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Optimized Remote Access for Indesign and Photoshop Users

Posted on 2008-10-04
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We need to provide remote access to 4-5 users who need to work in Indesign and Photoshop.
We considered a VPN, but some of the users have MACs and we use PC so there would be font issues, plus the throughput of the VPN would make it difficult to use large graphic files.
Instead we are considering allowing Terminal Server Access.
We have a cable connection allowing 30mb down/5mb up.
We currently have a Dell Poweredge 2850 with Dual Xeon 3.2Ghz Processors, 3GB RAM, an onboard 16mb video card and Windows Server 2003 installed. We are considering installing Indesign and Photoshop on the unit and allowing terminal server connections. We would upgrade to the 64 bit 2003 server or 2008 server and increase RAM by 8GB, we would also look to install a professional graphics card. I know that Photoshop will be 64 bit with CS4, but not Indesign. I'm not sure if this is a problem.
My question is: Is there anything off in the proposed configuration?
And if so, what do we need to change to give the fastest access to remote users for Indesign and Photoshop?
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Question by:Jacomatic
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by:authen-tech
ID: 22640954
I would try a remote desktop connection to a computer with one or both of those apps running before you do anything.  Many RDP or remote session programs send screen shots across and this may be totally useless for what you are trying to accomplish.  Sounds like lots of money to spend without knowing this is a workable solution.  It might be easier to have the apps running on the end users and just having them vpn to share the final projects on the server.
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Author Comment

by:Jacomatic
ID: 22641860
We have been using both Remote Desktop and Logmein from an XP workstation and the apps work fine. The challenge now is to get multiple simultaneous users (hence Terminal Server) and to maximize speed and performance (x64 and increased RAM).
VPN will be MUCH slower (excuciating is more accurate) when it comes to wokring with an Indesign document with hundreds of linked images that are on the office server and it also won't be fun to open a 200MB photoshop file over a VPN.
 
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by:authen-tech
ID: 22642874
Yes, I was thinking of the VPN to be used more as a means to upload the final draft to a shared folder on the network...not to use it for creation.  If you are working now with logmein and rdp and it's working ok then you should be fine with the specs you provided.  
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Author Comment

by:Jacomatic
ID: 22643961
I just found on Adobe's site that Indesign is only recommended to run on XP and Vista and only the 32-bit versions of those OS. http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/systemreqs/?promoid=DRHXE
Where have you found that Indesign will run ok on a 2003 or 2008 x64 environment?
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grimzbane earned 500 total points
ID: 22649782
maybe one option is using VMware to setup a virtual machine for people to log into if the host is beefy enough of a machine.  Looks like you need multiple connections. At least with a virtual machine you can set it up exactly the way you want it and not have to rely on the font sets on the other machines. Just a suggestion.
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Author Comment

by:Jacomatic
ID: 22650809
The other option we are looking at now is XenApp (Citrix) which was tested by Adobe with Indesign. The issue is now whether to go with a SBC or VDI solution, each of which has advantages and drawbacks.
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