Thin Client Server

Hey guys back with another question.  Thin client implementation this time.  The school district that I work for is preparing to go to a thin client environment in the computer lab to lower administrative overhead.  We are going to use all of the old machines as thins and the servers will be running 2003.  The apps that are going to be shared are the office 2003 suite, some smartboard software, the macromedia suite (if possible), Digital image suite/Photoshop.  the macromedia suite and digital imaging programs my have to remain fat because of the intensiveness of the software. What is your opinions on distributing these apps over thin client and what kind of specs should we be looking for in our servers (we will probabily build them ourselves).  Of course will all school districts are funding is limited so we are working under a budget - probably looking at $1000-$1500 per server.  Any other thin client input would be greatly appreciated as well.  Thanks a million guys.

Kenny
NetAdmin/Tech
plainsschoolsAsked:
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JacquesKrugerCommented:
Hi,

I can tell you this, as far as hardware goes: The P4 Core Duo CPU works wonders on terminal server. Just did an implementation. Risking getting flamed, a good desktop motherboard with ample RAM runs as good as any dual XEON I've seen. Make sure you use SATA drives and you can build fantastic performance at the fraction of the price of "server" servers.

Caveat - no full blown redundancy or high end server management tools available, and if you use intel desktop boards some won't have drivers for server 2003, so you'll have to use what Microsoft gives you.

Otherwise it's great, it flies with multiple processes and gives you a very good end-user experience.

As far as Citrix goes, ask them about educational licencing. They have some newer products out that include the terminal server CAL into the citrix CAL.

Good Luck
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plainsschoolsAuthor Commented:
The smartboard software we are using is Synchroneyes, if anyone has any experience with that. Thanks again.
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masnrockCommented:
Good call in terms of what you're leaving on the client side.  Citrix might be the right products for you, but I'm not sure if it's exactly going to fit into your budget.

http://www.citrix.com
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plainsschoolsAuthor Commented:
We looked into citrix and liked what the had to offer but it was just far to expensive for our budget, in an unlimited resources environment thats probably what we would do.  
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plainsschoolsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Kruger,

Do you have any suggestions on RAM count?
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mandude0Commented:
Considering the apps you plan to run, I would say your RAM count should be high. I would look at 4 gigs of RAM on the server side. More if you can swing it. Photoshop itself can eat that up in a hurry; Running multiple instances from terminals will make it even worse. I run Televideo thin clients on my network and once everyone got on and started opening multiple MS-Office apps, RAM went away quick.
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masnrockCommented:
How many computers are going to be involved in your implementation? I've seen universities and private educational institutions use Citrix without any majors problems. And as you were looking into, with older machines.

Jacques - shoot, i forgot to flame you. :-)
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cvvoodCommented:
I guess i am asking a question that may have been answered already...

What administrative overhead are you removing when:

still have a local OS admin and overhead, because you want to leave an app or 2 "Fat"
    with Moving parts and specific configurations
 

Your licensing requirements doubled with just the mention of citrix

not to mention the change the users would see.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but, I just have plenty of Terminal Server implementations, all of which, the only way to really see the decrease of administration is to have the ENTIRE software suite pushed to the clients, and have truely thin clients, otherwise you have not eliminated anything, just made it deeper..

CW
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plainsschoolsAuthor Commented:
To answer a couple of questions... There will be 25 machines in this lab.  Secondly, we will not be going citrix, we will be implementing terminal services hence the Win 2003.  Regarding the fat clients, there will only be a couple of those machines for a photo editing class which never has much more than 5 or so kids, the other terminals will be dumbed down without hdd's.  Hopefully this clarifies. Thanks
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JacquesKrugerCommented:
Hi,

RAM: As much as you can. If the board supports it, stick in four Gigs. The RAM upgrad'le be cheeper than the cost of additional machines.

Just a spanner in the works, save real money and check out the Ubuntu Linux terminal server. It's been run successfully in many school labs.

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tozysentosaCommented:
Hi folks,
We are already running a terminal server environment.
Our users mainly uses the MS Office apps and an ERP app in Java.
We want to bring a group of graphic intensive users up on TS.
Is this advisable?
They are mainly running Photoshop, Illustrator in their day to day activities.
Has anyone any experience on graphic apps on TS?

Herman
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