Now, depending on their age, this next task may be more difficult for some than others. Remember the days of mainframes. Those green screen systems with nothing but text on the monitors.
These systems were essentially the first “terminal servers” of their day. All brain functions of the system were performed on the server and sent to the screen of each terminal via the network. The terminals themselves didn’t do much more than display server information.
Today it’s pretty much the same, except those terminals now have colorful screens, a mouse, sound, and more. Servers have gotten incredibly powerful, faster, smaller, and more efficient. However, the concept has not really changed.
Servers still do most of the work, while terminals (your desktop, laptop, mobile device, etc.) simply connect to the server and provide you with all the applications you need to get your job done.
So will a terminal server help your business?
That’s a question only you can answer, but here are some of the benefits that a remote desktop server or terminal will bring to your organization:
Work From Anywhere – Yes You Do! Because everything you need is installed on the server rather than on your computer, you can connect from anywhere with an internet connection and be up and running. Ideal for your mobile workforce or staff working from home.
Work from any device – You can use a Mac, Windows PC, iPad, and even your smartphone if it can handle such a small screen. Because the server has everything you need, the operating system of the device you are connecting from is irrelevant. As long as you have a remote desktop client program (everyone does), then you’re good to go.
Spend less money on your computers – your company’s grain counters will love it! Since your computers are no longer doing all the work, or need to be constantly updated with newer versions of software, you can replace them less often. When you replace them, you can also buy less expensive ones.
Save on software costs – you only need to buy the software and license for the server, instead of all the computers. Note that you will still need to purchase licenses for the number of users connecting, but that may cost less in many cases.
Save on IT costs – Being an IT business owner, I don’t always like to mention this part, but you will actually save money on IT costs with a terminal server. Since all your programs are in one place, it means that we only have to update one system instead of all the computers in your office individually. If something goes wrong, we fix it once and it magically fixes for everyone.
Okay, by now you’re probably running to the phone or your computer to get in touch with your IT company and get started on this. Wondering why you didn’t do this years ago. Congratulations! You just made a great decision for your business!
So is there something wrong with using a terminal server in your office? Well … not really, but there’s a little problem that can be fixed by spending a few extra bucks to get a good server and hiring an even better IT company to set it up and manage it …
If something goes wrong with the server, EVERYONE will be affected. Productivity basically stalls. That’s why you need to spend a little more money to get a very reliable and hardened server to handle the load of all your staff using it simultaneously and to ensure that it stays running 24/7/365.
You (or your IT company) also need to make sure that all the software you use on a daily basis actually works on a terminal server. Some programs are simply not written to work in a multi-user environment and they simply do not work.
This is something you should discuss with the vendor of your particular software package. Most of the major software vendors support this and almost all Microsoft products will, including, of course, Microsoft Office.