Empower using Windows remote services

Currently our lab has Empower setup as an Enterprise with an Empower server.  Then Empower is installed on all the LAC/E boxes and many computers in the lab as well as at the desktops of many scientists who may use Empower.  This creates a huge mountain of paperwork as each node must be qualified and then keeping track of each computer to make sure IT doesn't upgrade them and then tell no one in the lab, thus we would be using an un-qualified version.  Then when we upgrade it takes a week for our IT to get to every node.  We discussed using Citrix, however, I was told by our IT that Citrix is way too expensive and will not be supported by our company.  But they said that anything Citrix could do, Windows remote services could also do.  Speaking with Waters, they agreed, but thought we might have some graphics issues or such, but generally it should work.  So we created a Windows terminal server and have found some glitches in and for the most part they are based on graphics.  For Agilent GCs, it doesn't recognize any of the GCs, but you can still run them, you just can't see their status.  For Alliance HPLCs, you cannot switch between the separations module and any detectors without getting errors.  Thus you can't write or edit instrument methods.


When will Waters work on making Empower work with Windows remote service and validate that it works for all components?  In speaking with others, there are many who would prefer this due to the expense of Citrix and other issues around Citrix.

Comments

  • My organization is using Empower with Windows Terminal Server, and we are not experiencing any of the issues you are experiencing. You would need to make sure that the version of the ICS (instrument driver) is the same across the board. Whatever ICS' you install on the clients would also need to be installed on the terminal server.
  • Thanks for the response.  We do have all the latest ICS on the terminal server.  This is one of the reasons we decided to go this direction vs. having a bunch of computers in the lab and some not having the same ICS as others.

    I will have to take this back to our IT group and see they think the issue may be.

  • Are your IT people including the cost of spending all their time upgrading fat clients in addition to the LACEs? If there really are that many non-LACE PCs running Empower, they need to take into account the cost of continuously upgrading them vs. the cost of upgrading one or two Citrix servers which are accessed by completely standard desktop PCs. Another alternative is to use perfectly standard desktop PCs to remote to LACEs and do the processing from them. If this approach is chosen, some rules need to be in place. 1) log off when not actively using a given LACE, 2) All LACEs have all ICS installed on them so that any can be used to start any instrument (except for Shimadzu), 3) Use LACEs that are NOT collecting data preferentially for processing, 4) printers may require some special consideration too.

    No matter how you do it, Windows updates SHOULD be allowed on Win7 or later LACEs unless they're completely on their own subnet and can't access the "outside world" at all. Of course, these updates need to be carefully scheduled to happen when data is not being collected (I prefer 3AM on Monday mornings).

    Note regarding human nature and requiring users to log off when not processing or starting runs - there will be compliance issues with this one if RDP is used. Research IdleLogOff to solve this problem :smile:

    DR
  • or Cloud?....
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