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Hardware Specifications for Server 2012 Running RDS

Posted on 2013-01-14
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I need to configure and implement a server for one of our clients to allow them to run up to 10 simultaneous RDS connections to the server, and need to know what we should use as a base for the server and OS.

There are 8 people working remotely, 2 internally, and they have an OK internet connection (6Mbs). They mostly use MS Office and Corel Apps, nothing very demanding, and their current server (8 years old, Server 2003) is just the domain controller and file server. Right now, the remote users connect via VPN, copy files to their local machine, work on them, then upload the updated file back to the server. Very time intensive and a lot of lost productivity.

They would like their remote users to be able to be more productive, so we figured since the server needs to be replaced anyway, that we would move them to a new server running some flavor of either Server 2008 R2 or Server 2012, and have them all work remotely via RDS sessions.

The question is, what version of Server OS should they use, and what type of hardware configuration do we need for the server (CPU(s), RAM, etc.?). They are very partial to Dell equipment, and while I have a call in to their staff to help us with this, I thought it best to get some impartial advice. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Question by:PRNComputers
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38774490
I am not knowledgeable enough to answer your question specifically, but why wouldn't they just use ms or google cloud services or google drive/dropbox for enterprise.  It seems would be a lot easier.
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by:PRNComputers
ID: 38774571
If they went with the cloud services, what about them having to work with Corel and other software that's not part of the MS Office suite or whatever Google uses? Wouldn't those have to be downloaded/uploaded as they currently are doing?

So what you're saying is that if we can get them to convert all of their documents to a software suite that they can edit online with one of the services, that would be the way to go?
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38774636
Especially for a small office - yes.  I see a lot of small offices with server expenses they don't need.  Sure if there is an obscure expensive of software they may  need to log in.  But there is logmein.com for that.  Most people are just using email, word processing, spreadsheets etc.    Mostly they just need to get access to their files.  Drop box or an alternative http://www.pcworld.com/article/2010282/5-serious-business-alternatives-to-dropbox.html is a virtual thumb drive you can access from your phone, home desktop, travel lap top, ipad, friends computer via web log in ....and the office.  It syncs almost instantly.  

How many people need to use a program that has a huge license fee and does not make sense to distribute more then one shared copy?  I'm  just not a fan of servers for very small offices when they really just need to to share files that can be done locally on a NAS drive and email should be done by the web host or 3rd party.  Google only charges $50 per year per user and you aren't going to find better spam control if you only used it for email.  Then think of the docs/drive as a freebie.
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Author Comment

by:PRNComputers
ID: 38788805
Yeah, checked with them and they have issues with the online storage. Old school client that likes all of their data onsite.

So, I guess we're back to the original question with a couple of updates. Looks like we should be fine with a Quad-core Xeon CPU and 8 GB memory.

What I need to know now is can we do RDS with Server 2012 like we can with 2008 R2? I'm having a hard time finding an answer online, although it's looking more and more like 2012 won't let you do it. Anyone done any RDS, terminal services, whatever their calling now with Server 2012?  If we go with 2012 vs 2008 R2, we'll be using the Essentials version to avoid the CALs fee for the OS.
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Author Comment

by:PRNComputers
ID: 38788828
Quick addition. What I've seen with Server 2012 is that RDS is not supported on the DC. Sounds stupid since most people using servers only have one and it's the DC. I mean really, if your running Server 2012 Essentials with less than 25 people, could you even afford a second server?
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PRNComputers earned 0 total points
ID: 38918408
Never received any additional help. Closing the question
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Author Closing Comment

by:PRNComputers
ID: 38933238
Self-explanatory
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