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In somewhat near future I'll be preparing an infrastructure for a small shop hiring around 10 people. All of them use a couple times a day some computer applications (windows based). Using computers is not their main task, they just need to check some things for clients. For those 10 people I'd like to have 5 access terminals.

The current situation for that company is that they have 5 computers and the apps (say 10 different applications) are installed on all of them individually. This is in no way comfortable.

I'd like to propose such an infrastructure change that would lead to easier management of the applications installed and to comfortable work - not that many computers to manage, etc. It would be ideal to be able to have the access terminals as easily replaceable as possible. I'm also looking into this change as a way to optimise costs.

Since majority of the applications they need to access is delivered by 3rd parties we're unable to alter their behavior.

Security is not that big issue.

Having that in mind I've been thinking about the following setup:

  • have one powerful machine with lots of storage space and ram, with windows installed - edition that allows multiple remote sessions
  • for all the client terminals have some linux based, simple terminals (here hardware suggestions would be great) that would boot from network and allow users to access their applications with remote desktop

What do you people think about that problem? How would you approach this?

EDITED: the best option would be to buy only one version of windows for the server - I'd like to use linux for the clients - and use Remote Desktop to access the server.

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closed as not constructive by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Sirex, ChrisF, 8088, Dave M Jan 14 '13 at 1:48

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your problem is "this is in no way comfortable". 5 machines with 10 apps is nothing, so fix that first. – Sirex Jan 13 '13 at 18:50
it is 10 users and there are ~50 apps. The users don't require separate machines - they can easily share. Besides - what works for 5 will work for 10 :) – Marcin Cylke Jan 13 '13 at 18:53

Set up a Windows Server with Active Directory (as a Domain Controller), create a domain and then use Group Policy Software Distribution.

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I don't know this technology very well, it seems to me that it is only intended for pushing software to clients. I don't want that, since it would require all the clients to have appropriate hardware specs for running that software. This seems an overkill. I would much more prefer installing in one central point (the server) and using some kind of sharing. – Marcin Cylke Jan 13 '13 at 17:45
OK, then why not just do that? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 13 '13 at 17:47
:) Looking for other options, maybe better :) – Marcin Cylke Jan 13 '13 at 18:09

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