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terminal services -memory allocation

Posted on 2004-08-18
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in the real world how much server memory generally is required for a typical terminal services session?
any good links for examples on this?
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Question by:carillian
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by:rhandels
ID: 11828170
Hi,

Normally i would say 128 Mb, because you actually are "recreating" a computer within a session.

Maybe this link helps..
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/evaluation/features/terminal.asp
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by:youre1m
ID: 11828542
128 per user???

We use a TS with 4GB to service 100 concurrent connections over Citrix!! Depends what your doing of course, you need to test to be sure but we don't give any where near 128 per user.
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by:rhandels
ID: 11828570
Hi youre1m,

I don't think that that will speed up very well. We did test with the office suite an two of our core apps and needed at and about 100 Mb per user. So i would say 128 is a safe bet. If you use 40 Mb as you do, than i do believe users will start complaning about speed (and it's better to have 128 at first so they don't start wining around).

Also, you use Citrix which, i do believe, uses a bit less memory and bandwidth...
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by:carillian
ID: 11830418
thanks for input, 128 per user seems a lot also, I saw some microsoft calcs which said 128 + 4/5mb per user which 1) i couldn't belive and 2) don't know where I saw it.

this is not ctirix, so are we good looking at between 64 and 128 per user?

given a particular app, (in this instance a financial package) how I can I measure the amount of memory required?
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by:rhandels
rhandels earned 125 total points
ID: 11831146
Hi Carillian,

>>this is not ctirix, so are we good looking at between 64 and 128 per user?<<

I would say yes, but maybe youre1m has another opinion on the subject.. The best way to test it is to go and sit behind the terminal server, check the processes and memory usage by using either System Monitor or the Task manager. After that, make a connection to this server and see what happens to the memory on your server after opening the programs, then you can see how much memory is being used..

Small note. We had a company look at this and they said that we needed at least 64 Mb per connection without extra programs. Which would result in 128 Mb with extra software programs..
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by:youre1m
ID: 11831327
You have to test, there's no other way. Some apps are memory intensive, others not. The best bet is to follow the above suggestion. Benchmark the server with no users connected, connect 1 user, monitor memeory usage while they use the app. Now connect 5 users, do the same again, connect 10 users, same again. Reason being that you need to also see whether the memory usage goes up at an equal rate for as the user numbers increase.

eg. You may find that 1 user increases memory usage by 20mb, then 5 users 110mb, 10 users 300mb. It's a matter of how much time and resources you have to make the test as realistic as possible. Ideally you would use loadrunner or something similar to perform an action several times over to keep the tests consistent. It also means you don;t have to have 10 people to help you perform a load test.
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by:carillian
ID: 11838442
found the resource!
Have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a2ae95da-be56-4495-9fb5-e4b7170b33d9&DisplayLang=en

and then at the section on "system and user memory requirements"

It seems to say that a "Data Entry Worker" using Microsoft Excel requires around 3.5MB per user!

How can they state this if not true?
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by:rhandels
ID: 11838507
Hi,

Could be that they are right, but normally if Microsoft says that you only need 128 mb (minimum) to let XP work, it wouldn't work either. Normally, if microsoft says something about memory usage, i always multiply it with 2. But indeed i could be wrong about the 64-128 Mb. Maybe your core software uses more memory. Problem with TS is (before going into a to long discussion ;)) is that you need to test it. Maybe 30 or 40 MB is enough for one session, maybe 10 Mb is enough (which i don't think) or maybe you do need 128 Mb.

TS 2003 is much better than TS 2000, maybe they managed to bring memory usage down.

If you start Excel on your own pc, you will see that an empty sheet will take up to 5 Mb of memory (about the amount it uses within the session).
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youre1m earned 125 total points
ID: 11839036
I just checked one of my published application servers out and we run 120 concurrent users on it. The users only access an in house written application which is fairly graphically intensive. We have 4 GB RAM, 2 * Intel Xeon 2Ghz CPU's. Memory usage is currently at 3.2Gb.

That's on a w2K box, and remeber 2000 can only assign 2Gb RAM to any one process (we havn't bothered forcing it to use more) so that's 120 people running an app on 2Gb RAM, assuming 2Gb of the 3.2Gb in use is related to the app itself rather than the OS. Thats 16.6mb each at worst case. Performance is fine.

It does depend on your app, but the 128Mb MS recommend minimum for XP is for running an entire instance of an OS, this does not mean it will double if a RDP connection is established, as the RDP session would only get a subset of the Registry and rely on many of the services already running within the original 128mb memory usage.
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