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Terminal Server Farm on Windows 2003 sp2 Standard Edition

Posted on 2010-09-10
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I have 3 terminal servers, they are Windows Server 2003 sp2 Standard Edition.  
I want to make them a terminal server farm.  When I look how to do this, documentation says I need Enterprise Edition to have Network Load Balancing and Session Directory.
Does anyone know of a way to set this up without Enterprise Edition with NLB and Session Directory?  
I know it's possible because the admin before had it set up.
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Question by:ueteam
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by:williamvanerp
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One simple way to do this is in DNS with round robin. A record with different ip addresses in DNS which point to the servers. DNS distributes the server ip addresses to the clients.
Or use a NLB solution with an NLB appliance, no need for changing the servers or installing software on them.
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by:PlugThatInWhere
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The DNS Roudrobbin is what I use for now, but I will be doing NLB soon.  It works just fine.  

Tips:
- Keep the TTL time of your "A" records low, like 15 -30 minutes (View / Advanced option needed to see and adjust this)
- Make sure you have a shared Profile location.
- Make sure your TS servers are the same (options, apps, etc).
- set the options to logoff a Disconnected user in the TS Configuration tool.

Down side, if a user is Disconnected it is a crap shoot if they get reconnected back to their diconnected session (this is what the Session Directory handles).

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PlugThatInWhere earned 500 total points
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Oh, to do the DNS round robbin.  Create a new name for the TS farm (like TS100) and in DNS create multiple DNS "A" records all with the same name, but with the IP address of each farm member.

When the user goes to connect to TS100 this will happen: (with 2 farm members)
User 1 will get the IP of farm member 1
User 2 will get the IP of farm member 2
User 3 will get the IP of farm member 1
User 4 will get the IP of farm member 2
User 5 will get the IP of farm member 1
User 1 will get the IP of farm member 2 (if they try to connect again and the TTL expired since they first connected)

The user will keep this TS100 to Farm Member IP address remembered for as long as the TTL is defined in your DNS A record, they will stay connected to this same server even after the TTL expires.  But if they go to Reconnect / Make a new connection, after the TTL expires, they will get the next IP member in the Round Robbin (with 2 farm meber your chances are 50%, with 4 it is 25%, etc).

I keep a short TTL so I can get users off a server that I need to work on.  I remvoe the TS100 A record for the IP I want to work on from DNS.  As the users log off (in due time or because I sent them an on screen message to logoff and back on again ASAP) they will never come back to this server until I put the DNS record back.
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