Local processing v server-based applications

By jim.wyse ·
My firm is looking into taking all our 700+ users, located all over the UK, into a server-based application environment, using VPNs over the Internet to provide connectivity.
To me, this seems a backwards step, as modern PCs have ample processing power for Word, Excel and Access, etc. I see a major drawback in that if the ADSL connection goes down, the remote user is stranded, with nothing they can do. At least with distributed processing local to their PC, if the connection goes down they can continue working locally, offline, then transmit the data to the servers when the connection is restored.
The views and experiences of other TechRepublic members would be much appreciated.


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Backward step or forward stumble ?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Local processing v server ...

The big thing is numbers and cost.

You's need a hefty set up to run 700 * how ever many office apps at the same time.
The licensing costs for the server farm capable of doing this would be horrendous by themselves.

Then as you say the risk of an outage, or worse still data loss...

Then there's security..

The theoretical cost saving is 700 users all with office licenses being say served with say 200 slots on an app server...

If that isn't or can't be true, it's a muppet idea. If that 500 less copies comes to more than the cost of the software and infrastructure to set up server farm, includiong the people to maintain it, and teh necesssary provision to cope with a disaster, then again it's daft.

Forget the tech sside for a bit is the basic business case sound?

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by retro77 In reply to Local processing v server ...

With what you are talking about, I am assuming you would be running a Terminal Services or Citrix setup. With full PCs, there are tons of things that can go wrong to bring it down. With a Terminal/Citrix setup, you have these thin clients on the user end that dont have a hard drive and fewer moving parts to break. Plus if you want to add/replace a client, just pull another one out of the closet and your up and running.

As far as internet connections dropping, yes it happens. You would have to be able to measure what the impact would be and if the end users can work with papers or other things while you are waiting to get the ISP working again.

IMO, I like each office to be able to an island or part of the continent. That way they can still work if something happens to the internet connection.

Also depends on your budget and IT employees. You may have a large budget but only a few IT personel to manage it. It might be easier to go thin client, when it comes to the everyday management of the end users.

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