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The Planning and Design Series Approach

Published: February 25, 2008

 

This guide is one in a series of planning and design guides that clarify and streamline the planning and design process for Microsoft® infrastructure technologies.

Each guide addresses a unique infrastructure technology or scenario. These guides include the following topics:

  • Defining the technical decision flow (flow chart) through the planning process.
  • Describing the decisions to be made and the commonly available options to consider in making the decisions.
  • Relating the decisions and options to the business in terms of cost, complexity, and other characteristics.
  • Framing the decision in terms of additional questions to the business to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the appropriate business landscape.

The guides in this series are intended to complement and augment the product documentation.

Document Approach

This guide is designed to provide a consistent structure for addressing the decisions or activities that are most critical to the successful implementation of the Terminal Services infrastructure in Windows Server® 2008.

Each decision or activity is divided into four elements:

  • Background on the decision or activity, including context setting and general considerations.
  • Typical options or tasks to perform for the activity.
  • Reference section evaluating such items as cost, complexity, and manageability of the options or tasks.
  • Questions for the business that may have a significant impact on the decisions to be made.

Table 1 lists the full range of characteristics discussed in the evaluation sections. Only those characteristics relevant to a particular option or task are included in each section.

Table 1. Architectural Characteristics

Characteristic

Description

Complexity

The complexity of this option relative to other options.

Cost

The initial setup and sustained cost of this option.

Fault Tolerance

How the decision supports the resiliency of the infrastructure, which ultimately affects the availability of the system.

Performance

How the option affects the performance of the infrastructure.

Scalability

The impact the option has on the scalability of the infrastructure.

Security

Whether the option has a positive or negative impact on overall infrastructure security.

Each design option is evaluated according to these characteristics and is subjectively rated to provide a relative weighting compared with other options. The options are not explicitly rated against each other as there are too many unknowns about the business drivers to accurately compare them.

The ratings are relative and take two forms:

  • Cost and Complexity are rated on a scale of High, Medium, or Low.
  • The remaining characteristics are rated on the scale in Table 2.

Table 2. Impact on Characteristic

Symbol

Definition

Positive effect on the characteristic.

No effect on the characteristic, or there is no basis for comparison.

Negative effect on the characteristic.

The characteristics are presented either in two-column or three-column tables. A two-column table is used when the characteristic applies to all options or when there are no options available—for example, when performing a task.

A three-column table presents an option, the description, and the effect, in that order, for the characteristic.

Who Should Use This Document

This guide is written for information technology (IT) infrastructure specialists who are responsible for planning and designing a Terminal Services implementation in Windows Server 2008 to serve desktops or applications to devices running the Remote Desktop Client (RDC) software. These specialists include consultants, internal IT staff, and others who are concerned with design decisions relating to virtualization.

The content in this guide assumes that the reader is familiar with Terminal Services technology and is planning an implementation of Terminal Services servers, farms, or both in Windows Server 2008.

This accelerator is part of a larger series of tools and guidance from Solution Accelerators.

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