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Hardware Thread, X550 PCI CARD with L230 Box in Technical; I'm looking into the NComputing desktop virtualisation kit. I have a couple of locations it could be useful to reduce ...
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    alan-d's Avatar
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    X550 PCI CARD with L230 Box

    I'm looking into the NComputing desktop virtualisation kit. I have a couple of locations it could be useful to reduce costs.

    However, I still require the users to have easy access to a usb port which the X550 does not have (Not without installing additional usb ports on the PC and numbering each one to a corresponding terminal) but the L230 box does have.

    1. Has anyone used the X550 PCI card with a L230 box?

    2. Does anyone know of a UK supplier that has the X550 in stock?

    3. Is anyone here using this kit 'in anger' and offer any advice?

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    NComputing Architecture

    Hi

    Unfortunately it is not possible to connect an L series access device to the X550 card.

    These two architectures, whilst achieving much the same result, are entirely different in their connectivity. The X series uses a direct connection which requires the installation of hardware and our software in the host. Whilst it does use CAT5 (or CAT6) cabling, this cannot be routed through any ethernet infrastructure (it also carries power for the XD2 access devices).

    The L230 is a true LAN-based device and requires only our software to be installed in the host.

    Please don't hesitate to email or call me, I would be very happy to elaborate on the above and help you in any way I can.

    Best Regards




    Richard Butler
    Lead SE
    NComputing UK Ltd

    rbutler@ncomputing.com
    mobile 07533 053454

  3. Thanks to RABNC from:

    alan-d (20th January 2009)

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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    I have one of each of these sets as of yesterday, I will try and get them installed asap and let you know how they run

    Something I'm looking for tho, is something like the L230, but all it does is boot a RDP connection to a TS server. Like a super small thin client... that would would be awesome

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    NComputing trial

    Hi Nick

    Glad to hear that you are trialling our systems. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.

    Regards




    Richard Butler
    Lead SE
    NComputing UK Ltd
    rbutler@ncomputing.com

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    However, I still require the users to have easy access to a usb port which the X550 does not have
    That is, actually, quite easy to do - I installed a cheap USB PCI card from eBay and used (second-hand, 40-ish each) Dell screens with built-in USB hubs.

    Does anyone know of a UK supplier that has the X550 in stock?
    According to the people I spoke to at BETT, these people have the X550 in stock:

    Axess, Will Lingard - 0800 023 2226
    Academia, Claire Quley - 08456 120 118

    Is anyone here using this kit 'in anger' and offer any advice?
    We currently use one PC with an X300 card in our staffroom. Performance seems to be pretty good - I've seen staff running the BBC iPlayer, with sound and video, with no problems. As mentioned above, I used Dell screens with built-in USB hubs - you can attach the small end-point device to the back of the screen (used elastic bands myself, it doesn't show!), you wind up with a very neat and tidy solution. The 16-bit graphics don't seem to be an issue, even Photoshop purports to work with 16-bit colour. That said, I haven't yet gotten CS3 to run on the server, but I haven't really had time to try.

    We run Windows Server 2003 - make sure you buy appropriate TS licenses and CALs, ignore anything NComputing sales people say about only needing one copy of Windows XP (might be okay if you counted each screen in your schools agreement and paid a yearly fee or however it is you do it, but really a proper TS license is the thing). Don't forget to purchase extra copies of any software you use for running on multiple workstations (again, ignore any sales staff who say you don't need to).

    Seemingly there should be a beta Ubuntu driver out for the X550 in a week or two, which is what I'm planning to use on our new language lab system, see how we get on.

    --
    David Hicks

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    alan-d (20th January 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. It looks like the L230 system would suit us best.

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    X550 / L230

    Hi

    Yes, Axess and Academia are excellent partners. Please feel free to contact them on the numbers listed.

    As far as licensing is concerned, no NComputing staff should, or would suggest that you should use a single copy of XP. Whilst our software would operate in such an environment, Server 2003 (and now in beta, 2008) are the optimum routes to follow and of course, you should always purchase the appropriate CALS and correct number of application licences too.

    As far as Ubuntu is concerned, we are, as you rightly point out, about to release an Ubuntu 8.04 beta for the X550 and we also have a Server 2K8 (Vista experience) beta for it too. We already have an Ubunt 7.04 release for the X300 and a SUSE 10.2 beta for the L230 and will obviously expand upon these distributions as quickly as possible.

