MS Server 2003 – Terminal Services & DC on same server

Microsoft Windows
SQL Server
Hi, We have a new remote office in another country (the US). There will be 15 users at this new office initially prehaps growing to 30 in the next year. Support is going to be an issue so I'm looking at implementing a maintenance desktop environment. As a result I am throwing around the idea of maybe looking at using HP Thin Clients and have them use an MS Terminal Services on a MS Server 2003 installation (dual 3.2GHz CPU, 4GB mem). The users only ever use MS Word, MS Excel and surf the web using IE. My question is this: - I only have budget for a single server that would also have to double as a DC. Can I, or is it advisable not to run MS Server 2003 with a DC role, file, print and terminal services (>30 clients). Also I have read about the TS licencing server - can this reside on the same box also. What I am hoping to achieve is a semi-high powered one stop server. Also would a dual processor 3.2Ghz Xeon, 4GB Mem server be able to handle 15-30 users? Any comments or assistance much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Simon

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Dear Simon,

I ran a dual processor server in a smaller office environment of 6 PCs and 4 printers, and used the server machine as my development machine. We had Microsoft office on all machines (using mostly Word and Excell), plus a homegrown system that ran the particular business requirements using MS SQL Server 2000. The OS on the server was Windows Server 2000.

Whenever we had performance problems, simple tuning of the homegrown application solved them. I was running Visual Studio 6 and SQL Server 2000 Development Edition for my development environment on the server machine, and boy, was it fast!

We were running 10/100 MB Ethernet, and NEVER had any network perfomance issues (except trying to keep it running sometimes, but that was due to configuration issues).

CPU usage on the Server only approached 100% (no idle cycles) when I was compiling programs, and that was on the CPU the machine assigned the compilation to. And the network itself was in use less than 5% of the time.

So, your solution will probably work with only minor performance issues, if any at all. If your application are just MS Word and Excel, most of the work keeping up with keystrokes and associated processing will happen on the individual PCs, and will not involve the network or server. (Or do you plan to keep all documents on the server and have the PCs access them directly on the server? That might make a difference.)

Good luck,
So, I think you could

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