Scalability of 64-Bit Terminal Server Platforms

Published in August 2006

Microsoft Windows Terminal Services allows users to run Windows-based applications on a remote Windows Server 2003-based platform. The most important benefits of terminal servers are the rapid and centralized deployment of applications and the optimized access to data using low network bandwidth. This allows users to become more productive by enabling access to current applications on many different kinds of devices.

In a server-based computing environment, all application execution and data processing occurs on the server. Therefore it is useful and desirable for server manufacturers to test the scalability and capacity of their servers to determine how many client sessions a server can typically support under a variety of different scenarios.

It is widely recognized that an anticipated typical work scenario be simulated in a customized test environment prior to production installation. This test focuses on a real-world comparison between 32-bit and 64-bit server platforms. Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition with Terminal Services in application server mode is able to break memory barriers imposed by the 32-bit edition. This, however, does not automatically imply that under all circumstances the number of terminal server users may be scaled up by using 64-bit technology. This whitepaper first describes the test environment and the methodology used. Then it provides detailed descriptions of the various scalability test results. Finally it summarizes the results and compares them to existing terminal server environments.

Please note that the results and analysis contained here should not be interpreted in isolation. The applications used in the test executed in terminal server sessions and were only intended to consume a reproducible amount of server resources. The tests assume a rather static quality, with users only logging onto the system, starting three applications with corresponding documents, and subsequently staying inactive for the rest of their session. This helps us to create reproducible results, but your results may vary.

View or download this White Paper from here.