Managing Windows Servers with Terminal Services

By default, you’ll find the standard Windows based 16 & 32-bit clients in the %systemroot%\system32\clients\tsclient directory on each server. I prefer using the more recent Remote Desktop Client, which is already installed with Windows XP (found in Programs – Accessories – Communications – Remote Desktop Connection), and also downloadable, or found on a Windows XP Professional or Home CD.

Some of the options available with this client are new features meant to work with Windows Server 2003, and not available when connecting to a Win2K Server. For example, you won’t be able to get Remote Computer Sound or connect with more than 256 colours when trying to establish a connection with a Win2K Server. Not really a major issue when dealing with administration, but just something I wanted to point out, so you’re not trying to configure options that aren’t functional in Windows 2000 Server.

At minimum, all that is required to connect is either the computer name of the server or it’s IP address, select ‘Connect’, and away you go! A new terminal session will start and you’ll be prompted with a logon screen just as if you were sitting in front of the server.

The Terminal Services Advanced Client (TSAC), or more recently updated to Remote Desktop Web Connection, is a web-based client that uses ActiveX controls. This client requires IIS 4.0 or higher in order to be installed on the workstation you will be using to remotely administer your servers from. You can download it here. It also requires Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. Some benefits of using this client over others may be to allow developers to customize the web interface, linking it with other web-based apps, or maybe even linking multiple remote terminal sessions on a single web page.