Windows 2000 Terminal Services
Terminal Services is a centralized computing architecture that lets users execute Windows-based applications on a remote Windows 2000 server. Previously, a special edition of NT 4.0 called Terminal Services Edition had to be installed to gain this functionality.
Now it is built into Windows 2000 Server and above. Terminal Services supports a full range of clients and enhances computing environments by allowing companies to deploy a “thin client” solution to deliver 32-bit Windows applications to a wide range of legacy desktop hardware devices.
During a virtual session, video, keyboard, and mouse information is exchanged between the client and server. Because all of the processing occurs at the server, the client can be very old hardware that would not normally be able to run the application on its own. Terminal Services main benefits are improved application performance over slow network connections, easier to update software, reduced hardware costs and provides administrators the ability to remotely administer the server. The new version also includes a great new feature that allows you to “remote control” a client as can be done with SMS.
Terminal Services is installed through the add/remove programs control panel. The client is then configured with the client software – Windows 3.x/9x/NT and even Windows CE are supported. After installation, all shared applications should be re-installed. Some older applications require an application compatibility script to be run in order to correct registry issues and other problems. Microsoft supplies such a script for Office 2000 in the Office 2000 Resource Kit.
Communication between the client and server occurs using an application-layer protocol called Remote Desktop Protocol(RDP). This protocol is optimized for the transmission of graphical data. RDP allows for automatic disconnection, remote configuration, and supports three levels of encryption.
When utilizing Terminal Services, make sure that there is only one version of the application installed on the server as application versions may share DLL files. For example, both Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.x and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x share various DLLs that will fail to work properly when both versions are installed on the same server.
While optimized for Windows 32-bit programs, MS-DOS and 16-bit Windows-based applications can be used as well. Note that the latter require more memory. Typically, Microsoft recommends 8mb of RAM for every concurrent user that will be accessing the server. This means that if you have 256mb of RAM installed that you will be able to support about 32 typical users at a time.
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