13 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2014 9:22 AM by fmpros

    Remote desktop to the server

    jareia

      Is it possible to have both FileMaker Server and Filemaker Pro on the same server? Mutiple users would remote into the server and all the heavy lifting would be done on the local server instead of over the internet connection.

       

      Would that work?

      If so are there issues?

        • 1. Re: Remote desktop to the server
          mikebeargie

          The filemaker software will install, but what you propose does not sound like a smart idea. You would also be restricted to only one user allowed to use FMP at a time due to how licensing works, if you were thinking that one FMP license for the server would allow multiple user accounts, it will not. You need to purchase an FMP license for each user. Trying to install a separate copy of FMP under each user account will most likely lead to issues, especially in windows where the registry is machine-centric and not user-centric.

           

          There's other issues as well, like what happens if a connected user force reboots the machine?

           

          Additionally, you will see a performance loss anyways if your server is pulling double duty with FMS hosting and serving remote connections.

           

          With FMS13, you can send a lot of the "work" up to the server by using the "perform script on server" script step. This is an easy way to boost WAN performance.

           

          Another alternative would be to get a secondary VM server to host virtual desktops for FMP users on the same LAN network that your FileMaker server resides on. You could even setup Filemaker to run as SaaS with application streaming, companies like worldcloud offer this already as a hosted service.

          • 2. Re: Remote desktop to the server
            datastride

            Actually, it is very possible to create multiple user accounts on a Windows machine and install FileMaker Pro and FileMaker server on the same box.

             

             

             

            Multiple individuals could RDC into that machine and run FileMaker Pro, and then connect to the database. The performance in this scenario is awesome … although importing files into container fields will take a little longer.

             

             

             

            As for the licensing, just purchase a multi-user AVLA (annual license) for a minimum of 5 users of FileMaker Pro. That way you have a single license code to use for the FileMaker Pro installation that can be used by all users. Of course you are on the honor system to ensure you have purchased enough seats of FileMaker Pro for all of the users who will access the system this way. And you can even install FileMaker pro Advanced on the same box for your own use as the developer.

             

             

             

            Note that it is best to use Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012 as the OS for your server. And note also that you will need to purchase additional Remote Desktop User CALs in sufficient quantity to have one per user. Without these CALs, Windows Server only permits two Remote Desktop sessions at a time.

             

             

             

            #end

             

            Peace, love & brown rice,

             

            Morgan Jones

             

             

             

            FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

             

            Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10, 11 & 12

             

            Member: FileMaker Business Alliance

             

            One Part Harmony <http://www.onepartharmony.com/>  

             

            Austin, Texas • USA

             

            512-422-0611

            • 3. Re: Remote desktop to the server
              mikebeargie

              I never said it was impossible, just that it wasn't a great idea.

               

              Jareia just said "multiple users", with no indication of what that user count is, or what server hardware he has. Also, no indication of what his solution does. Sure it's great not having to buy extra hardware, but you need to plan for your current AND your future needs as well.

               

              Much easier to do now than later when everything has become unusable.

              • 4. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                datastride

                It’s pretty easy to move the RDC users to second server if and when needed (or even to several additional servers if the user count is really that high). No advance planning needed for this particular aspect.

                 

                 

                 

                If the user count is low to start with and/or the workload is light enough, a single server can be a reasonable starting point. And as I said, it’s easy to add hardware as needed. You could even repurpose your original database /RDC server to be just an RDC server and get a more powerful machine for your database server if needed. Lots of options … Hardware is usually the cheapest part of the solution.

                 

                 

                 

                #end

                 

                Peace, love & brown rice,

                 

                Morgan Jones

                 

                 

                 

                FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                 

                Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10, 11 & 12

                 

                Member: FileMaker Business Alliance

                 

                One Part Harmony <http://www.onepartharmony.com/>  

                 

                Austin, Texas • USA

                 

                512-422-0611

                • 5. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                  jareia

                  Thanks for the information. This is a big help to determine what direction I need to go.

                   

                  Sincerely,

                  Jody F. Areia

                  President/CEO

                  • 6. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                    jareia

                    Thanks for the information. This is a big help to determine what direction I need to go.

