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Windows Thread, Do you use Remote Desktop Services (TS)? How much is done locally. in Technical; Hi all, Just looked around another school and they are using Remote Desktop Services. This was apparently setup because of ...
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    Do you use Remote Desktop Services (TS)? How much is done locally.

    Hi all,

    Just looked around another school and they are using Remote Desktop Services. This was apparently setup because of the age of the machines and them struggling to even watch videos.

    It would seem on the local machines have on them office and the SMART Board software. All else is done through the RDS.

    Theres a lot of issues in the school and from the meeting i had they are keen to get things put right and seem to be willing to spend out where needed.

    When I do anything I always try and make it as simple as possible for everyone. In my current school we don't use RDS as we have a good rolling computer plan so equipment doesn't get to this state.

    From watching someone use the computer they have to go through logging in locally and then opening up Remote Desktop and connecting to a different server depending on what they want to do, this leaves them with two or more desktops open. This to me seems complicated for new users and I know some staff that I've managed to get using a computer in my current school wouldn't cope with that.

    If you use RDS, how do you use it? How do you keep things simple?

    If you use it only because of dated software, would you scrap it if you could get the cash for new machines?


    I understand the reasons it was put in but wouldn't choose it at the moment.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    We just use SIMS as a remote app so it looks like it's just an app on the machine pretty much.

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    dany2010 (4th March 2014)

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    We use RDS for a number of Axel thin clients in offices, etc, but we also use it with some if our more ancient laptops (Dell Latitdue 120L - a good 8 years old now. Used to take an age to boot in to windows and log in, so we now have a stripped down Ubuntu installed which gives filtered Internet access or an RDS session depending on the need. They boot in 20 seconds and log in in 7. The difference is astronomical and we expect to use this with further laptops as they approach the cliff where a full Windows 7 install becomes pointless.

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    dany2010 (4th March 2014)

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    Do you use Remote Desktop Services (TS)? How much is done locally.

    That sounds like a good plan for older machines Jonah.
    How do staff, especially technophobia staff get on with ubuntu and then understanding and using Remote Desktop?
    Last edited by dany2010; 4th March 2014 at 08:56 PM.

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    There's not much to it. We have two icons on the Ubuntu desktop, Firefox and the RDP client. All the games etc have been removed.

    If they just need Internet access for research, etc, they launch Firefox. Anything else they launch the RDP client.

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    we run RDS for internal thin clients and remote access.



    I see lots of schools get into tinkering with rds using old pcs, I tend to think this is a mistake as you still get all the hassle of old dying machines and users don't tend to see the advantage if the performance is not great - cot as well as using old desktops the it guys whip up some old\used\under spec server to give it a try with.

    We have about 100 thin clients, when I started I inherited a system and I hated it, but the server backend was under powered and the school used clunky old desktops as clients - I didn't see the benefit and people avoided them if they could. It was like putting in desktops "for effect" so the room didn't look empty...

    After we sussed out how it worked we improved the RDS server resources and invested in some proper thin client units - n-computing boxes, we are finishing a replacement of all old desktop thin clients this year with n computing units. we install software for them on to the rds servers, setup round robin connections on the clients, they boot in seconds, connect directly to the logon screen of the server ready for users to logon via a admin "connection" ad account and the servers provide a "near enough" user experience to windows 7. But it is compromise - no its not exactly the same as win 7 desktop - no aero for one, no its not as good as our it suite machines with i3 cpu, 4gb ram and ssd drives, no its no shiny and cool VDI etc, but it gives us 100 desktops for student use in the library and drop in rooms and for desktops for staff with low usage requirements - reception, site management team etc for a lower cost than fat desktop or VDI and it is easy to manage and generally works pretty well.

    We run 2 x hp servers, gen 6 series so not that wizzy, loads of ram, sas disks, quad nics and we run 8\10 vms on each server in hyperv and manually load balance desktops across these servers, if a physical server failed we would need to reboot the thin clients and they will round robin through a list of machines and connect to a available rds server, we use loop back gpo etc, there's no central management as such, we can connect to all thin clients from any of the rds servers with the n computing software installed to do any client config, firmware updates, tweaking etc.

    We can do remote support to the sessions on them if required. To be honest I am pretty happy with it, just a pain we have to migrate to new hardware this year as the warranty is up on the gen 6 servers, still I am looking forward to trying hyper v 2012 on the new boxes and I believe its still a cheaper system than vdi - which still confuses the heck out of me most days to be honest. What we have works, is simple and two of us understand it all in house - so that's all good in my book

    we looked at various VDI options last year and the school thought performance was good enough when compared to the costs of VDI and decided to stick with using the RDS servers for now.

    my 2 cents

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    dany2010 (4th March 2014)

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    Do you use Remote Desktop Services (TS)? How much is done locally.

    Thanks jbailey.

    Sound like your original thoughts is the same as mine at the minute. Where everything is old people just don't like it.

    They have had to redo the system three times apparently because they are using old servers and its just overloaded.

    Looks like you use session Host with the aero tick box checked rather than virtualisation host and having mountains of virtual win 7 machines. is that correct?

    I think it If I got the job there I would get a demo of what a system could actually do. I see dell were doing lots of thin client stuff at Bett.

    It defiantly has its advantages but would be concerned about things like the smart board software, and if it could actually be used for all classrooms especially in IT. I notice you say you havnt moved these over.

    Out of interest and off topic, what do you do with your old servers?
    Last edited by dany2010; 4th March 2014 at 10:44 PM.

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    yes, Remote Desktop Session Host Virtualization or whatever it is called this month :0

    Re old servers, depends really we have used some as backup data\storage machines, sandbox vm hosts for testing, some techs have taken boxes home for test rigs, have used some as emergency "fail over" servers for junior schools we support, but when they are totally past it we pull the drives and recycle them with this company: PRM Green Technologies

    and the really the ones with wheels we keep for corridor racing in the summer of course...

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