Chapter 3: Communication Protocols and Thin Clients

Chapter 3: Communication Protocols and Thin Clients


An environment built on the concept of server-based computing is not made up solely of terminal servers. The network, communication protocols, and clients play an equally important role. This chapter is designed to shed more light on the following topics:

  • Connection of terminal servers to existing networks with their various protocols and services.

  • The RDP protocol for communication between terminal servers and clients.

  • The different types of clients, such as Microsoft Windows–based terminals, PCs on a LAN, or network computers.

  • The myriad details on the RDP clients that come with the terminal server, including information on installation, configuration, use, and the options to connect clients to a terminal server session.

  • Structured planning for the installation of terminal servers and Terminal Services clients in different network environments.

A terminal server cannot function properly without a network. Each terminal server client needs a network to access the multi-user system. The network is also essential for connecting other server services to the terminal server environment. Therefore, planning, sizing, and configuring the network components play key roles in the proper functioning of a terminal server under Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Before we examine the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), let us first turn to the basics of conventional Windows server network mechanisms. Experienced network administrators can safely skip the first section on network connections and protocols and move directly to the RDP functions.