Terminal Server, what do I need?



Merging from Netware to Microsoft 2003 Server. I need some help making
decisions on my network structure. New network to be as follows:

-Five total offices (4 branches and 1 Corporate) to use centralized SQL
-Wan connections via DSL-VPN from branches to Corp office.
-Terminal server(s) to be used to run sessions of SQL based software package.
-About 30-35 total users company wide
-SQL Database size about 1.5 to 3 GB.
-Exchange server to be added in future to centralize e-mail, share company
calendars etc.

My data will now be critical. Target Restore is about 4 hours.
Availability now becomes very important. (Being down for an entire day would
be very bad)

I need to determine my server needs and configuration (how many of each).


Based on my number of users (30-35), would it be wise to have 2 load
balanced TS’s instead of just one? My current TS hardware is a 1.13 GHz,
1.25 GB RAM, 2 SCSI HD (mirror) server. I have an identical server that I
could use to load balance. Do I need 2 TS’s for this many users? Do I want
2 TS’s for availability? (I believe I could rebuild the TS from scratch or
backup relatively quickly.)

Can I load balance 2 TS’s (and any application software) with MS 2003 server

If I load balance, do I have to purchase 2 licenses of MS Office (or other
software), one for each TS or can they SHARE a license?

I do not have citrix. Is it something I should consider need based on my

Any advice would be great.

Thanks much,




I would suggest reviewing the following article:


A load-balanced environment would increase the cost of the solution many
times over. It would require stepping up to the Enterprise versions of both
SQL and Windows Server for both systems, so I would recommend trying to stay
away from this. Should you go with the 2 servers, however, you would only
need 1 Terminal Services CAL for each user. The same would go for your
Windows or SQL CALs. I hope this was helpful!

Spencer Ferguson
Microsoft Open License Experts



I faintly recall reading that with TS's you could do a "simple" load
balance. Not a true cluster (which requires Ent edition), but I'm not 100%
sure. I thought even with standard edition, there was a load balance service
that could make 2 identical TS's look like one. The users trying to connect
would pass to the server with the least load at the time of login. If one
server fails, the sessions are lost, but they can login again to the
remaining server.

I believe that a true cluster would use session directory or something and
seamlessly keep a session running.

Can this be confimed? If this is possible, would there be data loss or
corruption if one of the TS failed while having open sessions and data?

My plan was to have a single SQL server, and the App that runs with SQL, and
MS offices etc would be on the TS.




Sorry, I thought you were only considering a true cluster. If you use a 3rd
Party load-balncer product you can do use the Standard edition of Windows
Server 2003, but users would have problems reconnecting to a disconnected
session. Here's some more good info:



Spencer Ferguson
Microsoft Open License Experts


Actually there is a very inexpensive 3rd party load balancer for Terminal
Server that has session reconnect feature, it's called WTSGateway Pro, by
terminal-services.net. To load balance 2 terminal servers it cost only $299,
and $99 for each extra box you add.

Detailed info on load balancing and server sizing here:

If availabilty is critical, having 2 load balanced TS, where one can carry
the entire load in the event of a failure is a must. A failed node will lose
its sessions, and users will have to re-logon to the non-failed server. This
is true of every TS load balancing scenario, MSFT or 3rd party.

Patrick Rouse
Microsoft MVP -Terminal Server


Thanks you guys for the help.

I'll check out the WTSGateway Pro. Do they have good support? Is it
popular? Do you use it?
Just wondering about price and "you get what you pay for". I'm sure Citrix
is a couple thousand.



Citrix is more than a couple thousand, i.e. $250-300 per user, so for 40
users you could be looking at $12,000. Don't get me wrong, I use Citrix
MetaFrame, becasue I have a lot of specific requirements that make it cost
effective, but I would not drop $12,000 just to load balance.

WTSGateway Pro is a program designed by Claudio Rodrigues, one of the
Terminal Server MVPs. It does resource-based load balancing similar to that
which is included in Citrix or Tarantella.

I can't vouch for terminal-services.net support, as I've never needed it
(I've only tested his products)

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