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Terminal server and RDP

Posted on 2014-02-19
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Last Modified: 2014-02-20
We are opening a second location and the software vendor recommended we have everyone user RD or terminal server to log into the server at our main office to use the database.
In my experience using terminal server in this regard always causes serious lag and bogs down the main server. Is there a powerful enough server to be able to use this scenario without any lag?

Thanks.
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Question by:raffie613
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by:Technodweeb
Technodweeb earned 166 total points
ID: 39872219
How many users at remote site?
The terminal server should be a separate server, dedicated to the RDP/RDC role and you should not have any issues with lag. There is not going to be any more strain on the DB Server or Main Server when properly using Terminal server than if you had the same number of local LAN connected computers doing the same task and in reality, you might see performance improvements, depending on your network configurations.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39872302
1. We don't know your application
2. We don't know your site-to-site connection speed
3. We don't know how many users you expect to connect to the RDS server.
4. We don't know your available hardware / budget

I disagree that it should be a separate dedicated PHYSICAL server (if that's what technodweeb meant).  I DO AGREE that it should ONLY be an RDS server.  It COULD be a virtual server on a physical server with multiple other servers running on it.  You need to define the VM appropriately with sufficient processors and RAM.

I have a client using an RDS server running 2012 to connect to a SQL based Database using a line of business application and it works great for them.  It's requirements are minimal.
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by:raffie613
ID: 39872307
The software company believes we can have our main database and software running on the server and have users at the new location RDP into it to access and use the software on the server like a workstation making entries into the database. I personally have never seen this work successfully.

I believe we will have up to 10 users doing this simultaneously. The software company says that if we boost up the server enough it should handle it. they want 128GB of memory with a hexa core processor.
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by:raffie613
ID: 39872309
Does Microsoft have a recommendations hardware setting for such a use?
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by:Technodweeb
ID: 39872338
By dedicated, I meant no other roles or applications running. I was not clear. You can do 10 users with a lot less than 128GB but it will not hurt either.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 334 total points
ID: 39872344
I would be talking to the software company asking for references to other companies with similar setups.  We still only know your software to be "software" so if and how it works, we have to trust what you say the software company says.  Even if you told us the product, odds are, we've not used it before and cannot say.

Frankly, if they want 128 GB of RAM for 10 users that seems EXCESSIVE.  I would expect MOST apps would only require 2-4 GB per user - giving a need of 24-48 GB of RAM for 10.  But again, we don't know what this software does.  

I also don't know how Microsoft could possibly offer guidance based on the information you've provided so far.  I believe they would start by asking what requirements does the software you intend to use have?  For a SINGLE user, how much RAM, CPU, etc.  And have you done any testing to what it ACTUALLY uses?  

You're being FAR TOO VAGUE for a specific answer and even if you were more specific, it likely will require performance assessment by you and not guesses by us to properly size the system.
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by:raffie613
ID: 39872491
Sorry for being so vague.  There are about 10 users that will access the server via RDP and about 15 accessing the server locally. The server will be used as a file server, domain controller as well as this software.  
We are not yet sure the bandwidth at the new location.
Does this information help out better? My issue is that I do not really trust the software company.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39872504
You REALLY need to hire a professional to evaluate everything if you don't feel qualified to do so.

And if you don't trust the software company, you should be looking for other companies.

You have a problem though - you CANNOT make an RDP server a domain controller.  Microsoft doesn't allow it (windows won't install the DC role on an RDS server and RDS won't install on a DC.  While it COULD be a file server, RDS should, as a general rule, not do ANYTHING but RDS.  That means no file, print, dhcp, AD, etc... JUST RDS.

If you virtualize a 2012 instance, you can effective do all the roles by using two VMs and one license; one server is your RDS server and the other is a DC/file server.

Put another way, IDEALLY, in an IDEAL WORLD, all services run on their own servers so that if they fail, you can perform maintenance, including reboots/reloads, without interrupting services... REALISTICALLY, and especially in a small environment, you cannot typically afford to do that... so you combine services.  BUT, even when combining services, there are still SOME that simply should not and possibly CANNOT be combined.

I'd also ask when you had experience that this didn't work... because it may have been a poor configuration to begin with.
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by:raffie613
ID: 39873246
I don't get what you mean when you say "windows won't install the DC role on an RDS server and RDS won't install on a DC." I have plenty of DC that I can RD into.
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Lee W, MVP earned 334 total points
ID: 39873496
You have DCs you can connect to for administrative purposes.  MAX 2 connections.  The RDS role that allows more than two connections will not install on a DC.
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by:raffie613
ID: 39873537
good to know.
Thanks for all the help guys. I appreciate it.
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