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Switching to Terminal Server

  • 1.  Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 6 days ago
    Hello
    We currently are running GP 2018 installed on indiv. devices of 25 users.  We are considering switching to run GP on a terminal server.
    What are the pros and cons of this switch.

    Thanks for any input!



    ------------------------------
    Mary Mallazzo
    Fromkin Brothers
    Edison NJ
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 2.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Mary,

    I'd suggest testing it with a few users first.  We did so and found that GP ran too slow over our terminal server.  I was disappointed because it would certainly have made updates/upgrades less painful.

    Be careful of the printer setups though or your users may accidentally print jobs to unexpected destinations on the network.

    Cheers,

    ------------------------------
    Don McCready
    Retired Controller and IT Director
    The Schaefer Group, Inc.
    Beavercreek OH
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 3.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Thank you Don.

    ------------------------------
    Mary Mallazzo
    Fromkin Brothers
    Edison NJ
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 4.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Mary,

    We've deployed GP in over 100 terminal server implementations, so I can speak a bit to this.

    Pros -
    Much, much easier to update. You only have one or two copies of GP to update.

    Having it on a TS back end can enable you to use things like RemoteApp, so you can deploy just an icon that starts a whole session. Makes it easy for folks as they don't have a separate "logon" to another system.


    Cons -
    Printing. Printing in GP on a terminal server has gotten better over the years, but it can still trip you up if you have older printers. We've been using a product called ThinPrint to fix most of the issues we've run into.

    Resource contention - You'll need to make sure that you spec out your terminal server correctly. 25 users can comfortably sit on a single VM, just give it enough resources. You'll want to be sure that you don't run your SQL server and Terminal server on the same VM. You can get away with it for 5 users or so but with 25, you'll want a dedicated machine.

    Also -- if you're using any third party products, make sure that you check with them to make sure that they will work OK on a terminal server. I haven't run into anything that hasn't worked, but I've had to tweak a few smaller vendors tools to make them work right.



    ------------------------------
    Steven Vallarian
    Information Technology Manager
    Central Service Association
    MS
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 5.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Thank you Steven.

    ------------------------------
    Mary Mallazzo
    Fromkin Brothers
    Edison NJ
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 6.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi @Mary Mallazzo,

    In my previous job, we had well over 25 users using Dynamics GP and Sales Pad on one terminal server. Out of the 30 users or so, we had about 15 different printers across 12 locations to print to. You want to allocate a lot of RAM to the server. As far as printing goes, we purchased a piece of software called Terminal Works. It's not very expensive and it will resolve all your printing issues. https://www.terminalworks.com/remote-desktop-printing

    I would definitely recommend that product. ​

    ------------------------------
    Christine Boisvert
    Technical Sales / Report Trainer
    Vivid Reports
    Winnipeg MB
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 7.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Thank you Christine

    ------------------------------
    Mary Mallazzo
    Fromkin Brothers
    Edison NJ
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 8.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    Posted 3 days ago
    Here are some the pros that I have found:

    1. Applying service packs and doing upgrades will be much easier.  Upgrade the SQL server and terminal server(s) and you are done compared to upgrading 25 individuals workstations.
    2.  Converting to Terminal Server eliminates having to upgrade workstations when they no longer meet system requirements.
    3.  Load balancing can be setup with the Terminal servers, assuming you would have more than one, to help spread the work.
    4.  All that is needed on the individual user desktop is a Remote Desktop Connection thus eliminating the need to load other software.




    ------------------------------
    Jim DelMonte
    Dynamics GP Manager
    Groupe Stahl
    Mentor MI
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 9.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Mary,
    All very good answers so far. If I'd have to weight in all the pro's & con's of Terminal Server / Citrix vs. local client, I'd still find more positive points for the TS setup, as it removes so many hassle when it comes to deploy GP clients / apply updates or service packs.

    If you have more than 25-30 users, I strongly suggest to setup more TS server to load-balance the demand over multiple systems. That can be done equally well with Citrix or Microsoft RDP (resource pool).

    There are also other pitfalls you need to be aware when running all the users from a single machine, as GP wasn't meant for a multi-user environment, it doesn't save the settings by individual users, unless you force it to do so. See my blog post from 2014 about that topic.
    https://dyngpgeek.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/using-dynamics-gp-in-a-citrix-ts-environment/

    Hope this helps.

    ------------------------------
    Beat Bucher
    Business Analyst, Dynamics GP SME
    Montreal QC/Canada
    @GP_Beat http://www.gp-geek.com
    Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
    MBS MVP (2015-2018)
    All-Star 2013
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 10.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    Posted 2 days ago
    I agree with a lot of what is being said in these replies, especially Beat.

    We upgraded from 2010 to Current release last year and in that upgrade we moved from local clients (and a single 2003 Terminal Server for remote people) to a RDS farm.  We currently have about 25 users in an instance, 18 in another, and will be adding another 4 this year.  We have a single SQL server for the main instance with 2 RDS hosts to serve them.  We are adding 2 more hosts for the 18 users, and will add another host for the 4 so we can support their language pack.

    We have found that is works extremely well and much faster for users than having the fat client installed.  We have Office 365 installed on those servers as well so they can access their files on OneDrive to print to PDF and share between their client and the GP server.  We are using UPDs (User Profile Drives) to keep the profiles able to roam, and have the ability to recreate within a minute (delete the vhdx file, it will recreate on login).  With this approach, we have created a full test environment with similar setup (not as many hosts due to load), but we can also add load pretty easily and can patch a host, and run to make sure there are no issues before patching the other (patching = windows patching, GP updates go on test first and you must upgrade the entire environment at the same time).

    We have our machines as VMs so we can snapshot them and rollback if we find an issue.  We also user GP Power Tools and some other settings to help the user experience be more customized.

    We were able to easily transition to remote work earlier this year because for GP, we were basically making everyone remote in.  SO it was no change for them.

    Some thoughts to consider:
    -If you are looking to get into the game and do not have a remote application solution, I would look into just RDS and not Citrix.  Citrix adds complexity and cost that may not be a benefit.
    -Printing is always going to be an issue in a remote application environment.  I have so far configured the clients to map their client printers so it uses the client to print.  I have been transitioning to network mapped printers so they are on the server, as well as using GPOs to push only certain printers to certain users (helps clean up the view they can choose from and avoid most mistakes).  I have also pushed users to print to PDF and save to a drive (network or OneDrive).
    -With out RDS Farm, we have redundancy on the session hosts only.  The broker, gateway, SQL server, etc are all single servers (aka single point of failure).  We have a backup solution that will allow near instantaneous recovery from a backup so we have accepted that risk in our company.  But if you need higher uptime, you will need to look into a SQL cluster, and RDS high availability options to fail over as needed.

    I am happy to discuss more or answer any questions if you have some with how we setup our environment.  Please feel free to contact me if you need to.

    Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    Dave Magalen
    dmagalen@auroraplastics.com
    IT Manager - Aurora Plastics
    Streetsboro OH
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 11.  RE: Switching to Terminal Server

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 8 hours ago
    Thanks to ALL!!  Great info.  Thank you for all sharing your knowledge.

    ------------------------------
    Mary Mallazzo
    Fromkin Brothers
    Edison NJ
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


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