I have been asked to look into the possibility of using Terminal server and thin clients for normal computer rooms (ones which don't use heavy applications) and specifically to look into thin terminals that are tiny.
I remember seeing somewhere that a company made terminals that fit into a standard trunk/faceplate box and the monitor/keyboard/mouse connected into it, the ethernet was crimped into the back and power was provided by a 12v pack hidden in the trunking. Has anyone else seen these? If so, can you point me in the right direction?
You mean http://www.chippc.com/ ?
EDIT: Beaten by seconds >_<
Ah, found the one I remember http://www.jadeintegration.com/jackpc.php
EDIT: Should have refreshed. Thanks. That is just the ticket... Now to get one for testing.
Are you are thinking of the JackPC (see http://www.chippc.com/thin-clients/j...p=jack-pc-6700)? These of PoE mind so you will need to invest in a PoE switch which is quite costly.
Alternatively you could look into thin clients which are integrated into the monitor. Samsung sell the SM710NT which Probrand are selling for about £275 + VAT at the moment. This will probably work out more economical than the ChipPC solution as you don't have to get a POE switch.
I think investing in a thin terminal system will initially be a high-ish cost anyway, so a PoE switch isn't that much of a worry (A 2650 PWR is around £1500 IIRC so not too bad). However, you can also power them via a power block from what I have read, which could be hidden in the trunking but would add an extra infrastructure burden.
Now just to show this to the boss and see what they think.
Also, the issue with power is that we are redoing one of our ICT suites anyway so comparing the cost of a PoE switch and the cost of getting electricians in to rewire the room to our new plan is probably about the same, looking at the cost of work we've had done in the past.
@localzuk: The power block you will be thinking about is probably a PoE adapter... 3COM ones seem as cheap as any at less than £20.
Yeah, it probably was but they still can be powered by external 5v power it seems (but via the front!?). Also, I just, coincidentally, bought a couple of 3Com PoE adapters for £13 each - a bargain I thought when compared to dlink and other brands.
I will be getting hold of one of the wall socket models and one of the all in one clients and giving it a try.
@localzuk: The thing you need to concentrate on is the management/deployment software. I find Altiris Deployment Solution that comes with the HP terminals is easy to use - of course you might find it hard. At the end of the day you want to make sure that the devices are easily manageable to maximise your lowering of TCO and reduce the distance that you have to walk
Another way of doing it is with a PoE patch panel.
That is something that needs explaining more to me. What needs managing on the clients?Originally Posted by Ric_
@localzuk: You need to be able to change what the user sees, i.e. add the connection settings and any desktop settings such as colours and screen resolution. Altiris does this in some magical manner which I don't fully understand with the Linux clients but it works a treat
You also want to be able to name the staions and set network settings so that you can easily assign printers via a script for instance.
Well, say you have 250 thin clients in your school. If you don't have a method of centrally configuring them, you would need to go to each individual terminal and set it up to point at the terminal server(s). You'd have to set the screen resolution and refresh rate on each terminal. You'd have to lock it down to stop the little *cough* darlings *cough* from ballsing it up. After the second or third one it starts to get a bit tedious.
This is where a package like Altiris comes in useful (although personally speaking I found Altiris unfriendly and cumbersome). Everything is configured from a central point, you can set up templates and default settings for terminals so it takes a matter of minutes to get a room full of terminals going instead of hours.
The majority of our thin clients here are IGELs and although the management software is a little archaic it does the job admirably.
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