Have a small law office which uses all Macs but then has a Windows based case management system. Right now they all run Parallels Desktop and it's a bit difficult to manage.

I'd like to move the case management system over to Terminal Services so it we can use a simple RDP client on the Macs to access it. I'd like to do this on a single server without active directory, if that is possible. It is maybe 3 or 4 users. Don't want to have to run DC and then a separate TS server since the load will be so light.

Any suggestions on how to accomplish it? Anything I should be looking at other the terminal services?

  • Terminal server will get the job done. Jan 10, 2012 at 15:36
  • What you need to check first, is that this application is compatible with RDS/Terminal Services. If it's not, then you'll need a different plan.
    – Tatas
    Jan 10, 2012 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


To be honest, doing it pretty much how you said it will work for a simple in-office deployment. There's no need to make this more complicated than it has to be.

Will people expect to access this stuff from home? While travelling? Then you need to think about things a bit deeper.

  • So, server 2008 R2 w/ some TS Cal licenses and I should be good to go, right?
    – James
    Jan 10, 2012 at 19:26
  • 1
    Yes. You'll want to experiment with a TS client to find one your users are comfortable with, but that's about as complicated as it gets.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 10, 2012 at 22:23
  • Thx. Appreciate the help!
    – James
    Jan 10, 2012 at 23:05

The simples would be to do what you said, Windows Server can easily be set up in "workgroup" mode which means it don't use a domain controller.

Tho worst noting is on the client end, the options in RDP clients is narrow and they all have their share of kinks (Microsoft's own is just generally shifty when dealing with special characters, CoRD is buggy and seems to be discontinued)

TSPlus might be a product to look into as it only rely on Java and where I've used it (simple access to desktops) it works great.

  • I disagree with your comment about CoRD, it's relatively solid. What you'll lose by using it is the ability to use NLA (Network Level Authentication) and that's not really necessary anyways.
    – Tatas
    Jan 10, 2012 at 16:55
  • I'm using CoRD on a daily basis myself, and it is mildly said buggy, at least on 10.6 and 10.7, Occationally special characters and modifiers all get registered as cmd/super/windows. From a systems administration point of view with hundred and some rdp connections in the server browser, it crashes often, usually a couple of times a day, sometimes even more
    – Thor Erik
    Jan 10, 2012 at 17:08
  • That may be true on such a large scale, but his usage case is a small law office. Each of these people would be using CoRD to connect to 1 server. I've not seen the character corruption that you speak of.
    – Tatas
    Jan 11, 2012 at 16:55
  • On my MacBook Pro running OS X 10.7 (Lion), I find that both CoRD and Microsoft's official RDP client for Mac are prone to crashing. Running mstsc on my Win7 virtual machine is far more dependable.
    – Skyhawk
    Jan 11, 2012 at 17:27

With Windows SBS, you could setup quite a lightweight server and use Terminal Services at the same time (It also has an useful wizard which makes setup quite easy). You'd need a either a license for each user that accesses the server, or a license for each device used to access the server (whatever suits your needs better). You need a premium license for be able to do TS on a SBS server, though.

A third-party solution may be also a way to go (a quick googleing turned up tsplus as an example).

But make sure the software can be run concurrently multiple times on the same system! Some software really doesn't like it and, at best, crashes, and at the worst, screwes up data.

  • 1
    SBS is full of bloat that you don't want for terminal services.
    – JamesRyan
    Jan 10, 2012 at 16:10

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