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Installing Server 2008 R2 as a Terminal Server / Remote Desktop Server from scratch

Posted on 2010-01-10
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After numerous setups of Server 2008 & R2 as a Terminal Server and having endless issues (which we shouldn't have had), I need to start from scratch rather than set up & run into the same old problems.

Server platform:
2x HP BL460c blades
* 6GB RAM each
146GB RAID 1
2x Xeon quad core 2.33GHz CPU's (total 8x logical cores)

Thin Clients:
HP t5300 & 5700 series.

Past issues:
* Office 2007 apps freeze
* Slow logins
* screen freezes
* random miscellaneous (mixes & matches of issues)
* With Remote Desktop/Terminal Session directory active off the PDC it increases the numbers of hangs or even inhibits users to log in just jumping straight back to the login prompt.

Past setup steps:
* Install Server 2008 R2 OS
* Install HP PSP driver pack
* Connect to domain
* Add TS Role
* Add Desktop Experience role (also tried without it)
* Go to cmd & step up to user install (change user /install)
* Install Office
* Install 3rd party apps (Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, PhotoStory, etc)
* Test

Domain GPO's supply all the TS & Session Farm settings. We also have DNS Round Robin in place for connections.

Of course all works well with low users and strangely enough a virtualised (via VMWare ESX) Server 2008 R2 session with low connections seems to be the most reliable.. This one is used as a control server.

The maximum number of simultaneous users can be up to 80 users simultaneously but usuallu around 55 is common. Office apps are usually MS Word & Outlook but some basic desktop publishing is done too so there is a bit of Clipart used..

Does anyone have solutions to what I may have missed or solutions that I can try? I have also tried 1x server with ESXI & 2 Guests which doesn't seem to work as bad (there are still performance issues) but still defeats the purpose..
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Question by:kiwistag
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6 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Justin Owens
ID: 26287121
I have read over this several times thinking I missed something (which can often be the case).  I am not really sure what you are asking, though....

Justin
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:kiwistag
ID: 26287720
Sorry - the question was a bit vague. Did I miss a step somewhere or from your experience is there something I should be aware of that I should do during the setup process to avoid such issues?
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

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Justin Owens earned 2000 total points
ID: 26287837
Ah... Though this article was not specifically written for TS 2008, it still applies:

http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/deployment/installing-office-2007-on-terminal-server

There should be no issues with running Office 2007 on a Windows Server 2008.  I have that set up on 20 servers with no problems at all.  Your hardware should be sufficient (in excess, really) for your needs.  What specific issues are you trying to address by rebuilding your environment?

Justin
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:kiwistag
ID: 26410805
I'm going to follow this as well as the revised Server 2008 R2 Implementation Guide for Remote Desktop Services & see how it goes..

The other main thing against us is the T5300 Thin Clients which only run Remote Desktop 5.0...
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:kiwistag
ID: 27278662
Although we are still having the odd hangup - this link provided to be Gold. Looks like Microsoft just have another buggy product on their hands with Office 2007 SP2 & Server 2008 R2 not liking eachother.
http://serverfault.com/questions/79690/word-2007-crashes-on-server-2008-r2-terminal-services

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Expert Comment

by:PrimeNZ
ID: 30567457
I have had the same problem.  There seems to be 2 issues, 1) Problem with multi-core processors, 2) Access tables require indexing to run effectively in R2.

Microsoft have responded as follows following sending a dump to them....


ACE (Jet) is internally using 2 variables:
   +0x090 m_workingLimit   : 0xe00 (3584 pages, 14.3MB)
   +0x094 m_pagesInUse     : 0xeb9 (3769 pages, 15.0MB)

When ACE (Jet) tries to allocate page, it runs into the following routine:

msjet40!System::AllocatePages:
        if (m_pagesInUse > m_workingLimit + 100)
            Sleep(50);

This call to the Sleep method is here to flush memory, and try to garbage collect all data pages. In your dump, you can see that the m_pagesInUse (3769) is higher than the m_workingLimit (3584), so we’ll wait for a long time to flush all the data pages.

In multi-core computers, the ACE (Jet) allocate page by one core each time. Other cores are blocked in this time, hence Access need sleep more time in multi-core environment. We are really sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused to you.

To avoid the sleep (50) occurs, we can try to increase the MaxBufferSize to a bigger value. MaxBufferSize can take a value from 0 to 65536 pages, and the more data you retrieve, the higher MaxBufferSize should be. By default "MaxBufferSize" should be set to 0. The zero value means that the MaxBufferSize depends of the total amount of RAM. The formula to get MaxBufferSize is ((RAM in KB - 12288)/4 + 512 KB). However, for this formula the input RAM value is limited to 65536 KB (i.e. 64 MB), which means that MaxBufferSize is limited to 13824 KB (3456 pages).

Note: The unit for the MaxBufferSize is one page (4KB)

To fix the problem, let us perform the following steps.

1] click on "Start" and then click on "Run"
2] type "regedit" in the run box and hit enter, this opens up the registry editor
3] Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Access Connectivity Engine\Engines\ACE] From the right panel double click on "MaxBufferSize".
4] Click on decimal
5] Change the value data to "16384" and click on "OK"
6] Close the registry editor
7] Open the file again and test the issue.

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