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  1. #1
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    Win2k/XP Terminal Server vs. Citrix

    Can anyone recommend a comparision between Windows Terminal Services and Citrix? My understanding is that they are roughly comparable at least at a high level. We have two clients who need to work with an Access database over the Internet, and VPN or similar solutions just don't cut it. In addition, the backend database is SQL Server, so replication would get completely out of hand. Also any experiences, either good or bad, that anyone has had with either product would be of interest. Thanks in advance.
    Wendell

  2. #2
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    Re: Win2k/XP Terminal Server vs. Citrix

    While I cannot think of a comparison between the two, I'm using both in a corporate environment and can leave you with a brief description. First, have you played with TermServ? If you have a Win2000 Server on your lan, check to see that it's installed (Add-Remove|Windows Components) and, if you don't have any licenses for it, that it's running in Administration mode (as opposed to application mode). Now you can generate a set of client disks from the Admin Tools menu on the Start menu. Play with this. Learn it.

    The dirty secret of Cirtix and TermServ is that RDP, the TermServ protocol was developed by Citrix Corp and licensed to MS, but it is required to run ICA, the Cirtix protocol. That means 1 license for the desktop OS (you can use Linux), 1 license for TermServ, and 1 license for Citrix. That gets very expensive per client. Citrix has some strong advantages over TermServ alone, but not in every case. If you just want to deliver a remote desktop to a road warrior, then TermServ may very well meet the needs. Shadowing is also a part of TermServ, but there are restrictions.

    Citrix comes into it's own when you want to run applications from multiple servers with load balancing and seamless integration to the desktop of the client. I've set up my users with an icon on their desktop for an application that, when executed, looks like it's running on their computer. It's not. All the processing and memory usage are on the server. This is great for us. It may not be worth the expense for you.

    Check out microsoft.com and citrix.com (look for MetaFrameXPs). Do some reading and call citrix with questions. It works well for us.

    Did this make sense? If you have more questions post 'em. I'll be happy to tell you more.

  3. #3
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    Re: Win2k/XP Terminal Server vs. Citrix

    Thanks for the overview. We've actually played with TermServ some and it seems like it might do the trick, even though there are a few gottcha's like you can reboot the server from the workstation in some cases. Our needs for both clients are where people permanently located remotely (i.e. Omaha) need to work with an Access 2k/XP application on a server in Denver. And the numbers will be pretty limited - max of 3 in one case, and 15 to 20 in the other. Remotes would need to come through a firewall in each case, and would be using DSL or better facilities. One of the questions I haven't been able to get a definitive answer to is whether the remotes would need to set up a VPN connection. Another is how much of a hassle a firewall presents. We do have a couple of months before we cast our lot, so the need isn't immediate.
    Wendell

  4. #4
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    Re: Win2k/XP Terminal Server vs. Citrix

    Being able to reboot the server from the client is a security issue. Check Start | Programs |Admin Tools | Domain Security Policy on the server. Dig through those. The only option a client should have is to Log Off.

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