by May 1, 1999 0 comments

The Win NT Terminal Server Edition lets you use your creaky
old 486 to log into a Win NT server, complete with windows, icons and all other GUI
paraphernalia.

If you’ve apps like Office that cannot share their
resources over a network, but need to be used by multiple users, then consider Terminal
Server seriously. Since a Terminal Server remote login only uses resources on the server
side, the client software can be installed even on outdated slow machines.

Any operating system capable of running the Terminal Server
client software can log into the Terminal Server. The package currently comes with clients
for Win 3.x and Win 9x/NT.

Setting up the Terminal Server is a simple process. We
booted from its CD on a PII/350 machine. Its installation is similar to an NT 4 server. In
fact, it’s actually Win NT 4 server with Service Pack 3 and IE 4, with a terminal
server component added. We installed Terminal Server as a standalone member server into an
existing Win NT domain. This way, it allowed existing users created in the NT domain to
log into it.

We deliberately used a slow, over-burdened Pentium machine
to install the Terminal Server client software, which can be done directly over the
network or through floppies. We installed it over the network and it went off smoothly.
The client software can be configured to open a 640×480, 800×600, or even a full-screen
window in which the remote session runs.

Windows NT 4.0
Terminal Server Edition

A Windows-based remote
login server. Rs 62,055 (5-client edition); Rs 90,405 (10-client); Rs
191,205
(25-client).
Features: Windows-based terminal login support for thin client systems; encryption
of data flowing between Terminal Server and clients.
Pros: Reduces costs as even outdated machines can be used; central administration
of client desktops; installation and use is easy.
Cons: A high server configuration required for a large number of clients.
Source: Microsoft, Paharpur Business Center, 21 Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019. Tel:
11-6460694, 6460767 Fax: 6474714 RQS# E41

The Terminal Server uses the Remote Desktop protocol
to communicate with its clients over a LAN or a dial-up connect. In case of dial-up,
install Remote Access Server (RAS) on the Terminal Server machine and do a Windows-based
remote login through a dial-up line.

To test the performance, we first connected two clients and
ran common office applications like Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Excel on each. All
applications ran smoothly. To stretch the server to its limits, we connected three clients
running Quake II servers simultaneously, and it was still playable.

You can also start multiple login sessions from the same
client system or even disconnect a session without logging off. The latter can be very
useful at times. For instance, you could start a program from your office and disconnect.
Later at home, dial into your office NT server and reconnect. Your program would be
exactly as you left it. Further, you don’t have to worry about security as Terminal
Server, supports encryption of data sent to and from its clients.

Terminal Server is restricted by the number of licenses.
That is, if you’ve purchased licenses for ten clients, the eleventh one will be
refused connection.

Since, it’ll be mainly used by legacy thin-client
systems to run non-network applications, its use is rather limited. Nevertheless, it
performs well, is easy to use, and can be integrated into an existing Win NT network.

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