Configuring Citrix MetaFrame for Windows 2000 Terminal Services

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Another key factor is the type of RAS services you will be providing. Clients that will dial directly into a network using Dial-Up Networking (DUN) will require different hardware and software than those utilizing a VPN solution. Windows 2000 RAS offers point-to-point, point-to-local area network (LAN), LAN-to-LAN, and LAN-to-wide area network (WAN) connections. Obviously, without knowing the type of service you are looking to provide, it will be difficult to know how you should scale your environment. That is why all of these factors must be taken in to account when you are designing your RAS solution.


Random access memory (RAM) is perhaps the most crucial piece of system hardware that is used not only by RAS, but also by the system as a whole. Without sufficient RAM, the entire RAS process can become bogged down in slow-moving system paging. Paging is the process whereby information is transferred from volatile, high-speed storage like RAM to slower, nonvolatile memory on a hard disk. The problem with system paging is that it significantly slows the data retrieval process. If the operating system is forced to page out remote access information to the hard drive because of insufficient storage space in the RAM, it destroys the performance gains RAM can provide. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that RAM be your number one consideration when pricing a system.

It’s a tried but true saying—you really can never have too much RAM. A minimum of 128 MB is recommended, but much more may be needed depending on the total number of users and other functions the RAS server will perform. Remember, we’re not just talking about RAM for remote access. You’ll need a sufficient amount for your operating system, for any network routing the server performs, and for any other functions or roles it fulfills. Many organizations use the RAS server as a file and print server as well. This can work, as long as it is realized that inadequate hardware will hurt both roles the server is going to perform. For instance, using your RAS server as a database server would be high on the list of things not to do. The amount of RAM a database server typically eats would cripple the RAS performance.

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