I am looking to be able to have software installed on a server that then the users in the business I work for would login and have access to those programs from which ever computer they login to. So basically I want to install software let say Adobe Photoshop on a server with the correct number of licenses and then have say a group of students that login and are a part of a group that would have access to the program from the server (from the server not on the local machine). The issue I am having is I have students that are moving from lab to lab and we have different software between labs so I would like to setup a way for those students to get access to this software from which ever computer they are sitting at but I do not have enough licenses to install on every PC and it is not needed on every PC.
Some software can be installed to run from a network (Microsoft Office used to work this way, but I can't speak for current versions), other - and I'm afraid that Adobe say that Photoshop falls into this category - cannot be run this way.
There are all sorts of problems with a network installation - such as registry settings - so unless the software is designed to run that way it's probably not a good idea.
An alternative is to use something like Terminal Services or Citrix, but you're going to find that performance suffers and the licences probably cost more than the licences you would need for your other software.
Thanks for the reply, I would like to ask how I would go about doing this with either Terminal Services or Citrix. I am really interested in coming up with a plan to implement this so I can then pass it on to my boss to see if we can get this functioning a little better for the students. When you say that Licenses would cost more would I have to purchase new licenses for use with either of these and if so could you explain the reasoning behind not being able to use the licenses I currently have? Are there any other ways that this could be done like maybe setting up a type of dummy system where none of the programs and applications are on the local machine. By dummy system I mean having the workstations when the user logs in that it just connects to a system the distributes everything that that user would need. Could you also maybe provide some links to where I could have this explained as this is something that is totally new to me and I would need alot of direction.
To run Terminal Services, or Citrix, you need to set up a separate server running the software. Users can then log on to this and get a separate session - a sort of multi-user Windows. It's normally used with thin client terminals.
The licences I was talking about were the Terminal Services, or Citrix licences, which are in addition to the licences required for the software. (For Citrix you actually need a TS licence and a Citrix licence for each concurrent session.)
It's really not a solution that I would recommend for your needs as performance can be a problem (all the work takes place on the server and is sent to the client via the network) - especially with graphic intensive applications - and I'm not sure that you would see much in the way of cost savings. It is very like the "dummy" system that you describe.
Thanks again for the timely reply. Ok so from what you are saying I guess this may not be a good solution for our buisness. I am going to contiue looking into it but I am pretty sure that they are not going to want to purchase another server and then the licenses to go along with citrix. I think I will look into the Terminal Services a bit more to see if there is something that I could work out there but it is starting to sound like the way we have it now may be the best way to go. Thanks for the advice.