Should I upgrade MetaFrame XP farm to Windows Server 2003?
I'm trying to determine if we should upgrade our MetaFrame XP farm to Windows Server 2003. The two issues I'm looking at are whether it will improve performance within the terminal sessions and if it is best to convert the Terminal Server Client Access License (TSCAL) to a user base rather than device base (as in Windows 2000). Do you have a suggestions or thoughts about these two points?
Connections to a Win2k3 Terminal Server do seem superior. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client is faster and has some new features (although it sounds like you're using MetaFrame and won't be using them), and the operating system uses memory in a way that allows a server to maintain more simultaneous connections without running out of memory. Simply put, for each user logged into the terminal server, there must be a copy of HKCU for that person. Win2k (and TSE) store the entire contents of HKCU in the area of memory reserved for this purpose. Win2k3 stores only a pointer to HKCU for each person. With pointers taking up less space than a registry key, Win2k3 can accommodate more users -- all else being equal.
The change in licensing isn't a perfect match for that used in MetaFrame, but could still come in handy.
This was first published in July 2003