[K12OSN] Windows Terminal Services

David Maier dave at bardacious.com
Wed Jun 23 05:32:35 UTC 2004

Shawn Powers wrote:

> Paul, et all:
> I grow increasingly worried as my servers are traveling to my 
> district...  No one (including Microsoft) seems to be able to give me 
> an accurate picture of performance with many folks connected to a 
> Microsoft terminal services machine.
> Paul's setup at Riverdale has 100 computers all able to access the 
> server -- but I doubt all 100 are usually connected.  I'll mainly have 
> folks using Microsoft Office (grumble grumble) and our proprietary 
> student management system, which isn't really that big.
> Does ANYONE have any idea how many concurrent connections a big server 
> can handle?  I just found out today (again, showing my lack of 
> Microsoft experience) that there is no version of windows that can 
> even try to access more than 4GB of RAM in a server.  That worries me.
> I have 1 Server, with dual 3.2Ghz/2MB Cache Xeons, and 6GB (only 4 
> usable now...) of RAM, all running on a RAID 5 ULTRA320 array, and 
> dual Gig ethernet.  I just couldn't think of anything more to throw at 
> it for performance!
> Any advice or experiences would be appreciated.
> Thanks,
> -Shawn

I, too, was skeptical about terminal services, but have been quite 
surprised.  The implementation I use is not as intensive by 1/3.  We 
have 35 simultaneous connections maximum.  But we're running a Dell 
PowerEdge 400 SC with a single processor and  2 Gb of RAM on a 40 Gb 
hard drive, on 100Meg ethernet, and there are no speed problems whatever 
running Windows Server 2000.  The biggest problems have occurred with 
handling some off beat applications. We are still running a couple of 
DOS programs which completely dominate the processor. However, there is 
a program called "Tame" or "TameDOS" which manages processor useage by 
DOS apps in Terminal Services, which has been a lifesaver. Another app, 
"ThinPrint", has been a life saver for reducing processor load in printing.

I can't make guarantees about 100 connections, but gauging the hardware 
firepower you are using, I would bet you'll be ok.  I do know of a firm 
which has set up parallel terminal servers for load balancing, but I 
don't know the circumstances which caused them to do it.

Dave Maier

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