I'm nearing the purchase point of my terminal server, but I thought before laying down the serious $$, I should get the opinions of those who have been there before!
I have just been through that. I was looking at building two dual - dual core Opteron 165 systems for about $7000 including 16 gB RAM. I decided that I could get more bang for the buck by using different configurations for the terminal servers and the web/dhcp/mysql/nfs server. What I came up with was:
four AMD64 X2 3800 systems for terminal servers with four 40 gB drives in RAID1 and 4 gB RAM each
two AMD64 X2 3800 systems for web/dhcp/mysql/nfs on /home and /var with four 320gB drives and 2gB RAM each in a fail-over cluster
which costs about the same, except I get 16 heads on / for the terminal server and I get two extra chips working as separate servers. I get more horsepower overall except I have smaller caches. I should be able to run with one terminal server and one web server down, not that I expect that ever. I expect my LAMP stack to get a lot of work from about one third of my clients, so I thought this was better, separating terminal service from web/nfs/db. I believe I made the right decision even though the parts are still in transit, especially when the AMD cuts came in... The cut to AMD64 X2 3800 was close to 50%, and he threw in free freight... I will have 150 PXE thin clients usually with 50 old Windows machines useing web service, until they find out how much fun 3800 is compared to 400 when I expect to have 200 PXE clients. 30 clients were happy on my AMD64 3000 single core with 2gB, so I figure 50 will be happy with 3800 X2 with 4gB, especially when the PHP scripts aren't loading things down. I have Wikipedia, Moodle, phpBB, etc., available. With all the redundant storage and multiple heads, I doubt this system will get bogged down.