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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Load Balancing Terminal Services 2003 - Best Method ? in Technical; What is the best method to spread the load of Multiple users ? We currently use terminal services as a ...
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    Load Balancing Terminal Services 2003 - Best Method ?

    What is the best method to spread the load of Multiple users ?

    We currently use terminal services as a Remote Desktop type access for kids , normally at the weekend we can expect up to around 50 kids using it at any given time . Because of the high usage we ideally wanted to spread the load between Our current VM and a physical server which is a dual Xeon with 16gb ram .

    Has any one done this at there school ? Did you use the "Terminal Services Session Directory"

    Many thanks
    2097

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    For 2003 servers, use Windows NLB - How to Configure Windows Network Load Balancing for pure Terminal Server environments - Brian Madden - BrianMadden.com

    I'd suggest its time to look at moving on to Windows Server 2008 R2 though - like replacing XP with 7 etc...

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    We use basic DNS round-robin for our 2003 terminal servers, it's basic but it works. I had a look at using Session Directory but we couldn't as one of our terminal servers is running 2003 Standard. I'm guessing you are using Enterprise as you've got 16GB of RAM in the server?

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    I use Terminal Services Session Directory which requires the TS servers to be enterprise servers. I switched from Ericom load balancer as I couldn't get Ericom to reconnect users to their original server if they had become disconnected.

    I really like Ericom stuff but am using the MS stuff for load balancing. If the LB doesn't know which server the user was connected to and you get a power cut you end up with some users connecting to the correct servers but some getting a new session on another server, the servers get extra heavy load and the users get told their document are already open by themselves.

    When the Ericom stuff does better than the MS is it takes into account the proc and RAM use of the servers where as MS just looks at number of user sessions which is OK if your users are all doing the same kind of stuff,

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    Thanks for all the advice !
    Yes we are using Enterprise Edition of 2003 , the current VM has only 12gb of ram and really does slow down at the weekend when it gets hit hard !
    The new server was originally bought for myself ! but at 200 and all it needs is a couple of SSD's and will make a great terminal server .

    with regards to Upgrading to Server 2008 , We are actually server 2008 but all our clients are XP atm untill we buy the last lot of new machines next year . Dont want to be dealing with multiple profile types so will leave on 2003 for the time being .

    Many thanks
    2097

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    We use basic DNS round-robin for our 2003 terminal servers, it's basic but it works. I had a look at using Session Directory but we couldn't as one of our terminal servers is running 2003 Standard. I'm guessing you are using Enterprise as you've got 16GB of RAM in the server?
    Quick question , We only use our Remote desktops externally . Would this mean we need a few public/internet ip address's to use round robin ?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2097 View Post
    Quick question , We only use our Remote desktops externally . Would this mean we need a few public/internet ip address's to use round robin ?
    How are you presenting the terminal servers to the internet? Just routing direct to the port? If so, yes, that would work, but I'd advise against it. You should really have a gateway server which acts in between the internet and the terminal server farm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    How are you presenting the terminal servers to the internet? Just routing direct to the port? If so, yes, that would work, but I'd advise against it. You should really have a gateway server which acts in between the internet and the terminal server farm.
    Indeed our ipcop firewall does port forwarding to the internal IP/PORT of the current terminal server. But from what ive read i assume roundrobin will require a different IP address for each server ?

    Can you explain a little bit more in detail of how your gateway server works

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    There is a specific tool called "Terminal Services Gateway Server" which is what you'd point your ipcop rule at. It then handles the negotiation as to who connects to which server.

    Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway) - for Server 2003

    In newer servers it is Remote Desktop Services Gateway. In which case, you'd also use Remote Desktop Services Session Broker to load balance between the farm too.

    We use the Web Gateway tool too, so people simply go to a website where we publish a couple of apps via RemoteApp, and a desktop which they can load too.

    All done via HTTPS rather than opening up RDP ports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    There is a specific tool called "Terminal Services Gateway Server" which is what you'd point your ipcop rule at. It then handles the negotiation as to who connects to which server.

    Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway) - for Server 2003

    In newer servers it is Remote Desktop Services Gateway. In which case, you'd also use Remote Desktop Services Session Broker to load balance between the farm too.

    We use the Web Gateway tool too, so people simply go to a website where we publish a couple of apps via RemoteApp, and a desktop which they can load too.

    All done via HTTPS rather than opening up RDP ports.
    Right makes a lot more sense now.

    can the Gateway role and Session Broker be installed onto the one single front facing server ? then have two Terminal servers as part of the farm .

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2097 View Post
    Right makes a lot more sense now.

    can the Gateway role and Session Broker be installed onto the one single front facing server ? then have two Terminal servers as part of the farm .
    Yup. That's how we have it - we have a machine that has Gateway, Web Gateway and Session Broker on. You then tell the terminal servers to use the Session Broker and tell the gateway to use the farm name (the farm is given a DNS name, each machine has a DNS record with the same name but its own IP address).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2097 View Post
    Quick question , We only use our Remote desktops externally . Would this mean we need a few public/internet ip address's to use round robin ?
    We access ours externally via remote.school.sch.uk, there's an A record on the domain name to point that to an external IP. Our Smoothwall box forwards requests to that external IP to one of the two terminal servers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    We access ours externally via remote.school.sch.uk, there's an A record on the domain name to point that to an external IP. Our Smoothwall box forwards requests to that external IP to one of the two terminal servers.
    We are using Ipcop for internal routing , i didnt actually realise it could do Round robin DNS . But apparently it can Thank you ( solves all the issues ) ( and sort of does make sense considering its Linux and uses Iptables "Face-Palm" )

    But ! localzuk has thrown a spanner in the works and has introduced the TS gateway and web interface which would be really beneficial ! so i will be testing that out also !
    Last edited by 2097; 16th May 2013 at 08:24 AM.

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