                     

                    Sincerely,

                    Jody F. Areia

                    President/CEO

                    • 7. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                      taylorsharpe

                      FileMaker recommends for best performance to only have the FileMaker service running.  Minimizing other services or applications is preferable.  But it sounds like what you are asking is to virtualize external users probably through a VPN.  Usually you have an additional server that handles all of the virtualized accounts.  Enterprise setups most often have a separate server for each major service such as VPN user virtualizations, FileMaker Server, IMAP email or Exchange Server, File Sharing, etc.  You can combine them, but will need to make the server beefier to do so.  The big boys know how to optmize servers based on the server type and having multiple major services on a server makes it more challenging to optimize.  But then again, in recent years there is also a push to minimize the number of servers and make them beefier but handling more services.  While this is common in the enterprise world, it is the opposite of what FileMaker is recommending about FileMaker Server. 

                      • 8. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                        fmpros

                        We've been using RDP to log into a Terminal Services machine that hosts client instances of FMP.  Sitting on top of that machine is the FM Server machine, dedicated.  For new clients we just have Rackspace spin up another instance of the whole scenario and then setup the client with the RDP parameters.  We typically run under 10 concurrent users on most systems but have had one client running 30-50.  They've been operating that system for 10 years and it's an FMP 6 system.  100's of thousands of records, 25 files (V6 remember), no significant problems.  It runs FAST, reliable, and the advantages for us have been 1) quick client setup, 2) very inexpensive setup for the client, just an internet connection, 3) very inexpensive setup for us, time and money, 4) super customer service....we can log on from anywhere, anytime and access the clients system, 5) upgrading is simplified.  We just have to manage the FMP licenses and the CAL's on the TS.  For us, this is still the way to go for all the above reasons.

                         

                        WebDirect promises to simplify some things I suppose but until it stabilizes and get MUCH faster we will pass on it.

                         

                         

                        William

                        • 9. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                          mikebeargie

                          The performance requirements between a FP6 and FM12/13 system are monumentally different. The file format has changed twice since then, as has the entire backend db structure and front end UI rendering. I’m glad that it’s worked for you, but I still caution planning for your needs (present and future), when you setup a new system.

                          • 10. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                            MartinCrosman

                            I also used the terminal services deployment option for years. It was rock solid, inexpensive to maintain and expandable. This was back in the Filemaker 6 and 7 days. In my configuration the users logged onto the terminal server and it in turn was connected to a separate box running FileMaker Server. I continued using this until FileMaker 11 where I moved away from that deployment to users connecting to the FileMaker server over the WAN. That was a business decision influenced by a switch to a different hosting facility, co location arrangements. As William and Morgan noted with a Filemaker volume license and server CALS the users were able to log into the terminal server and start using the application. No need for the user to install FileMaker on thier machines which was an issue for some of my clietnts.

                             

                            There is a white paper on the FMI site - https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/docs/13/en/fmp13_remote_desktop.pdf

                            • 11. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                              MartinCrosman

                              Also do a search for terminal services in this forum and you will find quite a few discussions on this type of deployment.

                              • 12. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                                datastride

                                Deployed FMS 13 and a number of RDC users on the same box with no problems at all. (If anything, FMS 13 seems more efficient and less of a resource hog than some earlier versions.) When the RDC user count reached a certain level, we just spun up a new (lower cost) server and moved the RDC clients to that new server (which sits right next to the FMS server). Still great performance for the RDC users.

                                 

                                Of course we always try to buy or lease the most server we can afford, so performance of the server hardware is seldom the bottleneck. And very fast Windows servers are getting cheaper and cheaper at a fairly rapid clip, so it's getting easier and easier to get plenty of power.

                                • 13. Re: Remote desktop to the server
                                  fmpros

                                  Hi Mike, actually I'm in the process of preparing a latest version and need to consider just these things.  Right now we are very happy with the ease of deployment for us, and ease of ramp up for the customer with the RDP design.  Going to server only we would then need to install an FMP client on the customer's machines and WebDirect is not yet capable of adequately handling our system.  Perhaps 13 is still too new to me;  do you know of other strategies for multi-user deployment that would trump the RDP approach?  I'm talking "online" deployment; we're not capable of doing onsite install and training given our size, size of customer base, and geographic distribution of the customer.  Thanks,

                                   

                                  William