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Setting up Windows MultiPoint Server isn't difficult.
But it usually requires some additional hardware to connect your user stations (keyboard, mouse, monitor) to the
host computer. These additional hardware components are called access devices.
Brennick, Founder and Director of Interconnection,
shares his advice for selecting the right access devices for your Windows
MultiPoint Server environment.
What is an Access Device?
Access devices connect user stations to the host computer.
There are three ways to connect: direct connection, via a USB video hub, and
via a local area network (LAN). You can mix these methods and arrange the
user stations in the best way to suit the space and layout of the room.
In a direct
connection setup, you plug user station monitors directly into the host
computer's video display ports.
What you need to know about direct
What you'll need:
USB Video Hub Connections
USB video hubs
(also called multifunction hubs or zero clients) connect user stations to the host computer via
the host computer's USB port. You plug the user station monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other hardware
into the USB video hub, then plug the hub into the host computer's USB port.
What you need to know about USB
What you'll need for each user station: a USB video hub to connect monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals (such as speakers) to the host
User stations can also be
thin clients or traditional desktops or laptops connected to the host computer
using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via the LAN. Thin clients are small devices that
can be networked but do not have hard drives. They rely on the host computer's
or laptops can also be used as user stations. This
is a great way to extend the life of older computers that may not be powerful
enough to run modern software.
What you need to know about LAN
What you'll need for each user station: connection to the LAN via a switch,
router, firewall, or other network device, and the capacity to connect via RDP. Thin client devices often come with basic software pre-installed, including RDP capability.
If you're repurposing an old computer, you'll need to install software to allow you to connect via RDP. If you have Microsoft Software Assurance coverage, ThinPC is a good option.
Other software products, such as NComputing’s VSpace Client, Rdesktop,
and Virtual Box can also be used.
USB hubs and USB video hubs:
We used Plugable
and NComputing devices in our pilot installations. YMCA
of Greater Seattle, the La
Conner Regional Library, and the Burlington Public Library were a few of our pilot organizations. See how they're using Windows MultiPoint Server, and what they
learned while setting up their systems.
Image: Jari Sjölund
Ariel Gilbert-Knight is a Senior Content Developer for TechSoup