Recommendations - server hardware

I would like to elicit recommendations from the community regarding the most efficient hardware for the below requirements.  I want the end user experience to be as close to a local desktop application as possible.

If I need to provide more info, let me know.


Run windows 2008 R2 server
Run Ulteo for desktop virtualization
Will have a maximum of 50 remote concurrent users.
Server will not be a domain controller, and will not run MS Office
Virtualizaion for each user will be to run quickbooks accounting software ONLY.

Thanks in advance.
Rick D Norris, CPA/CFE
Rick NorrisAsked:
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Using application publishing.
Using DC and TS virtualization.

What is the budget like?
A 2ru with dual multicore processors
32GB RAm

Where ..... Not sure an accounting/book keeping with remote users.
Rick NorrisAuthor Commented:

We are a CPA firm.

Thanks for the response....  as far as I'm concerned... you have the points...  just a few follow-up...
May not be doable, but budget is $1500 max.

From the end user's perspective... which is my final goal.... no matter what technologies, hardware I use....  I want existing clients that use Intuit's quickbooks accounting software to be able to move their software to our server.... and then they be able to access their data from anywhere, and run their former desktop software.  Ideally the client would utilize a web browser, log in to our server, and the ONLY application they would see would be the icon to start THEIR quickbooks software.

REASON:  We have so many requests from our existing client base to assist them with their accounting software we are hoping that a move to a server devoted to that task, with virtualization will do the trick for us...  We would then be able to provide accounting assistance, AND have the client more closely bound to our firm.  

Our current methodology of assisting our client, is through either onsite visits (very expensive) for the client, or using Teamviewer to assist remotely....  Teamviewer is not always optimal because of scheduling conflicts between the professional that will need to give the assistance, and the client.  

I hope all of the above is a little clearer than "mud"....

Awaiting any and all suggestions to most efficiently accomplish the goal set out above.
Rick NorrisAuthor Commented:
As a follow-up.....

It is a requirement that each client NOT be able to see or run the software of another client!

I's sure above may be obvious, but I wanted to make it explicit

Rick D Norris, CPA/CFE
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Is quickbooks online something you and your clients considered?
I do not believe the budget you outline will provide the requisite QB, windows and windows terminal services licensing.

Using a DC will provide centralized control of users as well as the capacity to expand.
I.e. adding TS as needed.
If you have 50 clients, how many members of each client will have the rights to access?
Having each client have on user account, .....
Rick NorrisAuthor Commented:
Yes.... considered QB online.... lack of some key functionality for numerous clients.

QB licensing cost is not an issue....  each client would be supplying their own license.

Approx 30 of the clients will need only one logon.... balance split between 2 and 3 different logons.

Hope this helps.

Rick D Norris, CPA/CFE
I do not think it could work with each client supplying their own license.
The application will be installed on your TS server, and ...
To meet your, each client having to provide their own license, will mean that you will have to build VMware VM for use by each client.
On another thought, You can build an initial Desktop and then sys prep/copy it (you would need windows desktop licenses)

.......  Pushing VMware player with designated VM. .......

Need to give it some further thought.
Rick NorrisAuthor Commented:
What about the native hyper-v that comes with server 2008 r2???  I was thinking along those lines already.  that was reason for original post concerning equipment/software, etc....  maybe you could elaborate???

Hyper-V will deal with the servers portions. DC, fileserver,TS.

To provide a virtual environment to the individual user is where the vmware portion will come in.

instead of having a terminal server with published quickbooks licensed for 50 users and have a fileserver that has the different users access different shares based on their company.
\\server\company1 only accessible by user_group_company1

To your need of each company having their own licensed quickbooks, you are looking at virtual desktop that is individualized.
i.e. the difficulty starts when you have multiple users in a company, which I think would mean you would need multiple virtual desktops to match if you want to maintain centralized logins and centralized share management where the company files reside.
i.e. this is similar to you setting up in your office X number of workstations that employees of the various clients can come in and sit in front of to do what they need.
X represents the maximum simultaneous users you want to accommodate.

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Rick NorrisAuthor Commented:
Arnold..... Points as promised.  I thank you for all your input......  I think at this time, I need to do additional research....  especially in the area of vmware for the individual user of each client company.

As a final parting note....  if you could provide a few resources for my further work it would be most appreciated.

I am uncertain of the documents/references you refer to.

Your setup is a complex environment based on your requirements.

The difficulty you are facing deals with trying to predict the number of simultaneous users. You also need to determine the overhead each quickbooks virtual session will have on a TS.

With such a responsibility/dependence, you likely would have to have two physical servers clustered.

Presumably remote user VPN to access the files only was rejected as it will ....
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