR3-800MHz
    Additional Processor Intel Xeon E5506, 4C, 2.13GHz, 4M Cache, 4.80GT/s, 80W TDP, DDR3-800MHz
    Memory 16GB Memory for 2 CPUs, DDR3, 1333MHz (8x2GB Single Ranked UDIMMs)
    Primary Hard Drive (2) 250GB, SATA, 3.5-in, 7.2K RPM Hard Drive (Hot Plug)
    Additional Hard Drive (3) 250GB, SATA, 3.5-in, 7.2K RPM
    Keyboard UK/Irish (QWERTY) Dell Standard Quietkey USB Keyboard Black
    Monitor Display Not Included
    Mouse Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse
    Optical Devices 16X DVD+/-RW Drive SATA with SATA cable
    Base warranty 3Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day - Minimum Warranty
    Powercord UK/Irish - 220V Spare Power Cord
    Primary RAID Controller Card PERC H700 Integrated RAID Controller, 512MB
    RAID Connectivity C9 - RAID 1/RAID 5 for PERC H700, 2 Primary + 3-6x 3.5" or 3-14x 2.5" Additional HDDs 3
    Power Supply Power Supply, Non-Redundant (1 PSU), 1100W
    Embedded LOM Options Embedded Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet LOM with 4P TOE
    Server Management Cards iDRAC6 Express Server Management Card

    Does that sort of spec look like it'd be upto the job or do I need to be looking at focusing on something more (or is it even OTT in some areas)?

    It was also quoted with a Server 2008 licence. Should I be heading down the R2 route for running it?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Cache; 12th February 2011 at 12:16 AM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    You will need to buy TS CALS as well.

    With terminal servers RAM is the big thing. You have plenty there. I would always have more than one box as you dont want to put all your eggs in one basket.

    I would also drop the additional hard drives. When i set terminal servers up i just have one drive and thats C: and set it up like a big workstation. At the end of the day it will only hold a few applications.

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    Cache (12th February 2011)

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    Thanks FN-GM!

    Realised about the CAL's, they were the easy bit

    With regards to number of servers, would I be better off heading down the direction of two single core servers with 8GB of RAM in each rather then the dual processor beasty do you think, or am I going to need to spec two single boxes slightly higher?

    Cheers!

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Do we assume that all of your users and their data reside on another file server?

    If so all you need is as many cores and as much RAM as you can afford ideally a couple of 146Gb SAS drives mirrored, dual or quad nics teamed.
    A 1u chassis is all you need why such a big box for such a lightweight requirement??
    1100w power supplies? What else are you using it for? Arc Welding

    Defo 2008 R2 as the RDP services simply rock on this platform.

    I have my own R2 TS running on Hyper-v with a couple of cores and 6gb allocated and is just brill - I use the ipad everywhere now..

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    Cache (12th February 2011)

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    If you have 2 boxes and have single processors (4 cores) in each box with say 16GB RAM I think that should about cover what you want. Load Balanced so they go between the two.

    I would also do as above, get the SAS Drives!

    Should be smooth running.

    James.

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    Cache (12th February 2011)

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    Cache's Avatar
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    Yup, user files are hosted on another server.

    Server needs to be a tower server at present as it needs to go under the table with the rest of them (until they finally get arround to organising a server room).

    Never looked at the power supplies in all honesty, that's just what the quote came through with.

    You have mentioned the other thing I was considering, would this box (altered so it had 2 mirrored SAS drives) do as running Hyper-V and then providing 2 Virtual Terminal Servers, or would that then require another bump up in spec?

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    Cache's Avatar
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    That's Monday's first job then - requote for 2 single servers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache View Post
    I'm proposing for next year that we invest in a terminal server in a couple of the smaller IT Rooms and at the random machines dotted arround at the back of classrooms. The main use for these is Microsoft Office and web browsing/research.
    There's this thread from a year ago:

    Hardware requirements for Terminal Server

    Most of the main points are probably still valid. For TS (or "Remote Desktop Services" or whatever they're called these days) you want lots of RAM and lots of processor cores. For Dell servers, I think it worked out the most cost-effective way to purchase was dual-processor, quad-core 510s with 24GB of RAM, after that RAM prices started to get excessive and it was cheaper to simply buy a second server if you needed more capacity. If you need to fit this under a desk but still want to buy rack-mount equipment then it's worth pointing out that Ikea's £7.50 coffee tables fit rack mount kit quite nicly:

    LackRack: Ikea server racks for living room datacenters

    If you're planning to do web browsing, then you might do as well to use Linux on the client to do the web browsing and connect to the TS server with RDesktop just for Office, which would cut down on the load on your TS servers.

