Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Why we need at least one dedicated desktop for RWW

For our clients that have over 7-8 seats we tend to setup a dedicated box for a remote desktop via the Remote Web Workplace (RWW).

If our client has more laptops than desktops, we then look at the option of setting up a second box or a box with Server Core and Hyper-V to host 3 or more desktops depending on the client's size.

Why go through the extra expense of having dedicated remote desktops?

How many of our clients have a user at every PC workstation? We would be willing to bet that pretty much all of them do. Yes, we have the VPN. But, that only works well if a few connections are in use depending on the size of the ISP connection.

So, if a user needs to have access to a desktop within the organization, such as one of the managing partners of an accounting firm whose laptop was showing signs of dying ... while out of town, what do they do?

Here are a number or reasons why having at least one dedicated desktop for remote access is a good thing:
  • Laptop users have a desktop to work from while working off-site.
  • Laptop users whose hard drives show signs of dying can transfer data back to the office and work remotely thus eliminating the possibility of loosing their work and their data.
  • Client sensitive data can be accessed via RWW instead of kept on the local laptop reducing liability due to data exposure.
    • BitLocker can help to reduce this exposure on laptops. But, Vista Ultimate or Software Assurance is required for access.
    • TrueCrypt is another option, but can be awkward depending on the users capabilities.
  • Clients can hire workers to work remotely. Less office space required saving leasing costs.
    • This involves a little psychology as far as the paradigm shift from 9-5 thinking to goal setting and goal orientation for outbound workers.
  • Scheduled flexibility time for workers to work in and out of the office.
    • Summer and off peak times.
    • Parents.
    • Maternity and Paternity leave.
    • Disability leave.
  • A desktop for us to use as a logon point for managing the SBS network. We do not like to log directly into the SBS box via RWW or any other method if we can help it.
Even if the user leaves their laptop in the office to connect to while at home, the dedicated desktop setup tends to be a lot faster for them to work on.

There are any number of really good reasons why this setup works to improve a client's efficiency. We need only be creative in discovering them as we develop an understanding of our client's business.

We always try to demonstrate the RDP via RWW tie in with the Companyweb SharePoint site facing both internally and the Internet via RWW, Outlook Anywhere, and Outlook Mobile Access to the managing partners. When we do, keeping the demonstration to about 30-45 minutes to prevent brain overload, we win the deal pretty much every time.

It pays to know the product ... it really pays to know all of the collaborative features SBS has to offer a firm ... as well as the many facets those features have:
  • Firm productivity.
  • Firm efficiency.
  • Disaster recovery Scenarios.
  • Data protection capabilities.
  • Worker location flexibility.
By knowing the SBS features, all of their updates and augmentation inside and out, we can be better prepared for the oncoming changes to RWW in SBS 2008 including the ability to publish TS RemoteApps. And further to that, we can be prepared to design and implement Cloud based collaborative infrastructures for our clients when the time comes.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do you deal with a user ending the session but not logging off the PC? The next user gets 'this machine is locked... and they don't have admin rights to bump off the other (idle) user. and if they are admins, what's to keep them from dumping an active session?