Windows Terminal Services
It is possible to operate Capable 21C via a Windows Terminal Services Server. In this configuration, Capable 21C is only installed on a single server in the office, and access to it is obtained via a Microsoft ™ technology known as Windows Terminal Services. The other workstation PCs do not need to be particularly powerful to do this – which can reduce the overall cost of implementation. The article discusses the issues surrounding a Windows Terminal Services implementation.
Windows Terminal Services relies on a powerful server computer that has the ability to run several copies of Capable 21C concurrently. It runs a copy of Capable 21C for each workstation in the network, and those workstations (whilst they are still complete PCs) simply provide the screen, keyboard and mouse. Whilst this is an attractive option for some offices, there are some potential pitfalls that need to be offset before Windows Terminal Services is a viable option:
Windows Terminal Services will only run on a Windows Server computer. It will not run on a normal PC running Windows XP. This server computer will be significantly more expensive than a typical PC.
The server computer will need to run a server operating system (for example, Windows Server 2003). This is considerably more expensive that Windows XP or Windows Vista, and will need to be installed and configured by a qualified technician.
Windows Terminal Services does not come bundled with all copies of Windows Server operating systems. Licencing is strictly controlled on these kinds of servers, so the office needs to budget for the correct licencing.
Configuring Windows Terminal Services is not particularly time consuming, but it can be complex, and can only be done reliably by a Microsoft Certified technician.
If an office opts to use Windows Terminal Services, the following considerations should be given:
The server must have an exceptionally fast and redundant hard drive array. RAID 5 is recommended.
The server must have adequate RAM to run Windows Terminal Services. 4GB is a minimum, but Capable Software recommends 2GB + 0.5GB for each workstation that will access Terminal Services.
The office will become critically dependent on the Windows Terminal Server. This means that if the Terminal Server fails at any stage, the impact on the office could be massive. A simple and effective Business Continuity Plan is essential, and the office should give consideration to having redundant hardware available in the case of server failure.
Even if the server does not fail at the hardware level, if anything goes wrong on the Windows Terminal Server, the office will be severely impacted. The office must have a Microsoft Certified technician available and easily accessible in the case of any kind of failure.
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