There are currently 3 laptops in the office that work independently from each other. I was thinking about getting a 3rd computer(desktop) so that possibly the 3 laptops can work from the server. I'm assuming a VNC server/client will work? Will the VNC server support 3 simultaneous connections without interfering with each connection such as moving the mouse and opening programs? Also, if the VNC server is a good idea, what specs should the desktop be to support the 3 connections?
Will these be connected to VMs? If these clients are controlling the host OS of the desktop... it is going to control the same computer, which means they will all interfere with each other.
VNC is not the best solution, but it is one. It tends to be laggy unless you can somehow get a ton of bandwidth.
It might work if they all use separate accounts, and i agree with @VXAce VNC is not the best solution.
@VXAce @Dje4321 I don't think the laptops will be connected to VMs... Any suggestions about what I should do? Each laptop is currently used for "basic" day to operations such as Microsoft Word, outlook and web browsing.... The laptops are not used for anything other than what I mentioned above. I'm currently at the stage of gathering ideas so I can present the ideas to my boss and go from there.
I think it is important to ask; what is your goal here?
Right now all three laptops are working as intended. What benefit are you trying to gain by adding a server?
Do you just need shared storage? Do you want a single sign on so that users can move between devices? Are you trying to otherwise make the workflow simpler for the users?
Yep... what is the end result that you want?
The goal is to make the workflow simpler for the users. My boss explained to me that he would like everything centralized and to be executed from the server so that the programs and documents are only located in one spot.
I mean, you can have all laptops act as thin clients and just connect to their own instances of whatever OS on the server so that you can manage it there, but I think that is silly.
I think you can do with an i7 with 8 threads, allowing 2 threads per client plus two for the native OS, and I would get 32gb of ram, giving 8 to each client and 8 for the native OS. For storage, you should go with a pair of SSDs in Raid0 in whatever size you think you need; in order to get the maximum number of IOPS.
Just my opinon
quite literally your could get a normal desktop, enable remote desktop, and remote into the desktop with the laptops. all of your files and programs are stored on the desktop and can be accessed from the laptops. Im not sure how but you could enable between device file transfer to.
I agree with this entirely, your boss is making this much too complicated.
@Dje4321 remote desktop seems like the most uncomplicated way to achieve what my boss would like to do. However, I think Remote desktop only allows one connection per session unless a patch is installed or if I Windows server is installed. Do you or anyone else know if its possible to change hardware settings for remote desktop where you can delegate the amount of CPU cores and memory per user connection?
if i remember correctly remote desktop supports as many connections as the machine can handle as long as the machine can handle it, but i use windows 7 ultimate. Might not be in your budget. You could use third party software that would probably work too. Cpu cores are used by all users, so if someone starts transcoding media on the server for whatever reason, it hurts everyone else because it puts all cpu cores at full load.
There is no need for a VNC or RDP... just setup a homegroup or shared folder in your local network and have each user log into the server and work on their files from there. This would eliminate the need for a powerful computer, just storage and good network. This method is dirt cheap and can be run from literally any machine that has a hard drive.
RDP and VNC both have the same issue of controlling a single computer... multiple clients connected to the server will interfere with each other, unless you are connected to a VM that hosts of the VNC or RDP server.
that would work but what if the clients need to connect at home?
Yes, there may be an extra step needed in the setup, but it should work just fine. Probably ports to open and ensure proper encryption somehow.
I personally had a mirrored server that I ran a script for that would mirror the files a folder had that ran through sftp, ofc, this isn't the solution you want, but that's what I personally did.