Recommendations for windows "Terminal server" on a linux server



I'm looking into running something like a terminal server in linux where a user logs into the server using a thinclient to access a windows 7 machine running on a linux server remotely. I can do this with Virtualbox but the overhead seems to be quite a bit. What we have is a store that needs to run a graphical program to access out sales software and even though we have a fairly large pipe between the server and the store it isn't big enough for the program to work effectively. The software maker recommended a terminal server to run next to the server and feed thinclients at the remote store but the cost is prohibitive so I'm looking for cheaper solutions.

Here are my needs:

1. Must be able to run at least 8 to 10 instances of windows, I can recycle some of the older licenses from machines I can convert into thinclients but we'll just purchase normal windows 7 licenses as we need them. I can break this up to 5 and 5 with a couple of servers but would prefer a single machine/architecture to do it on.

2. Should run the client PC at a resonable speed, we don't use graphic heavy programs but a couple aren't happy if a fairly speedy processor isn't present.

3. Should look and feel like the thinclient is the PC and not just a window onto a PC, this includes sound and mouse pointers.

4. Need to access local resources of the thinclient like dvd drive and usb ports so the end user can use flash drives and DVD install media as needed.

5. The connection footprint should be as small as possible, by the looks of it RDP might be the smallest but I'm open to anything.

6. The ability to make snapshots of the individual PCs for backup.

It's alot I know and I'm not even sure it is possible but I'd like to try a linux side solution.

My initial thought was to run a beefy machine and then have a virtualbox pc auto run for a specific login and I can go with that if that is the best solution but I figured I'd better research a bit more before commiting to a plan of attack.


Either I'm in the wrong place to ask such a question or the question itself is unanswerable. I'm just trying to get a handle on my options and am not expecting a complete drop in solution, would be nice but I'm a realist. Is there anywhere else I might go where the dwellers would have the expertise or experience in this type of situation as to be able to respound? Not bashing or complaining just need to move this along. :)

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