Configuring Citrix MetaFrame for Windows 2000 Terminal Services

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Many large organizations use PRIs to provide ISDN connections to their users. In North America, an ISDN PRI is capable of providing 23 B channels and one D channel. This means that 23 users can connect to the ISDN device using one of their B channels, or that 12 could connect using both B channels. Connections for users can typically be limited to a single B channel to provide access to more users simultaneously. ISDN PRIs are typically carried over a T1 line, which at 1.44 Mbps provides the necessary capacity for their 24 channels. Most of the control over the PRI and ISDN lines is done through the ISDN card or router management software you choose to employ.

Placing the RAS Servers on the Internetwork

Now that you have all this great hardware, where do you put it? Some people make the mistake of thinking that you can just tuck your RAS server off in the corner of your network, and there it will hum away for years to come. In fact, if you don’t carefully consider where you’re putting that RAS server, you could completely congest a network segment, and thus further limit your dial-up users. They are already stuck at a maximum 56Kbps connection. Putting them on a congested segment will further slow their transfer rates. When you consider the RAS placement, you need to keep bandwidth considerations first and foremost in your mind.

It’s a simple equation—more bandwidth equals more capacity for productivity (Notice that I didn’t actually say more productivity. That depends on the user!). If your remote user has to wait five minutes to download the updated file from the RAS server, that’s five minutes lost to you. What if a portion of that five minutes was not caused by the dial-up connection, but was instead caused by a poor choice of NICs? The fault then is on you as the network manager. When looking at the RAS server placement, identify what resources your users are most often going to be connecting to. Is there a central file server that they will access regularly? Do they require access to certain print devices, or maybe even CD servers? Knowing what devices they will need to access can help you identify where the bottlenecks in any plan will be.

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