Terminal Service vs Desktop


I am having a project to work out the cost that my company will have if we are moving away from using Terminal Services, and start to use a normal desktop for every user. I have 3 Windows Server 2008 Standard to handle the Terminal Services (load balancing). The company employs about 120 workers, which about 80% of them are on Terminal Services. The other 15% – 20% users are on Windows 7 Professional.

I need help from everyone, thoughts, recommendation or suggestions, or even past experiences are really helpful to put everything into consideration. The consideration includes the time to manage and maintain, cost of hardware and software (includes the licensing cost) between Terminal Services and Desktop. Any other key features to consider are more than welcome.

I know that with Terminal Service, the amount of administration for applications is not as high as the normal desktop has.

Hardware details for Terminal Services: 3 Terminal Services running on Windows Server 2008 which is hosted in vmWare.
Users Details: about 120 – 130 users.
IT Team: 1 Senior System Admin, 2 System Admin and 1 Help Desk Technician.

Reason to Move Away from TS:

  • Looking for reasonable performance to support the users' workload. Therefore, I need to weigh the cost for upgrade the vmWare machine (such as increase RAM, etc), against the cost to have desktop set up. This involves the time and cost that will be spend to maintain and manager the full desktop set up.
  • Licensing: as we are currently running out of TS Licensing due to a lot of users are working remotely. The initial plan is to use desktop set up in the office, and let the TS handle the users who are working remotely.

The 2 main points above are the reason for this changes.

Best Answer

If you're speccing a lot of desktops, I strongly suggest you look into Intel v-Pro or the AMD equivalent.

One of its best features is Out-Of-Band management, so you can remotely access the console of the machine to power on/off, get into BIOS, press Ok at pesky OS prompts, etc. Sort of like the Console features of an iLO or iDRAC.

No more visiting peoples desks (this can be both good or bad, depending on your social skills)