Windows Terminal Server
MCECS provides a modest Windows Terminal Server for remote access to many Windows applications. Built from older hardware, it is not meant to be a replacement for using the MCECS Windows labs. It mainly serves as a convenience for when you need to occasionally run something available in the labs. It should be noted that the Terminal Server was not designed to handle the load of a classroom full of users simultaneously accessing it to work on an in-class assignment or demo.
Due to licensing restrictions, the Terminal Server only contains a subset of the software load we install in the general MCECS Windows Labs. Notably, the Microsoft Office suite is not available because of software licensing restrictions. LibreOffice is provided instead.
How to access the Terminal Server
You will need a Remote Desktop program (commonly referred to as a Remote Desktop Client or an RDP client) to access the Terminal Server. Details of how to do this from various platforms can be found at this link:
Make sure you follow these guidelines for using the Terminal Server
Do not run resource hungry processes
The Windows Terminal Server is a Shared Resource and processes that make excessive use of resources (CPU, Memory, Disk) should not be run there. You will need to ensure that the programs you are running do not impact other users. We will terminate any process that is found to be negatively impacting system resources and inhibiting the use of the Terminal Server by other users.
Sessions inactive for 24 hours will be terminated
Any sessions that have been disconnected for more than 24 hours will be terminated. A disconnected session is where the user is still logged in, but no longer has an active network connection to their session. This happens when you are connected to the Terminal Server via remote desktop, and leave your session by any means other than “Log Off” via its Start Menu. This includes closing the Remote Desktop session via the “X” button of the Remote Desktop window, clicking on Start → Disconnect, or by any number of other means including your computer freezing before properly disconnecting or losing network connectivity before cleanly disconnecting. If you do not disconnect, programs you have running will continue, but your session will be reported as inactive.
If your process will take more than 24 hours, you will need to periodically reconnect to your Terminal Server session so your connection doesn’t get terminated.
Be aware of our Reboot Schedules
The Terminal Server reboots at least once a month for Windows security patches. This typically happens every Friday night following the second Tuesday of the month (“Patch Tuesday”). Occasionally the CAT will also need to reboot the Terminal Server at other times in case of critical patches. We will not be able to postpone our patches to work around a long running session.
Avoid running Web Browsers on the Terminal Server
Do not run web browsers on the Terminal Server unless it is absolutely necessary. Web browsers are notorious resources hogs and casual web browsing with a few open tabs can consume a lot of RAM and CPU. Do your web browsing on your local machine.
Avoid long running processes (LRP) on the Terminal Server
Due to its shared nature, the Terminal Server is not an ideal place for long running processes. Unlike computer labs that have off times late in the night and on weekends, the remote access nature of the Terminal Server attracts users at all hours. If you feel you have a need to run an LRP on here, please contact us first so we can discuss the nature of your work and whether it can be accommodated.