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Is it possible to connect 20 HP Thin Clients to a server?

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2011-10-19
I've 20 HP thin clients running citrix OS ( I  think it is partial because it does not have a web browser).
128 MB Flash ROM

Server : HP Proliant with INtel Xeon Quad Core running Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition having 1 GB or RAM.

Is it possible to connect all the HP thin clients to a server at a time and browse the 20 different yahoo mail accounts or gmail accounts in the same web browser?
Please note thin clients does not have a web browser installed.
Is it possible to use word processing, spreadsheet applications and powerpoint presentations simultaneously by all the 20 users at a time from the server?

And also if yes, how many users per server for the same applications
wordprocessing, spreadsheets, powerpoint and basic web browsing..?

any help would be grateful.
Thank you in advance.

Regards,
Krishna.
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Question by:eplanetsystems
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by:andrew_aj1
andrew_aj1 earned 200 total points
ID: 22828813
Yes, using citrix (or terminal services) will allow you to connect all these computers to a server. There is no real limit to how many times an application can be running in an environment like this as long as you have enough processing power and ram to handle it.
I do have one recommendation though. 1GB of ram is not going to be enough to run this smoothly. I would upgrade to at least 4GB of ram.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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aleghart earned 300 total points
ID: 22829150
A DL360 G3 w/single Xeon can scale up over 100 knowledge workers (like your description).

See here for information on scaling the server:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/tsscaling.mspx

I will attach the DOC file in case you cannot download from that link.

Microsoft's calculation for RAM minimum:
System (128MB) + (20 users x 9.5MB) = 318MB

With low prices of RAM, there is no reason to use the minimum.

With this, you should have no problems paging to disk for memory:
System (1024MB) + (20 users x 64MB) = 2,034MB

Upgrading an older HP server to 4GB should be little problem, and low cost.  32-bit operating system won't be able to use more.  64-bit can use much more, although you probably won't hit any limits with only 20 users.

Word of caution:  MS-Word has an option to actively check grammar as you type.  The processing required will cut your user capacity in half.  So, 100 users becomes 50 users...still not a problem for you, but beware of the performance hit.

That is the worst CPU hog.  Others are:
--users launching/closing apps, instead of leaving them running all the time
--fast typers (I type 60-90+wpm, so sometimes the connection lags behind)
--frequent application switching

On a local network, use normal 16-bit color.  While 15-bit and 8-bit color are theoretically smaller consumers of bandwidth...the difference is negligible for small numbers of users.  The user experience will be better, especially if viewing images, such as web sites or product photography.
TermServScaling.doc
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Author Comment

by:eplanetsystems
ID: 22829495
Thank you Andrew. I will check it out with it.
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Author Comment

by:eplanetsystems
ID: 22829505
Thank you aleghart.
What about opening 20 different yahoo mail accounts opening in a single web browser? Is it possible? Because Yahoo itself wont support opening the same account twice.
In this instance, we are using Internet explorer 6.0 (IE 6) from the Windows 2003 Standard Edition .

Regards,
Krishna.

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Author Comment

by:eplanetsystems
ID: 22829516
Andrew,
                20 HP thin clients have been set up in the college. Students will be using the dictionary in the Word and also they will be keep on switching to applications frequently.

I am not interested to use these HP Thin clients but this was been purchased before I joined. I've been suggesting to use the normal computers or use either Windows PCs or Apple Macs which I'm familiar with.

Please let me know and also you gave me very useful info. I'm really grateful for that.

Regards,
Krishna.
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by:andrew_aj1
andrew_aj1 earned 200 total points
ID: 22831788
Each instance of IE will open in its own session under each user/logon. I have never tested 20 at the same time, but I am sure that I have seen at least 2 or 3 people logged in to Yahoo Mail at the same time in a setup like this.
I would reccomend that you do patch and update your Server 2003 install. IE 7 is out and has a lot of updates that will help keep your computer safe.
Good luck.
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 300 total points
ID: 22835576
>What about opening 20 different yahoo mail accounts opening in a single web browser?

In a single browser, no.

Using Terminal Server, however, each user session is independent of the other.  So, 20 users, 20 sessions, 20 accounts are no problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:eplanetsystems
ID: 31511059
Thank you for the information you have provided but I was not able to check out properly.

Regards,
Krishna
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