Failure to manage your User Groups' sessions through Group Policies, can subject your server(s) to slowdowns or even crashes. Before connecting your users to a Windows 2003/2008 Terminal Server (farm), you can define Group Policies to limit the number of concurrent sessions available at any given time.
A second way of mitigating Terminal Server slowdowns is through load balancing. Windows Server 2003, 2008 or 2008 RDS (WS08 R2 RDS) provides basic load balancer capabilities that distribute user connection requests evenly within a Terminal Server farm to optimize resource utilization, thereby minimizing the risk of resource bottlenecks. However, these load balancer capabilities are suitable for a very small group of identical servers (Microsoft recommends no more than 5 servers). A third party load balancer can handle load balancing for up to dozens and even hundreds of Terminal Servers and measure CPU sessions etc., to improve reliability and performance while enabling server scalability for production peaks. In addition, a third party load balancer can offer custom balancing functionality – Memory, CPU, Sessions and login throttling.
Microsoft Group Policies – Setting Time Limits
A Terminal Server's availability is determined by a number of factors, including the number of active Client Access Licenses (CAL), server-hosted remote applications / desktops, and Session Time Limits.
Session Time Limits, in particular, enable you to assign an allotted time for active, idle, disconnected, and RemoteApp sessions, as well. Assigning session time limits serves as a third way to minimize Terminal Server slowdowns.
From Microsoft Window's Group Policy Management console you can define the following Session Time Limit policy settings:
- Set time limit for active but idle Terminal Services sessions.
- Set time limit or active Terminal Services sessions.
- Set time limit for disconnected sessions.
- Set time limit for logoff of RemoteApp sessions (Windows 2008).
- Terminate session when time limits are reached.
Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect – Terminal Services Enhancer
Terminal Services configuration can be an arduous, time consuming process. Certified by Microsoft, Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect simplifies and streamlines Terminal Services configuration. PowerTerm WebConnect extends Terminal Services for Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2, with product enhancements that include Single Sign-on and Linux/Mac Client Support.
As the recognized Alternative to Citrix, PowerTerm WebConnect is a Connection Broker that provides enhanced security, load balancing, remote desktop support, an intuitive and friendly user-interface, and centralized management tools, including an easy-to-use Administration Tool.