    Please contact me if you wish to be part of the beta programme.

    Regards





    richard butler
    rbutler@ncomputing.com

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    Smile You should try SoftXpand from MiniFrame

    With SoftXpand you can use USB

    Its also supports rich multimedia applications, 3D games, etc

    You can find more info here:

    MiniFrame Multi-user PC Software- Thin Client - MultiSeat - Multi-user computing - Green IT
    MiniFrame Multi-user PC Software- Thin Client - MultiSeat - Multi-user computing - Green IT

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RABNC View Post
    As far as licensing is concerned, no NComputing staff should, or would suggest that you should use a single copy of XP.
    Good-oh. I see that MiniFrame (mentioned in the message above) still list "Save Money on Software Licenses" as one of the advantages of their system, but it strikes me as unlikely that any software vendor would actually agree with running one licensed copy of their software on 8 workstations. The website the above post points to also seems to rather lack information on how their system works (I still can't figure out where you plug in the screens and keyboards).

    Server 2003 (and now in beta, 2008) are the optimum routes to follow and of course, you should always purchase the appropriate CALS
    Does the X550's Windows-based software help you track CALs at all? We've bought a copy of Server 2003 and 5 device CALS, but it seems we don't need to install a Terminal Services role for your system to work. With the one system it's no problem, but for a larger installation something to help keep track of what CALs are used where would be handy. Are there any third-party audit packages that register your workstations as needing separate licenses?

    Please contact me if you wish to be part of the beta programme.
    Can I simply sign up on your website?

    --
    David Hicks

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    The website the above post points to also seems to rather lack information on how their system works (I still can't figure out where you plug in the screens and keyboards).
    Me neither

    Probably another silly question but - Where it states you share the resources of 1 PC does that mean users are only logged on to the PC or can they log onto their network accounts as they do now?

    and another - If users are logged onto the network/PC using XP, how would 30 users connect if XP only allows 10 connections?

    (Blonde wig at the ready )

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    Where it states you share the resources of 1 PC does that mean users are only logged on to the PC or can they log onto their network accounts as they do now?
    Just to avoid confusion here (for anyone reading this bit after reading just the title of the thread): the NComputing solution works a treat, with your one machine acting like a bunch of separate Windows workstations, complete with separate network login screens and suchlike. I imagine the MiniFrame systems works in a similar fashion.

    If users are logged onto the network/PC using XP, how would 30 users connect if XP only allows 10 connections?
    Both systems we are talking about here use plugin hardware to create extra workstations - we aren't talking about normal thin-clients running from a server, these systems create "virtual" machines to run each desktop. The NComputing system uses its own PCI plugin card and can handle up to 11 workstations on one PC, the MiniFrame (it turns out) uses extra graphics cards, and can handle 8 or so (I think, website a bit unclear) workstations. Whereas both systems can, technically, use Windows XP, for licensing purposes you need to be running Windows Server with appropriate device CALs. Or, of course, NComputing's system runs on Linux, so you don't have to mess around with the whole licensing palaver.

    I can't find a price for MiniFrame's system.

    --
    David Hicks

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    alan-d (21st January 2009)

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Sounds about right, you'd still need the usual CALs, multiple copies of office, AV and any other apps that need multiple licenses when multiplexing (exchange cals, sql etc). Windows server or non windows seems the only way to go.

    Office could be interesting as there are also restrictions about remote use depending on the version iirc.

    I'm not convinced it's really all that much cheaper than separate machines!

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I'm not concerned about CALs etc as I'd be replacing existing terminals. Should the need arise, I have spare CALs.

    It does raise the question over cost savings though if you run Microsoft OS and applications in that it may not be as much as you expect. Still worth doing though

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Office could be interesting as there are also restrictions about remote use depending on the version iirc.
    What are the restrictions?

    I'm not convinced it's really all that much cheaper than separate machines!
    Less maintenance and looking after, less power consumption, less desk space taken up, less noise.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    What are the restrictions?
    Not that many restrictions with the volume license, but oem and retail don't all have remote access allowed as part of the license.

    This document is quite helpful

    http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...l_services.doc

    If it's all done as VL and the same versions then there's not too much to worry about, if it's a mix then it can be complicated.

  19. Thanks to DMcCoy from:

    dhicks (21st January 2009)

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