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How do you share a program from a server?

Posted on 2011-05-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello Experts,

I have always wondered how to install a program on a server to share to my users...Can anyone help me understand what needs to be done in order to do this? And what challenges I would encounter license & cost wise?
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Question by:katredrum
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wct296 earned 1200 total points
ID: 35501461
There are two methods - and your preference will help us give you a good answer

1) via remote control of the server itself (as if in Remote desktop services)
or
2) via an application installed on the server, with the files shared and ran on each workstation

There is technically a third option, the way programs like Novell Zenworks do it, which is more of a packaging the application for distribution and control to workstations.. technically its still running on the workstations however, Zenworks is just a management suite for the apps.

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by:AdamRobinson
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It sounds like you may be asking about how to allow people to run something from a server itself, shared amongst users.  In this case, you're looking at something like a terminal server environment.  In this case, you'd have to get the relevant licensing to allow your users all to connect to the server box.  Depending on how you get your licenses, this used to run about $50-$60 per user per CAL.  

There's a lot of good information, including server specs, available just by searching for, in your case, Windows 2003 Terminal Server Environment or CALs.

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by:katredrum
ID: 35502719
By using Terminal Server, am I able to run the same programs like Office, or AutoCAD with many different users?
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by:AdamRobinson
AdamRobinson earned 800 total points
ID: 35502730
Yes, you can do so.  You will need to make sure of a few things.  One is that the program will work in a Terminal Server environment -- some occasionally have issues.  Additionally, you will need to make sure you have the requisite licensing.  Having it on a terminal server does not give you the right to let as many users as you want use it, the software must still be licensed in the same way you otherwise would if it were individual desktops.  In some cases various software suites allow some special licensing situations for Terminal Server, or to get rid of user licensing completely.  For something like Office, you'd normally be looking at Open Licensing and getting what you need there.

You also have to look at your hardware resources.  If you tried to have a lot of users running AutoCAD at once (assuming it will work in a TS environment -- I am not sure on that one), you would need a pretty beefy server to run it.   Additionally, I believe you'd still be under the multi-thousand dollar per user licensing.

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by:wct296
wct296 earned 1200 total points
ID: 35502755
Terminal Services is now called "Remote Desktop Services" if you are looking for information on it. We deploy and convert many of our clients to RDS and it really works well. They save significantly on having to buy new hardware (workstations) as all the users get access to the power of the server. IT Support costs are reduced and software is easier to deploy or install/maintain.

Unless you setup a cluster, you are putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak - this can put many people off. That said, enterprise hardware with redundant hard drives, redundant power supplies etc is very very stable now.
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by:wct296
wct296 earned 1200 total points
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Oh one other thing to consider

Office licences must be "Volume Licence" versions, and you can only buy these with a minimum of 5 licenses. You cannot migrate your retail or OEM Office licenses to this server as it detects that you are running remote desktop services and only allows you to use the volume licence version. Please bear this in mind when costing the solution
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