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Best Practices for Deploying OpenInsight on Terminal Services and Citrix Environments
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This guide is intended to assist system administrators deploying OpenInsight based applications to terminal server environments. Core components and deployment procedures will be presented to help establish the scope of application deployment. Since OpenInsight is a development tool and not a complete end-user application you should check with the application vendor or developer for application specific requirements.
Information contained in this guide focuses on Microsoft's Terminal Services but the same concepts apply to other environments like Citrix XenApp (formerly MetaFrame) and 2x. A basic understanding about how these environments operate is helpful since setting up the terminal service infrastructure is outside the scope of this document. Please review this TechNet article for an overview of the terminal service environmentfor more information.
There are three core components to an OpenInsight application: the LinearHash service (aka Universal Driver server component), OInsight.exe, and ClientSetup.exe. Each of these components will be covered in the deployment procedure below. For now it's helpful to understand the overall deployment layout.
The database server is the key location for all application executables and database tables. The application executables are shared to the terminal servers through a mapped network drive or UNC share. While the application is running in the terminal server's memory space the database is accessed on the database server through a TCP/IP connection to the LinearHash service. The diagram below shows a simple network with three terminal servers (TS) connected to a the database server through a switch.
For optimum performance the terminal servers should connect to the database server using 100Mb or 1GbE ethernet. The database server should be an enterprise grade storage server with a high IOPs and low latency RAID.
The instructions below are common to most applications developed in OpenInsight. Any instructions supplied by the application vendor should take precedence over the instructions below. For clarity, the instructions are split between actions performed on the database server and the terminal servers.
Database Server Setup
Perform these steps on the database server console or remote desktop connection.
- Install the OpenInsight based application.
- Install the Universal Driver client driver into the OpenInsight application.
- Install the Universal Driver (aka LinearHash service) on the database server to enable multi-user access.
- Verify the TCP/IP port chosen for the LinearHash service is not blocked at the server firewall. The default port is 777.
- Share the OpenInsight folder with a minimum user security level of read access. Write access may be required, check with the application vendor for more information.
Terminal Server Setup
These steps should be performed on each terminal that accesses the application. Some applications require a mapped drive to the database server share while other's rely only on UNC paths. Check with your application vendor for specific recommendations. For thoroughness these instructions assume a mapped network drive is required but the concept applies equally to an application shared with a UNC share.
- Decide on a unused mapped drive letter for the application. For consistency it is recommend the same drive letter be used across all terminal servers.
- As an administrator map the drive letter to the OpenInsight folder on the database server.
- Run ClientSetup.exe to install the client side components on the terminal server.
- Setup a terminal server user profile to create a mapped network drive using the same drive letter. Create a shortcut to oinsight.exe on the mapped network drive.
- Logout of the administrator session and login as a user. The icon you created in the last step should launch OpenInsight and allow you to login.
Additional application specific requirements will apply depending on the installation size, number of users, and printing requirements. Check with the application developer or vendor for a complete installation procedure. A summary of the key concepts is:
- The only installation program run on the terminal servers is clientsetup.exe.
- Only one copy of oinsight.exe exists on the network and it is shared from the database server.
- The LinearHash service runs on the database server and coordinates record locks.
By understanding the core components and where each component is installed you can better setup and support a terminal server environment.
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