My brain has been overheating for weeks over a network upgrade I have to plan so any advice or experience you may have that can help me settle on a viable solution is much appreciated.
We have up to 45 members of staff logged on at once (through a mixture of thick and Thin Clients)
We have 10 public access terminals in our Library
We require at least 100 mailboxes (even though about half are only to keep correspondance separate from users' personal email)
We are unfortunately still tied to some custom apps which only run off W2k3 Server
Kit Already Owned
(which we would like to reuse)
50 Wyse Terminals + 10 or more desktop PCs
3 x ESX 3.5 VMWare Servers (DL380 G6) (Foundation pack with Virtual Centre Server)
DataCore SAN 2TB running SANMelody 126.96.36.199 (soon to upgrade to two-node Symphony V)
A few DL380s G4 and one DL380 G5 (running exchange 2003)
Current System Used:
3 Staff Terminal servers running W2K3 R2 + Citrix Presentation Server 4.0
1 Library Public Access Terminal server (as above)
Exchange 2003 SP2
18 servers in total(!) due to various applications being hosted on their own server
Basicallly we would like to accomodate the above number of users with the following features:
A better web experience (not juddery and chained to 32-bit ie8)
64-bit computing so we can up the performance
Citrix XenApp OR....... a VDI solution OR.... Remote Desktop Services??
Remote access for everyone (everyone seems to want that)
Sharepoint (just to begin using it for Document management and a company Intranet).
To me 18 servers (not including the VMWare and SAN) seems like a lot for only 45 concurrent users. True, half of them are member servers hosting applications but still, it seems like a lot of OS licenses for such a small group.
Certain users have a need for more customisation that Citrix PS 4.0 and published desktops is currently allowing. Some people even need apps that no one else does, whilst also needing the common apps on the published desktops...
I've looked into the offering of SBS 2011 as well as XenApp 6.0 Foundation and some VDI solutions and really i just want to know the following:
1. Should we avoid the Small Business Server solution? (bear in mind we already have a 'grown up' 2003 domain and licenses for Server 2003 and server 2008 R2 as well as 70 CALs for Termnal Server and Exchange - so we can probably upgrade to something similar if needed - i assume we can't downgrade to SBS CALs though??)
2. Has anyone tried Kaviza "VDI-in-a-box"? Could it be suitable for us?
3. Is VDI (for one-off user apps) worth considering in conjunction with XenApp (for common apps)?
4. Is Microsoft's new Remote Desktop Services as good as XenApp for our puropses?
Many thanks again