ddrueding

W2k Terminal Server Specs

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I'm looking into hosting terminal services in my area (subscription based) and need some rough ideas of the user load a given machine can handle. I've worked with TS before, but never on this scale. I've been to MS' site and they offer several programs to simulate load, but these require you to already have the server :/ I'm looking at offering very basic capabilities (just office to start).

Any guidelines/personal experiece would be appreciated.

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If it's just going to be light office with no loading of BIG documents were the users would do huge search and replaces. Basic logging in to a TS is another 15 - 30MB of memmory usage on top of what your TS uses from boot witch properly is something around 50 - 200MB depending on witch basic services it's running. Starting Word or Excel and opening a 0.5MB file takes another 5 - 15MB. So basic TS with one user and one app. is 70 - 200MB then add something around another 30 - 70 MB per user depending on the amount of apps they are running. Also include the Windows Kernel overhead per user witch is around 5MB per login. Given a normal x86 server where the usable amount of memory for the OS is about 3.5GB you would properly not be able to run more than a max of 100 - 110 users and at least 45 - 50 users. Any dual Athlon or dual P3/4 with at least 1GHz per CPU should be fine (again only if it's light office use). Concerning disc drives I would go for 2 x 15K rpm 36GB or 73GB in a mirror with a seperate partition for user data.

I'm currently running a farm of 20 TS servers and right now one of them is loaded with 60 users using 2GB of memory 0.5GB is swap and an average CPU usage of 10%. It's a dual P3 1.4GHz with 2GB of physical memory so I'm near the limit :-) The application is a custom one but the resources it uses is about the same as the office applications.

Could you post the spec on the hardware you're gonna end using ?

Best Regards

Theis

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This entire idea is still nothing but a lunch meeting and a spreadsheet, so the specs haven't been worked out (It depends on how agressive the investors want to be). I've always been a fan of building my own servers (with a good track record) but Proliant DL380 Servers are my second choice.

Dual Xeon 2.8Ghz (512kB)

4GB RAM

Smart Array 641 RAID Controller w/64MB batt. backed cache

4x 36GB 15k drive (not sure on make?)

Dual NICs

etc, etc...

I can get this from Compaq for $10k...I can build it for $6k....either way the spec will be about there....

What are your thoughts on using multiple smaller servers? Something like this:

Athlon XP 3000+

3GB RAM

3Ware Escalade 8500-4

4x 36GB 10k drive (Raptor)

GigE NIC

etc, etc....

I build these all the time, the parts are common and cheap....under $2500 easy....tempting

How about bandwith consumption? All these connections will be over the 'net....how many users does it take to saturate a T-1? A T-3?

Thanks in advance ;)

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Hi,

for TS single CPU Servers are not really effective IMO.

4x15k drives is kind of overkill. As all people use office it will be in memory. There won't be much disk access. Better use a dedicated file server (ease of administration, better scalability, ms recommends TS <> DC...).

For a server farm you will need w2k advanced or citrix. w2k standard doesn't support load balancing.

cya

ralf

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Yes, I was planning of a file server...but didn't know if I should store the profile data there or on the local machine.

Here's the ever-evolving hardware plan...

File/Exchange server

TS:

Compaq Proliant DL360

Dual 2.4Ghz Xeon

4GB RAM

2x 36GB 15k drives (RAID1)

Dual GigE NICs

Should be good for ~100 light users?

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And I'm debating whether to break the file and Exchange into 2 seperate machines, so that Exchange won't be on the DC....thoughts?

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Don't know about Exchange on the domain controller, but you seem to be headed in the right direction spec-wise.

Dual processor TSs is a must if you can afford it - that way users can only crash half the machine at a time (if you keep an eye on it and terminate the crashed process before another one takes the other CPU down).

Our Win NT4 TSs are quad P3 Xeons with 4 GB RAM and seperate PDC, BDC and file server. They cope with 60 users each just fine, and stay around 10% CPU unless something's crashed (at which point that server never drops below 25%, or 1 CPU's worth).

What software are you planning to run? Win2K3 & Citrix Metaframe XP? Pure MS Terminal Services?

Spod

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I hate Citrix. Unless you are planning to deploy just an application (instead of a whole desktop) IMHO it is a waste of a LOT of money.

