I would really appreciate any advice that anyone in the community would be willing to share re: their experiences with RDS servers to facilitate an accounting practice.
Our firm has about 25 people in total including admin staff, etc. Right now we run a more conventional setup of having a local server, and PC workstations that have software installed. The server is essentially network attached storage, and also facilitates remote desktop services that allow us to log onto the individual workstations.
The server is running windows server 2012 essentials, and we find that the remote desktop functionality is useful while out of the office, but a bit cumbersome/laggy versus working in the office where the software is installed right on the PC you’re working on.
Quite a few of our regular workers are external contractors that work outside of the office through busy season. Our current server is having some performance issues, and our IT consultants are recommending an upgrade to an on-prem RDS server so that these contractors can collaborate with us more easily, and our remote sessions when we work from home will also be improved. To my understanding this means that the PC you’re working on is just a “thin client” (i.e. has nothing other than the O/S installed, does no processing), and essentially all of your work is done through remote desktop sessions powered by the server, which can handle many concurrent log ins. They are recommending turning all of our office PCs into “thin clients”, at least over time.
I’m IT literate, but have never worked with an RDS server, and it seems like a pretty extreme change versus our current setup so I worry about potential downsides. Outside of collaboration with contractors, our IT consultants point to some other pros of everyone automatically running the same versions of software, and not having to run 20 updates each time say TaxCycle puts out a new version. They also claim it will be lower cost in the long run.
Our partners at the firm and a number of our employees are not IT saavy, so we would likely not be interested in moving ahead if there are significant functional changes, or additional complexity from a user experience perspective.
If anyone can share their experience with these types of servers, and pros/cons of transitioning to them from a more conventional setup, your advice would be invaluable and very much appreciated!