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Terminal Services Server Sizing

Posted on 2012-04-04
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Last Modified: 2012-04-05
I intend to deploy a terminal server for 20 concurrent users.  At this moment in time I am not concerned about the bandwidth coming into the server for the remote users, as this is a separate questions.

This server will be Windows Sever 2008 R2 64 Bit, 8 Gigabyte RAM, dual-core Xeon 1.86GHz CPU.  SQL Server Express 2008 R2 64 bit will be running and users will be given MS Word and Excel (No Outlook).  A Microsoft Office 2010 Access front end database will be given to each user, which connects via an ODBC connection to the SQL Server database, in which there will be a contact database with about 10,000 records.

Would this server spec be OK to serve these 20 concurrent users?, and is there an easily understandable set of benchmark calculations that can be used, or a tool somewhere?

Thanks
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Question by:Paul-bbc
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Assisted Solution

by:Geodash
Geodash earned 125 total points
ID: 37807149
I think your bottleneck will be RAM. 8 GB of RAM divided between 20 users and SQL...BUMP THE RAM!

Take a look at this EE discussion-

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_23881726.html
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by:Michael W. Krout
Michael W. Krout earned 125 total points
ID: 37807166
Here are some documents from Microsoft.   The information provided about the hardware is pretty on Spec.   I would recommend some more memory on the server.   As you know Microsoft products love memory.  The more memory will provide more cached memory so the program will reside in memory and not have to go to the hard drive (pagefile.sys).    

If you get more users then I would recommend going with more CPU power, say Quad Core.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa383052(v=vs.85).aspx

Idea Dudes
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wasiftoor earned 250 total points
ID: 37807220
In my opinion, CPU power would be adequate but your main problem will be RAM.

Lets do some simple maths:

Each Terminal Session by Default Consumes around 128 Mb to start off with.
On Average With Multiple Documents being opened up in MS Word and Excel plus the Access Front End you should atleast think of around 300 Mb of additional RAM consumed. Thats a total of around 428 Mb per user. With 20 users this alone will go above 8 GB leaving not enough RAM for the OS, SQL Server or other background services.

You definitely need more RAM. Another 2 - 4 GB module should do the job for the specified capacity and requirements.

Good Luck!
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37807320
You need to make sure you have enough bandwidth as well make sure you team network cards together to get more bandwidth you need to have at least a quad core processor.
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Author Comment

by:Paul-bbc
ID: 37809907
Thanks for comments so far.  You say:

1.  Each terminal session consumes around 128 Mb
2.  With Word, Excel etc. add another 300

This is exactly the sort of answer I am looking for, but where is this documented?
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37810744
Not documented this is why it is hard for someone to recommend the exact configuration for a TS server. Usually this is a best effort configuration recommendation
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Expert Comment

by:Geodash
ID: 37811904
IN simple words, when building a TS - Install as much CPU and RAM in the Host as your budget allows, without overkill. If you have more RAM available, the sessions will use it. If you have less RAM, the sessions will suffer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Paul-bbc
ID: 37812493
Thanks all for your comments, always a tricky one to award points when multiple people have had a positive impact. 125 points to people who pointed me in the direction of some good material.  250 points for the person who put some figures on it.  Having done a lot of research, a good rule of thumb for  MS-Office users on a ts is to have 450 MB per user if there are 20 or more as there will always be periods of non activity from some, allowing spiky RAM grabs from others going unoticed.  Putting on SQL Server Express 2008 R2 64 bit means it will not grab more than 1 Gbyte RAM, and I allowed 2 Gbyte for OS use and services, leaving 5 Gbyte for users, currently 250 MByte RAM each if all 20 users are on.  Have managed to get 12 Gbyte RAM, so approx 450 MByte RAM per user.
Cannot do anything about processor, but again SQL Server Express can only see one processor, and I have my own sql server express back up utility.  Well that's my plan anyway.  Thanks all
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