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Multiple Remote Desktop Clients...Similar to a Thin Client Server

Posted on 2011-09-26
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Hello Everyone Quick question here,
I recently built a server for a few users at a remote office, we run 2 Small OBGYN Clinics about 30 Miles of each other neither with very decent internet connections, only 2Mb Up over the VPN, so since it was very slow taking up to 10 seconds to load a chart for a patient I decided I'd try using RDP on one of their Desktops and see if that helps....the difference was night and day, and the 2 Clerical personnel were MUCH more productive... so I built them up a new server since I didn't want them on our AD/EHR Server...I guess however, I forgot that without purchasing additional CAL's that Server boxes are restricted to 2 Concurrent users, and since the Doc that owns the business got wind of this all he uses is RDP when he's out here.....

I guess the TL;DR version is this I built up a new server and need 4-6 Users to be able to be remoted into this box at the same time....the only thing it will be used for is to run Sage Intergy an EHR Client....Anyway of doing this without buying more CAL's? I have 4 Licenses of VMWare since I'm assuming the Tech I replaced was going to go about it in that direction....any help would be appreciated.

Also on Budget...it's preferably less than $600 And i'd like to keep as much of that as possible since i'm about to have to start doing hardware updates.
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Question by:phenox2497
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Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 36695686
It's important to understand the licensing requirements AS WELL AS the SECURITY requirements.  Giving users Admin access to the server (as that's what's almost certainly happening) is unwise at best.  your users can inadvertently cause SERIOUS problems and in turn bring down the whole system.  

Budget is ALWAYS a concern.  Few - IF ANY - business owners will actively say "spend more than you need do".  But if you understand licensing and the environment's requirements, what you're asking for is almost certainly NOT going to be as cheap as you want it.

There is NO LEGAL way to use more than 2 administrative sessions (regardless of how unwise it may be).  I don't know of any illegal way and even if I did, we couldn't help you with that here.

Remote Desktop licensing is NOT done on a CONCURRENT basis (this means it doesn't matter how many are connected simultaneously from a licensing standpoint.  It does from a hardware needed standpoint though).  It's done PER (named) USER or PER (named) DEVICE.  In a medical office, I suspect MOST users do not need remote (home) access.  Depending on how many systems you have on the network needing to connect, you should probably license PER DEVICE (in most medical offices I can picture, I think this would make the most sense).  The doctor may be the one exception (I THINK you can have user and device RDP CALs mixed - but I'm not SURE about that - see this though for ideas/more details: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/zh/winserverTS/thread/2ce9f814-822c-436b-bd12-80e1ec74c27b )

By named user or named device, I mean per HUMAN BEING - per person with a Social Security number, for example.  NOT by user account name that, in theory, everyone could share - THAT would be a violation.  Likewise, by device, I mean a physical device with the capability of providing a session to the terminal server.  If someone used RDP from their phone, their phone would need a CAL.

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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 36711256
IIRC, our TS CALs were less  than $60 each.  Renewal each year is less.  That should fall well within your budget of $600.  You can install __ CALs as per-user.  Then install more CALs as per-device.  Mix and match is OK, but once you use the CAL for one method, you can't use it again for the other.

HP Thin Clients @ $200 each are far easier to maintain.  On the average, I've re-flashed 5 clients once every 1.5-2 years for the last 5-6 years.  Takes 20 minutes from a USB stick, and everything's back in business.
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