Getting the 2X service up and running

As I mentioned before, we decided against the Citrix Presentation Server solution in favour of the 2X LoadBalancer and ApplicationServer combination. You’re gonna say, but Citrix does the same and it’s only one “application frame“. 2X is exactly the same.

Citrix Presentation Server features:

  1. Application isolation
  2. Single-Sign-On
  3. Application-Level Load Distribution
  4. CPU management
  5. Memory optimization

2X Loadbalancer & Applicationserver:

  1. Resource based load balancing
  2. Single-Sign-On (only with version 6.0)

They both share common needs:

  • a configured Windows Terminal Server
  • each client needs a Windows Terminal Server CAL (which is of course issued by the terminal license server)

After we figured that out, it was rather easy for us to decide. The 2X solution is compared to the Citrix solution rather cheap (~5.000 EUR compared to >20.000 EUR – that is already including educational discount and VAT).

After more trial-and-error periods I can count, we finally got everything working (that is version 6.0) in combination with our Wyse V90 running Windows XP Embedded. First I tried setting up four different systems (as was outlined by some document by 2X describing various setups), two for the redundant Loadbalancers and two for the Windows Terminal Services.

After a short fight with the German 2X Support, they made it clear quite fast, that this kind of setup (as the applications ain’t installed on the Loadbalancer) won’t work quite so good, as the ApplicationServer is doing the application publication and you can only publish applications on the Loadbalancer (I know, it’s kinda messy) …

So we reinstalled the system, to only have two Terminal Servers which would act as 2X Loadbalancer at the same time. That way, we only had to care about two systems, not four …

After tuning the GPO a bit (to only allow applications which people *are* supposed to use), trying to get Mozilla Firefox working (and secure on the Terminal Server), some more trying and finally giving up on stream Mozilla from the Terminal Server (as you can’t prevent people from executing applications by browsing through file://C:/, even if you explicitly *disabled* access to it by GPO), we decided to simply publish the already present Internet Explorer, which is quite customizable by the present GPO’s.

I only have one pending issue, which is related to the forwarding of local drives (RDP 6.0 has a neat feature, it allows forwarding of drives even if they weren’t plugged in when you opened the connection). It’s been open for some days, I’ll see whether or not they are gonna fix it …


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