Client/Server application on one RDS (terminal) server

Posted on 2012-08-12
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am building a new with Server 2008 R2, this going to be the only server. It will also be the domain controller. There will be 3 to 5 users connecting via RDS only. My big issue it the program I am using, it is a client server program where you install the database (advantage I believe) on the server and then each workstation gets a “workstation “install. The workstations seem to connect to the server via a mapped drive and an ODBC connection.  Everyone gets their own program session with their own settings. I seem to have a hard time reconciling the fact that if the user is connected via RDS they will also be running the server and the workstation program. I can’t seem to understand how to separate the database server processes to the server and the workstation processes to the workstation. Maybe I am over thinking the problem.  We currently have a setup like this working now (very old) but we have two servers and the database is not on the terminal server.  I have noticed that the server is running a service for the advantage database but the workstations are not. If both programs are on the same server when a RDS client connection won’t it try to run the database process also, which to me means that there will be a lot of database servers running.  Any help would be appreciated, I am having a hard time reconciling this problem in my mind and I don’t want to start building the server until I have the problem solved in case I have to return it. Thanks
Question by:OnsiteIT
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Ayman Bakr
    To understand it you have to think of roles. In your old system the current roles are happening:

    1. Client role running on your user's workstations.
    2. Database role running on your servers.

    In your new setup you want to have the following:

    1. Client role running on the server (for RDS sessions)
    2. Database role running on the server (apparently the same server)
    3. Domain Controller role administering the whole domain
    4. Most probably also the DNS and DHCP roles running on the same server

    If my understanding is correct you want to have all the above roles on one server. As such then yes, the server will be running the application for your 3 to 5 users in their RDS sessions, as well as the Active Directory/DNS/DHCP, as well as the database for the application.

    If I were you I wouldn't make my DC as the RDS session host. And unless I want to benefit from the Active Directory replication and security features I wouldn't either make the DC the host of my database. I would separate at least these roles to three different servers:
    1. DC
    2. Database Server
    3. RDS Session Host

    I would strongly advise you to spare the DC from the other roles if you are speaking in production.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    While I strongly agree with your point of view That isn't going to happen. This is the real world and the customer just is going to pony up for three servers. Your answer didn't really relate to the question. The question was more about how to make the DB setup work. Thanks
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Ayman Bakr
    More details on what concerns you with the DB setup will help me understand your question :)
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    You can always try to install the server AND the workstation parts on the Win2008 server and see what happens when a user connects via Remote Desktop and launch the "client parts" (specifying that the server is the same). If the applications are well designed, it should work. Or course, maybe there would be a connection for the server to itself, by this is perfectly doable. You can mount a shared forder from the very host it is shared for instance.
    In the past I had to deal with similar problems and sometimes I had to script copies of files or folders in the user's home directory, on-the-fily registry tweaking, environment variables tweaking etc. But I almost never failed with this kind of setup.
    In your case, make sure that users have enough rights to the workstation parts (at least read and execute). As far as I can tell, they don(t need any special rights to the server or DB part.
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks very much for your input. I was looking for someone that would sway my thoughts in one direction or the other. Now all I have to do is get it to work

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