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Need advice on how to setup remote access to Windows Applications

I am the IT Manager for several affiliated companies that use Quickbooks for accounting and inventory control.  We currently have an application server setup at our home office that allows users in remote offices to log in and run the quickbooks apps.  The server is an Intel XEON quad core 3.0 Ghz. with 8 Gig of Ram, running Windows Server 2003 (64 Bit).  The users connect via Terminal Services.

It had been working pretty well until the last few weeks, during which time we upgraded form Quickbooks Enterprise 9.0 to Enterprise 11.0 and increased the number of remote users from about 4 to around 15 to 20.  It is now very slow when accessing a particular company file that is over 500 meg in size.

I think it is time to upgrade the server and software, but I am not up to date on the best way to configure an application server.  Does anyone have any suggestions that may help me get started.  I would appreciate any guidlines on hardware and software.
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dsgvwf
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dsgvwf
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Larry LarmeuManaging DirectorCommented:
I have set up this kind of access for Quickbooks/Peachtree before.  I would recommend first putting your OS and your applications on 2 different RAID sets.  The more disks that you can put in your RAID set, the better, as you will get increase amount of I/O throughput.  If you are not getting enough performance for the amount of users you are hosting, you may want to consider a second server and use network load balancing and shared storage like a NAS or SAN to divide the load between multiple servers.
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dsgvwfAuthor Commented:
llarmeu,

When you set these up in the past, did you use any add on packages such as Citrix?
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Larry LarmeuManaging DirectorCommented:
I have done it with Citrix and also with just terminal services.  You can also use the new RemoteApp from Microsoft which is very similar to Citrix and runs via terminal services.  Citrix will allow you some fleixibility to have the users launch individual apps from a web portal or an icon on their desktop which is nice, but in general it does cost more than terminal services.
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dsgvwfAuthor Commented:
How much ram would you recommend per concurrent user?
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Larry LarmeuManaging DirectorCommented:
1GB per user is recommended by Intuit, plus your overhead for OS, etc.  I would say for 15-20 users I'd recommend 24GB.
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dsgvwfAuthor Commented:
thanks
I really appreciat the information, and it should get me started in the right direction.
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