Adobe software on a Home Server

I would like to get some feedback/thoughts from the technology crowd out there on a topic new to me. Warning long post and sorry for the randomness of thought.

A little background first: I am a Civil Engineer by day and a enthusiast of technology by night. So bear with me as my depth with computers are limited.

 I have the following computers in the house:

Desktop Workstation: i7-3770K, 32GB ram, GTX 670, 512gb ssd Win 7 pro

Mobile Workstation: Lenovo x220, i7 (Dual Core), 16GB ram, 512GB ssd Win 8 Pro

SERVER: Xeon E5-2660, 32GB ram, 15TB Total HD space. 256GB boot drive, Intel Pro 1000 pt quad NIC. Windows server 2012 Essentials

Laptop: Toshiba i5, 8gb, 256GB ssd Win 7 pro

HTPC 1: i5,8GB, 256GB ssd Win 7 Pro

HTPC 2: i3, 4GB, 128GB ssd Win 7 Pro

And IPAD and a Microsoft Surface and 2 android Phones…

My Network is comprised of a Wireless N consumer router, Netgear 24 port gigabit managed switch, and Four CAT 6 lines to every room in the house. The 2012 servers NIC has teaming enabled and handles all DNS, DHCP roles as it’s the domain controller. I will most likely be building a pfsense box early next year or get a router that can handle a custom firmware. Following that I will setup a VPN server so I can access and encrypt my data when I am outside of the network.


Now my question/thought/solution

I am a amature Photographer and use Adobe products quite a bit (Mostly lightroom) but think this can really be expanded to most programs (excluding games). One annoying thing about Lightroom is it does not (officially) allow you to keep your catalogue (The file with all you edits) on the network. The guy at adobe who came up with not allowing that must have been drunk. My dilemma is I edit on my main Workstation (i7-3770K) and I go on my laptop (levono x220) and want to continue to edit but I have to back up the catalogue and load it. This gets old real quick going between workstations backing up and such. 


So what I would like to do is get lightroom to run on my Home server (Microsoft Server 2012 Essentials) and run lightroom though remoteapp. What this would allow me to do is access all my photos and a single lightroom catalogue on multiple machines (not simultaneously as I’m sure the EULA would prohibit that). This would have even more benefits to it because the program is located in a single place so you only have to update once, setup settings once etc...

Now after I had that Idea I started to expand on this and was thinking about virtualizing workstation’s. I could have low powered i3/i5 computers all around the house as my workstations because all the heavy lifting is done on the central server. My laptop would not struggle to edit the Canon 5Dmk3 files any longer. I could even go with an Ultrabook such as a Asus Zenbook Prime and have an excellent battery life laptop with a nice IPS screen and either run lightroom/photoshop though remoteapp or open a virtualized instance of windows on the server and edit though that via remoteFX. I also think I can connect using my Microsoft Surface as it supports Remoteapp which would be an added bonus. 

 This can even be expanded to AutoCAD (another program i use a lot) or other graphic intensive programs. Have one badass hulk server and smaller workstations that do not require much power. If a program is struggling I only have to upgrade one machine as opposed to 3 or 4 machines around the house.

What do you think? Has anyone done this? I wont be surprised if this is common and I’m the last one to know about it. How is your performance in virturalization/remoteapp? 
Thanks in advance for any feedback

You can also import your raws with an automatic duplicate on a network storage location, which is a standard function of lightroom, and backup your catalogue automatically when exiting Lightroom, sync the catalogue backup files with those on the server automatically (outside of Lightroom, I use rsync and when I'm out even sync over github, there is probably also a solution like that for Windows), and you'll have the same catalogue over all your PCs all of the time.

Remoteapp is not considered secure. Well, windows is not considered secure, so a lot of people virtualize windows altogether, including myself. There is also a performance and feature benefit from running things like Lightroom or Games in a virtualized windows container, next to the obvious safety and security benefits, so virtualization has been getting really popular even on standalone machine for a while.

There's plenty on virtualization in different threads on the forum.

As to remote display applications, those are not so popular because it adds a couple of weak links into a workflow, not only in the field of security, but also in the field of performance and reliability. When you're virtualizing though, you basically always remote access the virtual machine, and some systems are pretty high performance, especially when using hardware virtualization with direct VGA-passthrough on a linux machine, which very often performs better than running the guest on bare metal, especially in terms of graphics and disk performance, but also in things like CPU performance, because you can completely reconfigure your CPU specs for the guest, for instance so that it thinks it runs on an ARM processor, or so that it thinks it runs on an 8 core machine instead of a quad core, etc...