Windows Terminal Servers

Windows Terminal Servers contain three main components: a multi-user component (MultiWin), a remote presentation component/protocol (RDP – Remote Desktop Protocol), and client software (Terminal Server Client).

These three components enable a user running a thin client/dumb terminal to connect to the Terminal Server and use resources on the server. All processing and resource usage is done on the server. This includes all data storage, processing, and application execution. Basically, the only thing that travels the network between the client and the Terminal Server are keystrokes and screen updates.

The multi-user component is an essential component on Windows Terminal Servers. This component is responsible for the multi-user functionality of the product. The term “multi-user“ means that multiple users can access an application, driver, and operating system processes on the Terminal Server simultaneously.The MultiWin component is responsible for making sure that the servers hardware (processor, memory, etc.) and software (applications, registry, etc.) can be accessed simultaneously by many users without causing conflicts.

The RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is just like the name suggests. It’s main function is to bring the servers desktop to the users who are running the client software. Currently there are two versions of this protocol that you may run into out in the field: RDP 4.0 and RDP 5.0. RDP 4.0 was first introduced with Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition and RDP 5.0, which is the current version, is implemented in Windows 2000 Terminal Server. One point to remember about RDP is that it is only supported over TCP/IP.

The third component, the Terminal Server Client (TSC), is also crucial to this environment. The client is a small piece of software that is included with Windows NT/2000 Terminal Servers. The client software gets installed on the client machine / terminal. After you startup the Terminal Server Client you can then select the terminal server that you want to connect to. If the Terminal Server Client is connected, you are in a “terminal session” and have access to the resources on the terminal server. The Terminal Server Client uses RDP to communicate with the server.

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