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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, First Time Windows Multipoint Server 2011 Setup - Server Spec and general advice :-) in Technical; Hi guys, Hope you are well. After April I am starting at a large primary school. The ICT is in ...
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    First Time Windows Multipoint Server 2011 Setup - Server Spec and general advice :-)

    Hi guys,

    Hope you are well.

    After April I am starting at a large primary school. The ICT is in a pretty poor state with Windows XP PCs in the ICT Suite that are 6 years old and a Windows 2003 Domain Controller. It takes literally 5 mins to login per child and lots of software and hardware issues. They use Successmaker too which is something I am not too familiar with to be honest.

    Anyway, I have been given the green light and budget backing to setup everything again from scratch. The Suite is rather small to be holding 30 PCs and gets very hot.

    I went to a demo at another school running Windows Multipoint Server 2011 and I was impressed with speed of the logins and the savings in space, heat and time setting up - no cloning! YAY! :-) The Network Manger was really happy with the setup and recommended it. He uses a SSD drive for speed and 16Gb ram on the i7 server.

    My plans for the suite school are:

    30x LG Network Monitors 22"
    2x i7 Servers
    48 Port or 2 x 24 Port Gigabit switches (for ICT Suite)
    A new Domain Controller - Xeon 2.5Ghz, 8Gb Ram, 250Gb SATA drives etc (they have already bought this)

    I need help deciding on the spec of the i7 Servers and general setup advice. The i7 Servers need to be super high spec and reliable. I am going to build the servers myself so can spec whatever we like.

    How much Ram is advisable? I know that as much as possible is always good but money will come into it. Each i7 server will potentiall be running a full 20 clients. The clients will be used for general office work, flash education games (Education City) and Windows Movie Maker.
    What kind of reliable motherboards would be good?
    I want to get SSD drives, so am thinking of 2 x 128GB. Is RAID 0 worth getting up?
    What spec of I7 Processor is ideal? Do Intel do any specifically for a server environment?

    Do I install Windows 7 on the I7 server and then join the machine on as a member of the domain?

    Any general advice would be helpful too.

    Many thanks
    cm786

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    Netman's Avatar
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    Have you seen this yet? Planning a MultiPoint Server Deployment Should answer most of your q's...

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    Axel's Avatar
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    If you follow the link on the bottom of posting below you will find details of Microsoft's testing Multipoint Server:

    They tested Axel, Atrust and Ncomputing - not all the results are posted yet, but no doubt will be soon...

    Microsoft stress testing Windows Multipoint Server / Zero Clients

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    Thanks for the link to the deployment guide - that was helpful

    Just a bit unsure with what RemoteFX is?
    Hardware Considerations for RemoteFX

    Do I need a specific graphics card on the server?? Nvidia or AMD/ATI or is this something different?

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    There are a couple of issues with RemoteFX


    2) Only works with 7 SP1 as the RDP client (so now you have a machine capable of running 7 as a thin client which is daft).

    Edit: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en...s.aspx?id=6006 so you can do RemoteFX with RDSH!
    Last edited by DMcCoy; 14th March 2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Also can anyone recommend the cheapest place to get license from for Mulitpoint Server?

    Best prices I have got so far are from Ramesys/Capita

    Microsoft® Windows MultiPoint Server Premium 2011 Sngl Microsoft Volume License 1 License - £71.00 each
    Microsoft® Windows MultiPoint Server CAL 2011 Sngl Microsoft Volume License 1 License Device CAL Device CAL - £10.68 x 30 = £320.40
    Or
    Microsoft® Windows MultiPoint Server CAL 2011 Sngl Microsoft Volume License 1 License Device CAL Device CAL wWin Svr CAL - £14.52 x 30 = £435.60
    Windows Server 2008 R2 std Licence - £55.06 each

    Office 2010 std licence - £25.96 each

    Office 2010 pro licence - £33.28 each

    Cheers

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    There are a couple of issues with RemoteFX

    1) only works with the virtual desktops option not when using terminal server (afaik)
    RemoteFX codec is an option that can be enabled on a multipoint server however what impact it will have is difficult to see the Axel M80 WMS client can support remote fx but it's fast enough without it.

