Royal Pines adds Microsoft to Citrix

The Gold Coast's Royal Pines Resort is upgrading its year-old Citrix WinFrame thin client/server solution with the addition of Microsoft's Windows Terminal Server Edition (WTS).

The move is part of the resort's efforts to "keep up with the latest available" technology.

Edward Casey, IT manager at Royal Pines, said the organisation was hoping to install WTS, formerly codenamed Hydra, to run in conjunction with its Citrix WinFrame model within three to six months. According to Casey, there was "nothing wrong" with Citrix WinFrame, but it had "been made obsolete by Microsoft".

Casey said Microsoft's solution gives Royal Pines' thin-client environment the "look and feel" of NT 4.0 and makes it easier to run NT applications. Citrix WinFrame was more suited to NT 3.51, he said.

According to Casey, WinFrame provides dial-in access and the ability to use old PCs, while WTS enables the running of office applications.

Royal Pines and IBM business partner Silicon Data implemented an IBM and Citrix thin-client computing model in November 1997 to integrate all programs and data across the organisation.

The resort replaced 42 dumb terminals with 45 IBM network stations and 20 PCs running on an AS/400 platform.

It installed Citrix WinFrame to give users access to applications such as e-mail, word processing and spreadsheets stored on the organisation's Intel server. Casey said the organisation will also add a golf booking program and engineering maintenance program to the system.

"The thin client/server environment offers us total integration and centralised control of applications," Casey said. "Previously, a front-desk receptionist was unable to carry out any duties other than bookings, which were run on the AS/400.

"Now they can work with greater flexibility, typing letters and menus or using spreadsheets and easily switch between applications."

According to Casey, Royal Pines also looked at implementing an NT server with networked PCs, but decided the solution did not have an adequate lifespan.

Casey said total cost of ownership was a main criteria and the thin-client solution offered a life span of five years, compared with three years for the NT server.

In addition to upgrading to Microsoft's WTS, Royal Pines is also hoping to bring an intranet online within three to six months. It is anticipated that the intranet will increase access to up-to-date material, and bring policy and procedures online.

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