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  • how to choose the right server for terminal services?

    Hi

    I'm planning to buy a new server for terminal services.Today we have 20 users conected at the same time.I use a regular "strong pc" and not a dedicated server
    for that.I'm using a 4 mb line(atm-symetric) for the clients.
    My question is which considerations i have to make when buying a new server?The number of clients will constantly grow in the next 3 years.
    What about ram size?
    Thank you all
    Natan

  • #2
    Re: how to choose the right server for terminal services?

    Scalability in Terminal Services has heavily dependent on the workload, aka the applications being run in each user's session.

    Windows Server 2003 32 bit version will easily handled 60+ concurrent user sessions. in some instances, over 100. Again, it depends on the users, applications, and footprints. 64 bit Windows will scale quite a bit more due to the fact that there is no finite 4GB addressable memory limit.

    You will find out that as you continue to scale up (increasing server horse power), at some point you will reach a threshold when you need to decide to scale out (increasing the number of servers). Redundancy, reliability, and continuous availability will be factors.

    I can't answer your question on RAM without specific baselines and benchmarks for your environment. If you want to play it safe, go with a single box, minimum 2 CPU cores, 4GB of RAM. Once you max that box out on users, it's time to get an additional box, not upgrade the current box.
    VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
    boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
    My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

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    • #3
      Re: how to choose the right server for terminal services?

      I agree with jasonboche: it depends a lot on what your users are doing during their work. My servers (I have 4 of them, dual CPU 3.2 GHz, single core, with 2GB RAM), can take between 35 and 40 users before they'll start running slow.
      The best thing is that you already are running a TS environment. Given the fact that you are using a plain PC, with 20 concurrent users, I can assume (and I am careful in that) that your users aren't running anything heavy. But you should check this for yourself.
      I would use Sysinternal's ProcessExplorer. Take a look at the attached screenshot. It is taken on one of my TS servers, and sorted by username (if the column doesn't exist in the GUI, add it through View -> Select Columns ). This way I see what amount of memory each of the users takes. You can multiply then by the number of users you think your server will support and see how much memory you'll need for the users. You should then add an error margin and further expansion needs and the memory for the server itself. You'll then get the (be aware: very theoretical !!) amount of memory you'll need on the server.
      Regarding the CPU load, it's a little bit more complicated. I think that 2 dual core CPUs will give you enough horse power (again, given your current configuration).
      I would start though with two servers, with lower configuration, and let myself space for scale-up (upgrade of the current machines). It is, usually, more simple to scale-up than to scale-out. I learned, both from mine and others' experience, that in these kind of projects, bosses tend to give you the original budget, but then don't want to hear from you again. This way, will be more complicated to come and tell your boss: "Hey, I need another $5000 machine, because the existing is not enough", and easier to "squeeze" few hundred dollars to add 2GB RAM.

      This is my opinion, anyway, and my way of doing things. Hope it will help you a bit. Good luck and keep the forum posted.

      Sorin Solomon


      In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
      -

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: how to choose the right server for terminal services?

        Originally posted by sorinso View Post
        I agree with jasonboche: it depends a lot on what your users are doing during their work. My servers (I have 4 of them, dual CPU 3.2 GHz, single core, with 2GB RAM), can take between 35 and 40 users before they'll start running slow.
        The best thing is that you already are running a TS environment. Given the fact that you are using a plain PC, with 20 concurrent users, I can assume (and I am careful in that) that your users aren't running anything heavy. But you should check this for yourself.
        I would use Sysinternal's ProcessExplorer. Take a look at the attached screenshot. It is taken on one of my TS servers, and sorted by username (if the column doesn't exist in the GUI, add it through View -> Select Columns ). This way I see what amount of memory each of the users takes. You can multiply then by the number of users you think your server will support and see how much memory you'll need for the users. You should then add an error margin and further expansion needs and the memory for the server itself. You'll then get the (be aware: very theoretical !!) amount of memory you'll need on the server.
        Regarding the CPU load, it's a little bit more complicated. I think that 2 dual core CPUs will give you enough horse power (again, given your current configuration).
        I would start though with two servers, with lower configuration, and let myself space for scale-up (upgrade of the current machines). It is, usually, more simple to scale-up than to scale-out. I learned, both from mine and others' experience, that in these kind of projects, bosses tend to give you the original budget, but then don't want to hear from you again. This way, will be more complicated to come and tell your boss: "Hey, I need another $5000 machine, because the existing is not enough", and easier to "squeeze" few hundred dollars to add 2GB RAM.

        This is my opinion, anyway, and my way of doing things. Hope it will help you a bit. Good luck and keep the forum posted.

        Thank you both.I really appreciate your answers.Natan

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