Visited a customerish yesterday, in Wynyard. From the description, I was expecting a big mess of Win98 & XP systems, but it seems that they’re a little more organised (sorta), than that.
Well, the actual organisation revolves around two servers, which are remote-managed. They wear the princely titles of “server” & “server1”
One of them is a Windows file-server, the other is a terminal server. Oddly enough, the backups etc are done through the terminal server, since the tape backup unit doesn’t work on the file-server, & the USB interface works poorly, if at all.
The positive aspect from the workstations’ perspective is that they’re all, basically, thin clients. The users start them, start an RDP client, & do all of their work via the terminal server.
I gather that this was done for convenience of administration, since the admin (in Devonport, apparently) doesn’t need to ensure that workstations are clocked on or whatever, just has to start a session for the user in question, & admin that.
Now, the whole arrangement just cries out for a standard Unix-like setup (X was born for this) — but there are a few show-stoppers like MYOB in the works.
Nevertheless, I’m planning to swap their standard PCs plus a few special-purpose RDP client boxes for dead-boring standard PCs which boot a Linux image (so conceptually could be replaced by a live CD) that starts dear old rdesktop aimed at the terminal server.
They’re a kind of a charity, so $$$ are quite important, as is chopping away any extra organisation needed for obtaining specialised equipment. With my grand plan in place, they can grab a bargain PC, whip out the hard disk (if any), shove a CD into it, & be on the road immediately. No licence hassles, no special cases.