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Terminal Server vs Citrix

We support a network that has about 100 pcs connected locally to an NT 4.0 and Novell 5.1 server.  They also have 8 remote offices running through Cisco routers (1600s) over a frame-relay circuit.  They have a SQL application running on the NT server.  Performance (or lack of) is an issue which is being addressed.  IT IS SLOW now.  Their NT server is a dual 400Mhz PIII server with 256MB RAM and mirrored 9GB SCSI hard drives.  We have been looking for a thin client solution that will increase performance on the systems.  Any recommendations on OS and software?  What about RAM and RAID?  

We have a quote for a W2K terminal server, W2000 Terminal Services CALs, and Citrix Metaframe XPs for the remote sites.  Is Citrix necessary or does Microsoft offer thin client software and if so, which is the better approach?

Thanks!
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frankjcpu
Asked:
frankjcpu
1 Solution
 
geoffrynCommented:
Citrix has many more options and features and can be used across many OS platforms.  TS is more limited and only works with Microsoft clients.  Citrix allows you to load balance and publish applications to specific groups of users.  If you are only deploying a single application and have a simple, well defined printing environment, TS will work fine, but if you need flexibility, Citrix is the only way to go.
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frankjcpuAuthor Commented:
We have just one SQL database app that is used company wide and one DOS app that is used only in the home office (no remote access).  Our users are classed into 3 groups: admin, accounting and data entry.  We need to be able to print locally.  We do not need to print from the home office to remote locations or from the remote to home office.  We wish to keep the operation as simple as possible.  
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Droby10Commented:
the biggest advantage aside from customization and security, is that citrix uses about 30% of the bandwidth with ica over terminal's rdp.
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nevermoreCommented:
Go Citrix Metaframe XP all the way, but beef up the RAM on your server. Thin Client printing is hell, but Citrix does make it a bit easier.  It's absolutely dreadful with only TS.  TS uses the Microsoft RDP protocol, which is OK.  Citrix allows RDP but also offers they're own ICA protocol, which is much more efficient.  Among the features that Metaframe XP offers are Seamless Windows, Centralized farm management, load balancing, NFuse (web based application availability), Printer Management, Application Packaging and better Shadowing support.

I'd say do some reading on www.citrix.com or even talk one of their sales-geeks into stopping by for a presentation.
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CSC_NT_SupportCommented:
We run both here.
We currently run a Compaq Proliant 1600R - PII 400 512mb ram. It runs NT 4.0 Terminal Server with Citrix Metaframe. The customer dials in via citrix and checks their mail. That is all they use it for here.
The server needs to be returned on a server lease change out. So we built Windows 2000 Server running terminal services on the same configuration. I like the win2k setup better. You can even do a web page and connect via a web browser within work or from home. Also the customer said licensing is alot cheaper going with the win2k setup.
I see benefits to both products but our customer is going with the Win2k Terminal Services.

Something else to remember is that if you have a windows 2000 server running, terminal services doesnt take up much more on resources due to all you are adding is a service. Also if you have multiple 2000 boxes running then you can run in remote administration mode and remotely admin those boxes...kinda like pcanywhere but alot faster.
Just my 2cents worth
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FenmanCommented:
MS TS is the result of a technology exchange agreement with Citrix and Sequent.

Before selecting either you need to do an application service model for the organisation. Thin client is not suitable in all cases.

Whether you stay with your current infrastructure of go with thin client you will need to beef up your server. The best ways to beef it up will be influenced by which path you go down. So do that application service model asap.

Cheers

PS I have installed Citrix, TS and regular fat client. The size org you are talking about should not present a significant issues for any of these solutions.

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SunBowCommented:
Do not run cpu's at 900-1000 MHz until further response from Microsoft. Claim is that O/S dies when you get 10-15 users. Go figure. Last I read on it M$ claimed it to be like;y hardware driver, but it was left as unresolved.
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FenmanCommented:
I am running W2K Server on a dual 933MHz Xeon III with 3-400 users. No probs - have you got more info on the M$ claim? Is it TS (which I am not running)?
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geoffrynCommented:
It has not been lab verified.  As far as I know, only one site has reported the problem.  Microsoft is denying that is is an OS or TS problem.  They claim the issue must be in hardware.
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FenmanCommented:
I would tend to agree. H/W would be my first suspect as well. Especially as only 1 site reported it.
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