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    Cache (13th February 2011)

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    We only have 8Gb ram in our Citrix/TS boxes and they run fine with some 100+ users on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewL View Post
    We only have 8Gb ram in our Citrix/TS boxes and they run fine with some 100+ users on them.
    How many of those servers do you have though, 100 users all on one 8gb box at the same time would leave each user session about 60-70mb assuming an old OS. Thats about one copy of word after the session overhead and even that would be epic slow unless you had at least 12 real cores avalible.

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    Ditch the SATA drives and get SSD's

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    Cache (13th February 2011)

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    We have 4 or 5 servers, only 3 of them are in full use, 2 of them have our most used application on them. All works fine unless the application crashes as it is so poorly written!

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    Right, I've just quickly priced up on my Premier Account a similar server, but the price works out just over half the one initially priced up, so in theory I could possibly get 2 of them which would then account for redundancy, load balancing and expansion.

    Heading down the right lines?

    HARDWARE AND SERVICE OPTIONS
    Base
    T410 Tower Chassis for Up to 6x3.5" Hot Plug HDDs and Intel 55xx/56xx Processors, LCD Diagnostics edit
    Processor
    Intel Xeon E5506, 4C, 2.13GHz, 4M Cache, 4.80GT/s, 80W TDP, DDR3-800MHz edit
    Additional Processor
    Intel Xeon E5506, 4C, 2.13GHz, 4M Cache, 4.80GT/s, 80W TDP, DDR3-800MHz edit
    Memory
    16GB Memory for 2 CPUs, DDR3, 1333MHz (8x2GB Single Ranked UDIMMs) edit
    Support Services
    3Yr ProSupport and Next Business Day On-Site Service edit
    Factory Installed Operating System
    No Operating System edit
    Virtualization Options
    Not included edit
    Hard Drive Partitioning
    Not included edit
    RAID Connectivity
    C8 Hot-Swap - RAID 0 for PERC H200, 2-6 SAS/SATA/SSD Hot Plug HDDs edit
    Primary RAID Controller Card
    PERC H200A RAID Controller, for Hot Plug HDD Chassis edit
    Primary Hard Drive
    146GB, SAS 3Gbps, 3.5-in, 15K RPM Hard Drive (Hot Plug) edit
    Power Supply
    Redundant Power Supply (2 PSU) 580W edit
    Powercord
    2x UK/Irish - 220V Power Cord edit
    ADDITIONAL HARDWARE OPTIONS
    Server Management Cards
    iDRAC6 Embedded BMC edit
    Network Cards
    Broadcom® NetXtreme II 5709 Dual Port 1GbE NIC with TOE, PCIe-4 edit
    Fiber Channel HBA's
    Not included edit
    Cables
    Not included edit
    Additional RAID or SCSI Controller Card
    Not included edit
    Optical Devices
    16X DVD-ROM Drive SATA with SATA Cable edit
    Accessories
    Not included edit
    Mouse
    Not included edit
    Keyboard
    Not included edit
    Monitor
    Display Not Included edit
    Uninterruptible Power Supplies
    Not included edit
    USB Memory Keys
    Not included edit
    OPERATING SYSTEM AND ADDITIONAL LICENSE OPTIONS
    Additional Software
    Dell Management Console DVD edit
    Microsoft SQL Server
    Not included edit
    Additional Licenses
    Not included edit
    BACKUP SOLUTIONS AND SOFTWARE OPTIONS
    Internal Backup Units
    Not included edit
    Backup Media
    Not included edit
    Backup Software
    Not included edit
    Anti Theft Device & Asset Tagging
    Not included edit
    EXTENDED SERVICES AND INSTALLATION OPTIONS
    Installation Services
    You have chosen not to take the Dell PowerEdge installation service edit
    Remote Advisory Services
    Not included edit
    Certified Data Destruction Service(Tied Module)
    Not included edit
    Data Protection - Keep Your Hard Drive
    Not included edit
    Warranty Upgrades - Non-Std/Local POS
    Not included edit
    Service – Reporting & Remote Management
    Dell Proactive Systems Management - visit Proactive Systems Management | Dell to configure your service edit

    Did look at SSD drives, but at approx £1000 each for 100GB seemed a little OTT on price to me. :/
    Last edited by Cache; 13th February 2011 at 02:43 PM.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache View Post
    Heading down the right lines?
    Yep, looks about right.

    Did look at SSD drives, but at approx £1000 each for 100GB seemed a little OTT on price to me. :/
    Dell charge a silly amount for their harddrives (and, at one point, were going to fix their RAID controller's firmware so you could only use Dell harddrives with their RAID controllers, but they gave up on that idea) - you could always get an SSD from Crucial or somewhere instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache View Post

    Did look at SSD drives, but at approx £1000 each for 100GB seemed a little OTT on price to me. :/
    a 60GB drive is under £100 @275MB/s
    just use it for the OS. The apps could reside on anther disk (our TS's are less than 30GB all loaded with apps anyway)

  23. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

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