    The LG network monitors use embedded n-computing technology? for which I believe you have to have v-space installed on the host as well as wms 2011.

    If you have a look on my blog there is some details on the i7 based machines I built for our ICT lab plextech

    Do I install Windows 7 on the I7 server and then join the machine on as a member of the domain?
    No you install windows multipoint server 2011 on the host and you will need a wms licence for that as well as a CAL for each connection station.

    Ben
    Last edited by plexer; 14th March 2012 at 03:54 PM.

  8. Thanks to plexer from:

    Axel (14th March 2012)

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Additionally the original movie maker and the vista version will not run on wms.

    The newer live version may but it's not well liked.

    Ben

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    Unless there is some compelling reason (financial or otherwise) then simple fat clients are still the way to go in primaries.

    The range of software is just too vast to get it to run easily inside any type of thin client setup - thin clients are great for enviroments that just need to use standard software (office/email etc) and can even work in more complex setups if someone goes to great lengths to get it all working.

    When the teachers/head arrive back from somewhere with a CD in their hand - they won't want to wait a month while you try and get it working on the setup.

    And more and more, primary pupils are using video and animation where they just simply used to draw a picture or write a word/powerpoint/textease document and that's always going to be a problem until we have fibre to the desktop and a cray in server room

    Si

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    I have seen Multipoint Server working very well in the primary that I visited which children running Windows Movie Maker Live and playing Education City flash games.

    The reason for choosing it at the current school is space and power requirements (the ICT suite is just a room at the back of the hall!)

    So for Remote FX do I need a graphics card on the server? All clients are going to be connected via LAN

    Would an i7-2600 CPU be sufficient? Looking to service 20 clients
    Ram from reading the deployment guide can be up to 32Gb so that is clear.

    Thanks

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    Axel's Avatar
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    The key use for RemoteFX is for VDI, connecting to virtual Windows7 machines to provide a full Aero experience

    It is not normally used with Terminal Services/RDS/Multipoint

    The fundamental difference is RemoteFX works on a "whole screen" refresh basis, whereas RDP works on an "object" refresh level.

    As objects are by definition smaller than the whole screen, RDP requires less server/client hardware requirements.

    If you want the full Windows7 experience, with the Aero transparency etc you would want to use RemoteFX and connect to a Windows7 virtual machine, not a server....

    Note : for 20 clients you will have to use full ethernet connected clients - not USB or "USB over Ethernet" clients as these have a limit of 15 on Multipoint

    If you use RDP - you do need a minimal graphics card in the Multipoint server to enter multi-user mode - but this has no bearing on performance.
    I understand the graphics card used has a direct impact on the performance if using RemoteFX, but will let someone else more qualified comment on that....

    Matthew@axel.com
    Last edited by Axel; 20th March 2012 at 04:46 PM.

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    Hi CM786

    Did you build your WMS server, what was the final spec you used and how did it perform using the LG/Ncomputing?

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    I'm currently working on a series of posts on my website about a RDS farm (that uses RemoteFX) - Series: Custom RemoteFX RDS Farm « my world of IT

    Have gotten all the servers setup and will be posting a few more things up over the coming week.

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    Spec'ing Multipoint is generally the same as spec'ing and Virtualisation solution. Divide the available cores and available Ram by the number of machines+1 and see if the result is enough to run the OS+apps with the workload you expect the users to produce.

    An i7 as 8-cores/threads? So 16 users get half a core each? 2Gb ram per user would mean 32Gb+2Gb for the OS? Will half a core and 2Gb be enough to run the required apps? I, personnally, think 20:1 on an i7 would be pushing it. 20:1 on a couple of Xeons would be better.

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    Hi,

    I have originally tried dual-xeon setups, 32GB Ram but the issue i had was Flash, even with only two users connected the CPU's were maxing out, still think i7 is the way to go with WMPS.

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