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Learning Windows Server 2003 by Jonathan Hassell

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Requirements for Terminal Services

Because most of the processing power that was traditionally on the desktop has moved to the server in a Terminal Services scenario, it follows that the machine hosting Terminal Services for your users should be significantly beefier than you might otherwise be used to. Perhaps the two most interesting points on the radar as far as hardware requirements are CPU and RAM, followed by the network interface and links.

CPU Requirements

CPU requirements can be difficult to measure because individual users require different slices of processor time at different intervals. Two main factors determine CPU usage: intensity of the applications that users are running, and the number of simultaneous users. Table 10-1 gives a rough estimate for CPU requirements based on number of users and application intensity.

Table 10-1. Rough estimates of CPU requirements for Terminal Services

Simultaneous users

Intensity of application(s)

Recommended processor

20-25

Low

Pentium III 750MHz+

High

Dual Pentium III 750MHz+ or Pentium IV Xeon any speed

 

35-40

Low

Pentium III or IV, 1GHz+

High

Dual Pentium IV Xeon 2GHz+

 

50-55

Low

Dual Pentium IV Xeon 2GHz+

High

Not recommended

 

Amount of RAM

Here are some hard and fast facts about RAM usage with Terminal Services that you might find helpful:

  • Each user, upon just logging in, occupies roughly 20MB of the Terminal Services host machine’s RAM.

  • A typical load of two to three Office applications per user will add approximately ...

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