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Thin Clients and SBS 2008 r2 premium


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#1 adaniel

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:04 PM

I have been asked to help set up a server running SBS2008 r2 Premium and 5 HP VY623AT thin clients. The server is a white box server with an Intel processor, two 320 GB hard drives to be configured RAID 1, and a SATA tape drive. I will need to confirm the exact processor. From what I have read this morning since receiving the call for help, though, it looks like this is an impossible configuration. It looks like we need a second server running SBS 2008 and 2008 Remote Desktop Server. Then, it looks like we need 5 CAL's foro Remote Desktop. Can someone please confirm?

Also, I checked the system requirements and it looks like the Premium version includes a second 2008 Standard license, which can run on an x86 server; but the SBS server has to be x64 with a minimum of 4GB. Again, can someone please confirm?

The environment is a building supply sales operation. There will be five clients accessing the server: 3 counter sales, two in the office. It seems the only reason for going with thin clients is space at the counter. It would seem the simpler solution would be small form factor desktops in the SBS2008 domain. Any further recommendations or points to consider would be appreciated.

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#2 Baltboy

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:41 PM

You will need a second server running server 2008 standard. That server will need to be running terminal services in application mode. You will aslo need to aquire licenses for each computer of thin client that will be accessing the terminal server.



You are correct with the hardware requirements. See here
http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx


Implementing terminal services can be quite cost intensive due to the licensing costs. I always of approve of keeping it as simple as possible so if a small formfactor PC can serve your needs go for it.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#3 adaniel

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:36 PM

Thanks, Baltboy. I appreciate your input. One final question: given we only have 5 clients who will access SQL Server, could we use SQL Express loaded on an SBS Standard server and expect reasonable performance? From everything I have seen, SQL Express is full-featured SQL, just with a limit on connections; is that correct? I plan to ask the application software folks tomorrow if they have qualms with that, but it sounds like a reasonable configuration to me.

Thanks again,
adaniel

EDIT: Just did more research on SQL 2008 R2. It seems the user limit is gone, but there is a limit of 1GB of memory??? and 10GB max size of the DB. If SBS requires 4GB of RAM and SQL Express has a 1GB max limit, where does that leave us? Will SQL Express just not access memory beyond 1GB? And is 5 concurrent users too much for Express given the 1GB limitation?

Thanks again.

Edited by adaniel, 27 September 2010 - 10:52 PM.


#4 chromebuster

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:18 PM

Hey folks,
Though i'm not an expert by any means yet since i'm not yet microsoft certified (coming in the near future), I think I might be able to help you out. I've been looking at the specifications for MSSQl Server 2008 Express R2, and it certainly seems like a viable option for you. just as long as your clients aren't constantly accessing it. In fact, microsoft themselves promote the Express versions of MSSQL just for situations like yours. They say "for sharing data over a local network". For you don't seem to have too much going on, so failover doesn't seem to need to be in the cards for you. But just a question, why in the world are you using terminal services? It seems like you've got too small of a network for that. You could just use remote desktop. And to confirm what you said earlier, Microsoft is silly in their assumption that the database server should run on separate hardware isolated from everything else. They follow with the one server, one role, model. You instead need to actually think about your network, and you decide, not Microsoft. It's all about the traffic, not the apps. Hope this helps.

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#5 Baltboy

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 10:03 AM

@ chrome buster - RDP is the protocol used for terminal services. For the server line of products only two users can connect at one time using RDP using the default setup for remote administration. In order for more clients to access at the same time than that you would have to use a terminal services setup. Either by using Microsoft's terminal server (what is also called the remote desktop server) which uses RDP or by a third party product like Citrix.

As far as the seperate server that is a function of the fact they they are using SBS2008r2 premium which will not allow the SQL server to be installed on the same server hence the reason the 2008 standard licence is included with SBS2008r2 premium. The SBS server line of products while wonderful for most small businesses because of all the included stuff is a limited function server in all of those areas often requiring a seperate server to support functions above and beyond what SBS supports.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#6 chromebuster

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the clarification. And I'm sorry if I managed to give misinformation. I'm just doing research on servers right now myself, to hopefully realize my dream, but I don't want to mess anyone up in the process.

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#7 adaniel

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:42 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your input. The site is installed and running now using a configuration that includes one server running SBS 2008r2, with SQL server installed on the same box. Baltoy, it actually does allow that; for larger installs it just is not recommended. For our 5-client configuration, it should be fine. For the clients, we went with minimal XP Pro small form factor PC's to avoid the management, licensing and cost overhead of running thin clients and terminal services.

Thanks again,
adaniel

#8 Baltboy

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:14 PM

Oops thanks for the clarification....the seperate server was to run the terminal server not SQL.....
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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