I've actually got several situations where I'll be deploying TS in the near futurre. The smallest are a couple users who work from home most of the time and occasionally go to their office (guest workstations). The largest is a proposed TS hosting service in my area, involving support for a couple hundred users on different domains, with access to partitioned exchange/file server/etc. Sounds like fun.

I'm primarily focused on Win2k3 pure TS. For the big one, the load will be whatever the clients require. To start it'll be Office XP Premium and Winfax, but I can easily see every company needing one or 2 others (ACT, Quickbooks, etc.). As we don't have a specific number of users we need to accomodate, I'm looking at the most efficent combination of equipment as an initial investment. I figure the whole thing can start in a single rack:

Router

Switch

LCD

Key/Mouse

TS (1U - Compaq DL360 or similar) Dual Xeon, 4GB RAM, 2x 15k in RAID1 for system, Dual GigE

Fileserver/DC (Compaq DL380 G2 or similar) Dual P3, 1GB RAM, 6x 10k (something large) in RAID 5 for System and Data, GigE

Exhange/Webserver (Compaq DL380 G3 or similar) Dual Xeon, 2GB RAM, 4x 10k in RAID 10 for System and Data, GigE

UPS

Thoughts?

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We use Citrix to let users access their Novell Application Launcher running on a Win NT terminal server. I don't know why Citrix was required, but I'm certain that they made sure they needed it before spending money on it. They're good at that sort of thing round here.

HPaq do a nice 1U keyboard, trackball and screen in one, laptop-like unit - the RKM 5600.

I can see you wanting to expand your storage later, but whether it's worth buying an ML530 (2P, 7U, 12 drive bays) is down to how soon you expect to need it and what that does to your budget, compared to adding a SAN or something later.

Spod

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I like TS. But I've yet to find it to be very cost effective. It is the licensing that kills the cost.

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I like TS.  But I've yet to find it to be very cost effective.  It is the licensing that kills the cost.

I hear that, I'm in the middle of the cost analysis now, and it doesn't look like we can offer even the basic service for under $80-100/month/user and stay profitable.

I still know of a few companies who could benefit from this, but it's not the no-brainer people think it is. The technology is there, 90% of users could be on a TS 100% of the time and not even know it; but the cost is still too high.

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The cost is too high unless it's saving you in other ways. For example, we have a database application that requires very high bandwidth being used in about 50 small offices around the city, all of which are on 64k ISDN or 2Mb leased lines. The cost of using Citrix to access the database is very small compared with upgrading the lines to all those sites.

It's probably not worth it if you just want to use it to save on desktop hardware and simplify user admin. Saving on bandwidth is probably the driving advantage.

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I've been into resurecting old threads lately :/

I've built a basic termial server and want to load-test it.....suggestions?

Here's the spec:

AthlonXP 2700+

Abit NFS-7 (using onboard GF4-MX, Audio, and NIC)

3x 512MB Crucial PC 2700

3Ware Escalade 7000-2

2x WD 1200JB

Win 2k3 Server

Office XP

Basically I'm looking for a way to simulate a stack of users....I did a search on MSDN and Google, found a reference to a study they did using 8-way monstrosities. Not what I'm after.

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The best way to simulate this would be to write a tool that simulates an users interaction with the system.

This tools could be run under multiple user accounts on the same system.

Client Server

UserAgent Tool with n copys T Server

You can make the with tool with jscript and a com object to wrap sendkeys.

The amount of work that this will require is highly dependant on how accuate the test is.

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The amount of work that this will require is highly dependant on how accuate the test is.

Not to mention my familiarity with jscript, COM objects, or programming at all :(

I was kind of hoping for a link to some obscure tool alredy written by someone....too much, I know :unsure:

I have an MSDN universal, so if there's something in there I could use......

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perhaps you could contact rtsoft for tools? they do sell ts-enhancing stuff, so you could explain you don't yet have users but want to see if/how they could help...

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perhaps you could contact rtsoft for tools?  they do sell ts-enhancing stuff, so you could explain you don't yet have users but want to see if/how they could help...

heh....http://www.rtsoft.com sells games, including 3D Hunting Grizzly PDA For Pocket PC...WTF?

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Guess not, can you give me a link?

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Got it, thanks Honold.....didn't re-read the whole thread this time.... :ph34r:

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