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Hosting Full Desktops with Terminal Server

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

If you determine that hosting with Terminal Server is an ideal way to manage an application, consider running just the application (not the entire desktop) on the terminal server. This can save significant resources on the terminal server and can allow many more users to log on to the server simultaneously.

If, however, you want your users to access their full desktop from the terminal server as outlined in "Identifying the Role of Terminal Server in Your Organization" earlier in this chapter, be sure to fully test for performance and server capacity using the full load of applications to which your users will have access. For more information about server capacity, see "Terminal Server Capacity Planning" later in this chapter.

Choosing the Desktop Theme

If you host the full desktop with Terminal Server, the desktop environment is like the Windows desktop. The default desktop theme for Windows Server 2003, however, is Windows Classic. You can use the Windows XP default theme, however this theme affects performance for the user because it is more graphic intensive than Windows Classic. Test the responsiveness for the end user and perform real-user testing to ensure that the performance is satisfactory when using this theme. For more information about testing, see "Terminal Server Capacity Planning" later in this chapter.

You can also choose a specific theme for your end users or enforce the use of the Windows Classic theme through Group Policy. For more information, see "Configuring User Group Policy Settings" later in this chapter.

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