All You Need To Know About Terminal Server: Basic Architecture, Working, Benefits

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A terminal server is also known as a serial server, console server, and network access server. It is a hardware device, which is used to connect terminal devices like PC and printers with the local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). The end equipment is connected to the serial server via RS 232, RS 422, RS 485, RJ 45 interface. On the other hand, the console server is connected to the LAN through NIC (network interface card), and the modem (modulator and demodulator) is used to connect the terminal server with WAN. The main advantage of using a terminal server in a network is that you don’t need to install NIC or a modem for every single terminal device.


Different terminal servers have different configurations. Some network access servers have less than 10 terminal points, whereas some are shared between more than a hundred devices. The small organization has fewer employees and therefore requires a terminal server with a lesser number of ports. On the other hand organizations, large organizations need more ports on the server. Some of the best selling console servers are Dell Power serial server, Cisco network access server, and Digi international terminal server


Basic Architecture Of Terminal Server


Before proceeding further, it’s important to know the basic architecture of a console server. Generally, the terminal server is composed of the following 3 components :


  • Multi-Core Server – This is the place where resources are stored and hosted.

  • RDP – It is defined as a remote desktop protocol and facilitates the data transmission between the serial server and the terminals.

  • Client Software – It is present on every remote terminal device and enables them to associate with the server through the remote desktop protocol. 

Working Principle Of Terminal Server

The functionality of the different terminal servers may vary slightly. However, their basic working principles remain the same. The user is connected to the server via an RDP client. The client transmits data and information to the console server by the connection port. The role of the session manager is to isolate each user session. Also, it resumes the session in case, it accidentally gets closed. The session is the vital segment of serial server service, and the session manager’s job is to control those sessions. 


The user communicates with the session by an input device like a keyboard, mouse, etc., and with the help of an RDP client. This RDP is responsible for sending input signals to the serial server, where they get processed. The server performs graphical modification on the session.


Benefits Of Terminal Servers


The terminal server has many benefits over using a normal client-server. Following are some of them -:


The biggest advantage of terminal servers is that the user can access them anytime from any place. Whether you are at home, restaurant, outdoor meeting, or any other place, this server allows you to access vital files and documents without any difficulty. Companies that have already deployed terminal servers during COVID-19 social distancing did not have to face any issues regarding work continuity. 

  • The other key benefit of using a console server is that you will not need to waste your time and resources to maintain multiple servers and endpoints. You just need to manage and monitor a single terminal server. The apps are installed once in the console server and updated automatically at regular intervals. Therefore, you don’t need to make any updates to the terminal server.


  • With a serial server, you can give you a chance to lock the important data and system access from a single gateway. Terminal servers enhance the security of the end devices connected to it and help you to avoid the kiss of death.


  • It saves a lot of power. The terminal point uses around 5 times less power than the PCs and laptop. Hence, you can make great savings by deploying it in the workplace. 

The Bottom Line:


Here you have it, a brief overview of the serial or terminal server. What are you waiting for, go, and get one for your office? 

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