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Windows 2008 terminal hardwrae spec

Posted on 2008-11-06
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Hello,

I working now on a design a terminal services 2008 pilot for one of our customer.
We will have ~100 current user on a terminal that running our application (our applications base on windows dot net using a web services).
Some of the users ~30% will run SQL 2005 reporting services in additional to our applications.
Where can I find more details on recommendation topology and hardware for the servers ?
Since this is a pilot I will use the 120 days of the terminal service license, is there any limitations ?
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Question by:optimaltest
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by:andrew_aj1
ID: 22896044
First the 120 day grace period has no restrictions, it is just like if you had the licensing for it.
As for how much hardware you will need will depend on how demanding the applications on the terminal servers will be. I would definitely recommend that you get a few powerful servers(2xQuad Core processors and plenty of ram) setup with load balancing.
I hope this helps some. Good luck.
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by:overcld9
ID: 22896899
As Andrew says, the applications that you run have a significant determination on the hardware/software that you use. Here are some items to Consider:

Number of users that will be concurently connected/using the terminal server

Do the users need a full TS session or just a few applications? If just a few applications, then you could deploy a terminal services gateway server to run applications without having to load an entire profile. Remote users would connect to the gateway server and run the app they need.

Are the applications x64 bit compatible? If so this could significantly help your TS environment by allowing the system to address more RAM (Assuming you are using 2008 Standard Version)

If using a web/intranet application, take into consideration if you will allow full web access or just internal site/external application. 2008 uses Internet Explorer Enhanced Security and will need to be configured for access for your ts users or removed.

Network/LAN Configurations:

If using .net apps that use SQL data calls, consider using at least 2 NIC cards, one for user access and one for data access This will help keep the connections seperate for less data collisions. Also use high speed LAN connections GbE if you can.

For a 100 user TS environment a typical design would call for 3 servers:
A session directory server and 2 load balanced Terminal Servers
(If using TS Gateway Appliances 1st server can be gateway and Session Directory)If using apps with intensive memory/CPU requirements you can add servers to the load balanced cluster pretty much as needed.

I would use the following for configuration:
2x Quad Core Processors
4GB RAM (8GB Prefferable if your TS apps support x64)
HDDs configured in a RAID1/RAID5 with the fastest disks your budget allows for. I typically quote 2x73GB 15k SAS for RAID1 and 3x300GB 15k SAS for RAID 5. Use the RAID 1 for the System Volume and the RAID 5 for Programs/Data
Minimum 2 GbE NICS

Also take a look at the following articles:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc268349.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772418.aspx
http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Configuring-Windows-Server-2008-Terminal-Services-Gateway-Part1.html
http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2004/11/30/understanding-the-terminal-server-session-directory.aspx

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Author Comment

by:optimaltest
ID: 22902505
Thanks for the answer.

All users will run only our application 2-3 applications.
The applications no access to the internet, only internal to internal web services.
On of the application is using SQL 2005 reporting services so basically all applications are not users intensive they are server intensive and take no CPU at the client side (Not the terminal, the web services and the SQL) so for the web services and SQL I have powerfull servers.
The application take ~25MB for one user so you still think I need server terminal server with so powerfull hardware ?


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Expert Comment

by:overcld9
ID: 22904441
It sounds like a terminal server Gateway & TS remote apps would be the way to go for this site. If using these two technologies, you could very well use a less powerful machine. I would still reccommend 2 quad core processors and minimum 4GB of RAM with 8GB recomended if your app supports x64 (RAM is awfully cheap these days). Given that you are using just a couple of apps and if using the remote apps configuration of TS you could move to slower hdds, such as SATA drives to cut the initial costs of the servers. You want the terminal servers to be load balanced so you are still looking at 3 machines. Changing the drives to 3 350GB SATA in a RAID 5 would net significant cost savings and should still give you the performance that you require. If you do not use the remote apps option I would stick with the faster drives and the RAID1/5 option.
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Author Comment

by:optimaltest
ID: 22905460
I will use remote aplication.
Why I need the Gateway and remote apps ?
All user have VPN access direct to the server.
And why I need local disk on the terminal if no data is save on the disk (All data is on SQL server that the application connecting using the web services.

I have one more question.
If my application e.g. take 100MB of RAM when I need to RAM as 100MB X number of current users ?
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Author Comment

by:optimaltest
ID: 22905509
I will use remote aplication.
Why I need the Gateway and remote apps ?
All user have VPN access direct to the server.
And why I need local disk on the terminal if no data is save on the disk (All data is on SQL server that the application connecting using the web services.

I have two more question.
1.If my application e.g. take 100MB of RAM when I need to RAM as 100MB X number of current users ?
2. For the networking card, , if the user access and the web servies for app access are on the same LAN, how can I take advantage of 2 NIC
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overcld9 earned 2000 total points
ID: 22907333
You do not neccessarily have to have Gateway and Remote Apps, but it is recommended. Since your users will connect via a VPN and not through the web it is not neccesarily needed. Locl Disks are still needed as all users will still have a profile on the TS box. To figure the exact amount you need, find the size of your default profile, multiply that size by 100 then multiply by 2. Then add the required space for Windows and all programs again multiplied by 2 and add to the user space total. This will give you a good rough estimate of the space required for each TS box.

1.If my application e.g. take 100MB of RAM when I need to RAM as 100MB X number of current users ? Concurrent users yes + add 3GB for Windows and background services.

2. For the networking card, , if the user access and the web servies for app access are on the same LAN, how can I take advantage of 2 NIC? The network cards can be bridged effectively with network load balancing, doubling available inbound/outbound bandwidth.
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