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Remote desktop access for small number of users

We need to provide Remote Desktop access to a small number of remote users (2-5 users) that don't have pc's on the network. The main server on the site is a SBS2008. What would you recommend for such a small environment ? Could you provide the type of licences required for the proposed solution (VDA, RDS, etc).

We would prefer to host the remote sessions on some sort of Terminal Server, RDS or VMware type of server, instead of dedicating physical boxes waiting for connections.

Thanks.
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ndidomenico
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ndidomenico
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1 Solution
 
Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
Well, the best thing to use, in my opinion, would be to run terminal services and RDP. The problem with SBS is that you cannot do this due to security. If you purchase SBS 2008 premium, it comes with another license and install for 2008 standard for this purpose. Basically, you need to configure another 2008 server, standard edition, purchase. You would then need to purchase licenses, which a 5-pack would run $400 to $600 depending on your source and if you qualify for any additional discounts.

You bascially need another box either way. Although I do not have a lot of experience with SBS, from my understanding, even if you use a Hyper-V session on the SBS, you cannot join that system to the same domain as the SBS server. This causes a "cyclic dependency", which makes the DC unavailable. Unfortunately, there are limitation with SBS. You could purchase other products like Citrix, but once again, you still need TS license on top of Citrix. Since you need TS licenses for most any remote product, with so few users, you might as well just run RDP. Below is some detailed information on SBS2008 and terminal services. There may be someone with more SBS knowledge with a better idea, but from what I know, this would be your best option.


http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd239199(WS.10).aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/09/26/can-i-use-terminal-services-in-sbs-2008.aspx
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ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply. I realized I forgot to mention a few important points:

1) The SBS2008 server is already running as a VM on a ESX 4 server. No other VM's are running now on that ESX server. (We were expecting to eventually have to put a second server on the network for other services - Blackberry, TS, etc). So an option running other VM's could be easily added.

2) We don't want touch the existing SBS server, or try to run TS on that server, for the reasons you explained.
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
Ok. Then you are good. You could just spin up a 2008 standard with TS running on the VM. There have been a lot of changes to RDP in 2008. This guy has collected some excellent documentation\references and step-by-step guides on deploying.  

http://blogs.technet.com/b/mattmcspirit/archive/2009/08/05/remote-desktop-services-in-windows-server-2008-r2-step-by-step-guides.aspx
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LindsayColeCommented:
I would recommend a virtual copy of 2008 Standard for use as a terminal server.
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

How about this product:

http://www.tsplus.net/

Regards,


RobMobility.
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ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
TSPlus sounds interesting, and is very inexpensive. Looked at a few video demos. Any experience or comments about this product ?  Is this a well established product in the TS line of products ? Did not find much info and reviews besides advertising.
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

Seems like SAPTraining use it.

Usually, vendors are happy to share customer feedback or direct you to other customers happy to discuss their experience, the product etc.

Suggest that you contact the vendor in the first instance?

Yo can download a 15 day trial version (5 users) for free - why not set it up on a PC (you can do that with TS Plus) and see what the experience is like before a wider deployment?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

More information on TSPlus is also available at:

http://www.terminalserviceplus.com/references.html

Regards,


RobMobility.
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