Purchasing a new server and a terminal server

hi everyone,

i need some advice, clarification, and to know if i'm headed in the right direction regarding our business server setup.

we need to to get a new server for our main location (A).  aside from internet and printing, this server will host quickbooks and another program called cheftec.  there are about 8 workstations at this location.  we have other locations throughout the city (B, C, D, E and employees at home or traveling) that also need remote access to these programs and to print remotely.  at the most there will be about 15 remote users.  

is it best to purchase a main server and a terminal server and set it up at location (A)?  how many users are allowed to connect in to the terminal server? do more simultaneous connections cause latency?

please let me know if i'm missing any key factors/components and if i'm headed in the right direction.

thanks!
PigoManAsked:
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pjamCommented:
Are you replacing the server you have now or adding?
Windows 2012 R2 is daunting but comes with many new tools.
Terminal services has been replaced by Remote Desktop Services.  a little info here:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/ee236407.aspx
and here:
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles-tutorials/windows-server-2012/remote-desktop-services-windows-server-2012-r2-and-windows-8-81-part2.html
2012 also has something called AD FS for External partners and Users that will come in handy for your scenario.  Info here:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163295.aspx
PigoManAuthor Commented:
thank you for the information @pjam.  the current server is running sbs 2003 and i was assuming that it wouldn't be able to handle the upgrades we're trying to do.  is it possible to do this all with just one server?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
you need to properly analyze your usage to determine what exactly you need in terms of power - if you just blindly buy a server you could overspend on a system that doesn't meet your needs or buy one that is woefully under powered.  "Cheftec" is not exactly MS office in how common it is so the odds that someone here has used it is fairly low.  You need to consult with them on what they recommend and if the system can even be installed on a terminal server (and if it can, what kind of licensing it may require).

I would START with the following system as a minimum for any small business you describe but note, this MAY be underpowered for your actual needs:

Single Server with a single Windows Server 2012 R2 license
Single Quad Core CPU
32 GB of RAM but the hardware MUST be capable of more (some systems max out at 32)
RAID 1 with SSDs or RAID 10 with SAS 15K drives.  Size depends on how much storage you need.
HARDWARE RAID controller (and not a cheap one - Dell has a cheap one that runs drives like they were made in 1990).

Then I would setup Hyper-V on a hardware install of Windows Server 2012 R2 with NOTHING ELSE installed, role wise and no other software (other than backup and/or hyper-v management software).  Your SINGLE Server license provides TWO OS installs as Virtual Machines on a SINGLE server.  This potentially saves you money on buying two servers and allows this server to have fast disk and lots of RAM.  Once installed, you setup one server as a DC/File/Print server and the other as your RDS (Terminal) Server.  RDS supports as many users as you want to buy Client Access Licenses (CALs) for AND the hardware permits (Meaning your hardware must have sufficient memory and CPU).  BUT you need to buy RDS CALs which are DIFFERENT and DO NOT INCLUDE Windows CALs.  

You need EITHER one CAL per human being (NOT user account) *OR* you need one CAL per device.  You can mix.  How you determine how many you need is based on how you access the server.  "cheftec" sounds like it should be something in the food service industry and determining the best licensing for that is likely going to require someone who understands licensing and can understand your business... For that, you should find a local consultant.  Regardless, keep in mind:

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