Term Server and the Remote App

The following situation was recently posted to the NG. Les Connor’s reply, as usual, nailed the solution perfectly!

First SBS2003 installation, one reception workstation and 2 business partners with laptops who would be in and out of the office. The problem is the line-of-business applications these people use. I was amazed at how limited the configuration options are for these apps. They mostly seem to have derived from old DOS apps to which have been retrofitted for some multi user capabilities. They all expect the binaries and data to be in a single folder hierarchy with no configuration options to separate the data to a different folder/drive/share. The trouble with these types of apps is that you cannot install the executables/binaries/read only bits on the local machine (eg laptop) and have them access data on a network share. So all binaries have to be loaded over the wire (or wireless) with consequential performance hits.

When I got RWW up and running and the partners discovered Remote Desktop Connection they were really impressed. However now we have only one permanently wired in workstation (reception) which is available (only after hours) for RDC.

So finally I get to my question. If we were to set up a Terminal Server could it be used via RWW and RDC to access the business apps (with just screen updates/keyboard/mouse going over the wire)? I note that in RWW only administrators can remote connect to servers – does Terminal Server appear as a server in RWW or are there other options?

And the answer is … (thanks, Les):

Hi John, So long as the LOB apps will run on a TS, this is a great approach.

With the limited amount of users in the current environment, and subject to your hardware being up to the task … Install Virtual Server on the SBS. Install your TS as a virtual machine, join it to the domain. A new link to ‘Connect to my Company’s Application Server’ will magically appear in Remote Web Workplace :-).

Now this is sweet. From anywhere you have an internet connection, and without installing any software, anywhere, your mobile users have access to the LOB apps, as well as the rest of the domain/network resources 🙂

Les Connor [SBS Community Member – SBS MVP]
SBS Rocks !

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