Terminal Server Pros and Cons Page 2

Here is a breakdown of the main pros of Microsoft Terminal Services for Windows 2000. 

Simplified Management

Terminal Services includes a remote control ability that allows you to take over one terminal session from another session.  This allows you to connect to the server from your own workstation and access another users desktop to help fix any problems he has or to show him how to do things.

Since all the users are logged onto a single machine software installation and upgrades are only needed at one place.  This will greatly reduce the amount of time you need to keep all your main programs up to date for all your users, and free you up to do other maintenance and upgrades that are needed.  


Reuse low end hardware

The client requirements for Terminal Services are either a hardware based Thin Client usually running Windows CE or a PC running Windows 3.11 or higher.  These requirements allows you to reuse your aging 386's, 486's and lower end pentium's as simple thin clients running either Windows 3.11 or Windows 95 until they are no longer operational.  You also need very little hard drive space.  I am using our old 200MB drives with plenty of free space.  

If you have any of this older hardware Terminal Services is a great way to get the maximum value for it possible.


Minimal effort on Client Installs


Installing the Terminal Services Client is a very simple procedure.  First you install your base operating system (Windows 3.11 or 95) and set it up to be able to connect to your server, and then you install the client software.  The configuration involves selecting the name of the server and the screen resolution to use.  After that you are ready to use the client.  I usually put a shortcut into the startup folder for the session I want the user to be using.

Hardware Based Terminal

These units are even easier to set up than the PC based solution.  All you need to do is tell it what the address of the server it needs to connect to is and whether to autostart the session.


Quick Replacement of Clients

Since terminal clients are so easy to set up and all the data is stored on the server, replacement units only take a matter of minutes to setup and put in place.  I even keep a spare thin client on hand in case any of our Full PC's break down I can put a thin client in place while doing repairs or upgrades.


Overall Network Load will be less

The only traffic traveling to and from the terminal server is the GUI display and the keystrokes.  This greatly reduces the demands on the network over having the full data from Word or Excel Documents.  I have been using a thin client to connect to our network from my house over our VPN connection without any problems with bandwidth.  I am also in the process of setting up one site with 5 thin clients running over a 56K line to the Terminal Server and all our preliminary tests show that there will be an improvement of performance getting files from the head office and from the Email server in Head Office


This article was originally published on Jan 11, 2001
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