Windows 2000 Terminal Services extends the reach of applications--and the administration behind them.

New Opportunities with Terminal-Based Computing

Windows 2000 Terminal Services extends the reach of applications--and the administration behind them.

With its integration into Windows 2000 Server, Windows Terminal Services brings important new opportunities to MCPs. Server-based computing gives you the ability to provide new solutions to users and customers; to manage enterprises more effectively; to offer new management services; and to move applications to the network and the Web more quickly and easily.

If you haven’t worked with server-based computing yet, here’s how it works: with Terminal Services, you can run applications from the server, using a small client emulator on the front end. This enables you to run Windows-based applications on practically any device, including non-Windows desktops, new devices (such as handheld PCs or Windows-based terminals), or any legacy devices—devices your customers or colleagues might otherwise have to retire. Terminal Services can dramatically improve the performance of applications over low-bandwidth connections, especially when working with large data files. There are, however, some things that it’s not well suited for, including applications that make extensive use of high-resolution graphics or multimedia, or anyone who frequently works offline.

Terminal Services is about applications, and being able to extend the reach of applications to more users throughout an enterprise. To get a feel for the Terminal Services architecture, try out its remote administration mode. With two concurrent administrator connections, it’s safe to enable on any Windows 2000 server. When you’re comfortable, you can explore application serving mode. It’s better to start by installing just one or two applications to understand issues such as scaling and redundancy, rather than doing everything at once. Keep in mind that some applications are more suited for a Terminal Services environment than others.

Here are some of the Terminal Server scenarios to consider for your clients and colleagues:

  • Remote access—Even if your users aren’t ready for server-based application sharing, consider Terminal Services as an enhancement to their remote access experiences. Because you’re transmitting only screen data across the wire, applications can actually run more efficiently remotely than locally.

  • Remote administration—You can remotely administer servers in your network or your customers’ servers, without the time and expense of driving to remote locations. Some enterprising Microsoft Certified Solution Providers are already gaining revenue by selling remote administration as a new, cost-effective service. And with the Terminal Services Remote Control feature, you can remotely troubleshoot an application running in a user’s Terminal Services session.

  • Server-based application sharing—Sharing applications from the server is great for custom, in-house applications that may not have full installation routines. It’s also useful for applications that need frequent updates, or for those times when you need to access them from non-Windows desktops. Some MCPs might want to consider application sharing as a segue to eventually providing application hosting services.

Is Terminal Services right for you? Check it out and see for yourself. For more information, go to

About the Author

Mark Aggar is Product Manager for Windows 2000 Terminal Server.

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