Technology

Terminal server: what is it and what are its advantages

Since computers became a fundamental part of everyday professional life, having your own IT department is essential, especially for larger companies. Responsible for installing programs or creating email accounts, they also ensure that all devices are optimally integrated into the corporate network. Thus, workers need to be able to access the central file server when they use company computers or mobile devices outside of work, access corporate mail, or want to use corporate software. Regarding the selection of the operating system (Windows, Linus, macOS, etc.), users should also have complete freedom. Although the requirements vary from business to business, terminal servers have proven to be a very useful resource.

These are the components of a terminal server

To establish a client-terminal server structure, three components are needed:

  • A server hardware that supports multi-user systems
  • A network protocol for remote access
  • A client -terminal server application

Like any other type of server, a terminal server also requires the necessary hardware to perform its function in the desired way. For this reason, all measures must be taken so that there is sufficient computing power to host each of the applications and the server operating system. First of all, the power of the processor is decisive, favored by the use of multicore processors. RAM and hard drive storage space are also important, although requirements are highly dependent on the resource intensity of managed applications.

The second mentioned protocol lays the foundation for communication between the terminal server and the client. For data exchange, there are certain rules to allow users remote access to terminal services. While the initial protocols such as the aforementioned X11 had the function of regulating the establishment of the connection, the new ones, such as the Citrix ICA protocol (Independent Computing Architecture) or the proprietary protocol of Windows RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) allow compression, the encoding and caching of the data transmitted. At the time to Buy RDP get all the guidelines.

Finally, client software must be installed on all devices to help users establish the connection with the terminal server through the corresponding remote protocol and use the applications provided. The hardware and software architecture is often extended by a license server that manages licenses for access.

What role does a licensing service play on terminal servers?

If software is provided through a terminal server, both the server and all clients must have the necessary licenses to use it. Especially in the case of proprietary programs, this plays a very important role because it is common to acquire both a license for the server and for each of the clients. The license server is required in this case as the central managing body for the various licenses that Microsoft designates, for example, as Client Access Licenses (CALs). There are basically two license models:

Device license – Device licenses allow multiple users to use the corresponding device to access the terminal service. This model is ideal when several people use a work computer, for example, in the reception of a hotel.

User license: when users of several devices have to access the services of the terminal server, it is advisable to use user licenses. Thus, only a single license will be required when a user accesses the remote service from their work computer, smartphone or private computer.

Jack Spicer
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