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The basic toolset for a sysadmin consists of programs to connect to a remote server. Depending on the type of server, tools like the Remote Desktop Connection (or VNC) or more terminal based like ssh are used for the job. Let’s have a look at some of these. h2. Remote Desktop Connection    SAP is running more and more installations on Microsoft Windows Server. Reasons for these increasing numbers are the availability of relatively affordable x86 hardware and the option to standardise across the Windows product family. What happens if a sysadmin would like to use an OS X workplace instead of Windows? Will he still be able to connect to the Windows Server machines? Yes, he will. The solution is {code:html}Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac{code}. It’s a free utility to connect to a Windows Server system or even a non- server system (desktops, laptops) running a professional version of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.   imageUpon download and installation a new icon will show up in the applications folder of the Mac. After program launch it will ask for the hostname of the Windows server. Entering the hostname and pressing connect will bring up a simple dialog window with the possibility to store the username and password in the keychain secure store of Mac OS X. No need to remember the password! It might be possible that RDC will complain about the lack of encryption. With the introduction of Vista and Windows Server 2008 Microsoft has added encryption to the RDC protocol. Within a controlled LAN environment you can safely ignore these complaints. In the preference panel, option security it is possible to turn off this message. It is important that network traffic over port 3389 (yes, that is in the same range as the standard SAP RFC ports) is allowed for the various firewalls of your network.  imageAfter connection initiation you should see the Windows Server desktop on the Mac. As there is a lot of variation in screen sizes the RDC application is very flexible in adjusting its work space. Just press cmd-1 to have the screen fit in the existing window or cmd-2 to maximize screen size with respect to the aspect ratio.  Each RDC connection is stored in a document with the extension ‘.rdp’. It is possible to maintain preferences.   The most important preference panels are sound, drives and printers. From a performance perspective one should deactivate sound and printer. In order to transfer files easily between the desktop and the server a share must be created in the preference panel ‘Drives’. Here it is possible to select a drive or folder of a Mac disk. This folder will show up as a network share within the Windows Server system when connected. This has the advantage that it is not necessary to create an official share on the windows server, make it accessible, mount it on the Mac and then transfer the files.  RDC still has its limitations which also apply to its Windows cousin ‘Remote Desktop Client’. There is a limitation to the number of connections possible on a Windows Server installation due to license restrictions. Unless a Windows Terminal Server license is available the maximum number of simultaneous connections is 3. If the connection is unexpectedly lost, there might be a problem when reconnecting if the Windows Server has not cleaned up the stalled connection. To overcome such problems you could connect to the console connection in the dialog box with appending the suffix “/console” to the hostname. Keep in mind that using a new console connection will drop any existing connections from other users.image
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  1. Gregory Misiorek

    for some reason my prior post didn’t get saved, so my apologies if it crops up from nowhere.

    in any case, thank your for responding to my prior question regarding your excellent blog series. i have stumbled upon Apple mini (1TB storage and 8G RAM) recently and started thinking that i could:

    1) install VMWare on Snow Leopard
    2) install Windows 7 (or XP) on VMWare
    3) install SAP ABAP and Java stack on Windows
    4) install SAP Javagui on Leopard
    5) connect from Mac Javagui and iPhone Safari to SAP server

    if it doesn’t work where will it fail?

    1. Marc Kip Post author
      Hi Greg,

      It probably will work as you have enough RAM available. I would assign 6GB to VMware / Windows. That will leave a 2GB for OS X and the Java GUI.

      But … there are two potential performance bottlenecks in this set-up:

      1)     The CPU power to run it smoothly. You definitive need a 2Ghz+, multi-core CPU. The more the better.
      2)     The disk I/O handling of the setup will be the other potential bottleneck. The MacMini is actually a laptop concealed in a desktop enclosure. In order to run everything in parallel you do need almost server IO performance but you have only have the I/O subsystem of a laptop (5400 RPM disk, IDE bus? vs. 10K or 15K SAS disks).

      If you do have the hardware available – second laptop or desktop – I would try to separate the server and GUI parts.



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