Microsoft Windows Server 2003 was developed as the successor to the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server series, with special emphasis on use by IT professionals in corporate networks. It offers both exceptional stability and excellent performance. A computer system running Windows Server 2003 supports simultaneous execution of an almost unlimited number of processes for users interactively logged on to the system. It is, of course, possible to use several processors simultaneously to increase scalability. Specially adapted system components allow multiple users to log on to the system interactively (multi-user operation). Redirecting input and output operations to remote computers in application server mode is possible in the core Windows Server 2003 system using Terminal Services. However, this option first needs to be activated.
The multiple-user function of Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services should not be confused with the function that allows multiple users to be connected to the server through the network in a more general sense. Multi-user service without interactive logon to the server’s user interface is frequently used for file, print, or directory services. In contrast, Terminal Services allows multiple interactive user sessions in parallel, with each of the sessions providing a desktop.
Terminal Services enables the connection of thin clients, also called terminals. Each client is assigned a session. Using this session, a logged-on user performs all operations on the server except keyboard, mouse, and monitor operations, which take place on the client itself. This design opens up interesting and powerful possibilities for Windows Server 2003 because it can be used in large corporate environments with extensive computer networks that are widely dispersed geographically. Windows Server 2003 with Terminal Services in application server mode allows simple centralization of administrative tasks and the use of low-maintenance clients. The technical term for this arrangement is server-based computing.
This book describes the installation, configuration, and administration of Terminal Services on Windows Server 2003. It not only presents the pure facts, but also describes how using Terminal Services affects administration and the outward characteristics of the system. Additionally, system extensions and third-party products are important to successfully deploy Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services. In particular, the MetaFrame product line by Citrix has an essential role.