Terminal Server Solution

Posted on 2006-04-03
Last Modified: 2008-02-01

Can anyone give me a list of Terminal Server solutions, their protocol and benefits/short comings

Citrix - ICA   Expensive, fast, secure
Microsoft - RCP   Secure? slow - not as expensive as Citrix
Thinstuff (X11 to RDP translation)    most cost effevtive - accessable by RDP clients and rdesktop

Question by:jculkincys
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    although there is a much more complicated answer to what Citrix is, first and foremost it is built on top of Windows Terminal Services, it adds complementary features in specific areas of concern that Microsoft terminal srver does not address alone- examples:
    Printing (big time) lots of fun and admin work to get complicated multilocation priting to work in TS, much easier in Citrix.
    Farming- Citrix is designed to spread your need for server resrources across many servers.
    WEB- Citrix has improved upon securely establishing a session, installing thier client and connecting with password from the web into your Citrix farm.  One thing this means is that Citrix GREATLY improves rolling out applications to large groups who are essentially members of the general public (over the web), loosely trusted by you and your enterprise.

    RDP / TS alone is fairly secure altough I only do VPNs anyway.  Harder to secure to the general public.

    Citrix and RDP are fastest, but consume substantial licensing and hardware resources.

    thinstuff and other RDP based technologies are categorized similarly as above, it is all based on what you want to do.  
    Do you want full on desktop unification, in other words PC's no longer do anything except attach users to the controlled RDP/ICA session, where admins dictate everything they do with ease.  It all comes down to what applications you wish to run, the server resources you anticipate using, how many users.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Do you know how much RDP has improved between version 4 and the latest version?

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    In my opinion minimally.  RDP built into 2003 server can handle 10% more users for same hardware, so it is a little more efficient, memory handling is improved, but these are not really saying that the RDP is better, the server level and how it can handle multiple desktops has not so much to do with the RDP protocol.

    Security is EH
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Talk to me a little more about what whats security "EH"
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    I'm just not fond of it.  The thing is that the MS encryption technologies are kind of basic, using labels like low medium and high instead of incorporating third party encryption technologies for more powerful options.  Passwords can be sniffed and unhashed with easy to find tools.  I prefer to build eveything within hardware or software VPN's, if it is for the realworld

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