Why Sun Ray?
I was doing research into thin clients and I looked at both WYSE and Sun Ray systems with smart cards and I have a few questions that I haven't really found answers to (small deployment):
- I have seen lots of schools using Sun Ray, but is that the best way. Don't you need two sets of servers? (solaris + windows when using a windows desktop)
- If using sun ray, apart from the login screen do the users ever know they are using a non-windows system
- Whats multimedia like (this would be Server 2008 R2)? looking at flash mainly for HD youtube (and would prefer not purchasing Citrix)
1). Part of this would be personal preference as to what you'd prefer however you can use Sunray's in any environment it should work fine with any TS system however SGD would need Solaris and Windows, Citrix, Ericom and 2x don't.
2). They shouldn't no the system would just display whatever you have at the other end windows 2003, windows 2008 etc.. or in VDI XP, Vista, Windows 7.
3). Flash is still a little annoying but via VDI you can get dreamweaver and flash working (maybe not at the same time ;) ) So playing them shouldn't be an issue as VDI develops protocols then this will be fixed. Thin Client may run flash ok but some of the other Thin Clients process flash locally which allows for a better experience SunRays don't.
This is looking like a slightly anti-SunRay comment now, however, SunRays are a good price work well for the most part and have a fanatastic Mean time before failures better than anything else I've seen 222,000 hours I think (25 Years). IF I was going to do VDI or Thin Client I'd be very tempted by SunRay it's a fantastic product, my brother trialed it they had the server setup and ready took a SunRay 270 out of the box turned it on and they were logged onto a desktop in under 20 secs the equipment works very well indeed.
We run Sunrays here and they provide most of what we need them to do. do not expect to be able to replace every single fat client room with thin clients as no solution will be able to do this especially with ICT courses now being more multimedia related
in answer to your questions
- Not too sure on this one but if your going thin client then SGD is a brilliant add on, no more getting home and half way through sorting out stuff for the next day and realising that some important file is on the network.
- we have a nice customised initial login screen that simply provides a way for kids to enter thier username, they can also provide the option of allowing them to change the display resolution which could be useful for VI kids
- We can run most stuff, I have seen kids using iPlayer and music streaming sites seem to work(sometimes, i think, too well:p) we can run full classes on flash probably several at a time though would need to look at the timetable to be sure.
if you are considering SunRays and SGD or thin client give then contact the guys at cutter, they support us and overall uptime is good, the big issue with thin client is that a failure of certain components has a more pronounced effect. i.e server falls over 10% of the machines in every room die with it.
Sun has fixed this in SunRay 5 software, effectively putting a flash codec on the SunRay device.
Originally Posted by wesleyw
See latest info at Announcing Sun Ray Software 5 - Think Thin
Great another reason to buy these ;)
Apart from being slightly biased (see details below) I have used Sunrays on and off for over 12 years...
Not bad bits of kit and ideally suited to some areas in schools.
PS combine them with an S7000 and you get a very, very cool solution.
Sorry for the late entry here
Originally Posted by binky
Reasons to buy Sun Ray
The main reasons we see are:
1. Longevity - This is really important these days in large scale deployments. We see this when looking at the Sun back catalogue. Essentially you have Sun Ray 1 and Sun Ray 2........over 10 years. Not bad at all. Look at the HP and Wyse back catalogues and you will see more than that in a 12 month period. I have customers still running generation 1 Sun Ray, they can do pretty much all of what Sun Ray 2 can. The exceptions are mainly around Multimedia and the lack of VPN in the firmware.
2. Flexibility - Having the middle layer (Solaris) allows you to do all kinds of cool and funky things. You get a degree of control that you just do not get with the other solutions.
To answer your questions
1. Yes you do need 2 sets of servers. But see point 2 above. It gives you huge flexibility
2. The logon screen can go straight to Windows. We put a school branded menu in front to allow some cool things to happen in the background. Users get no exposure to Solaris whatsoever.
3. Multimedia varies from average to good. To get Good we would recommend staying on TS 2003 for the time being, also the clips need to be encoded correctly. To get good flash, you also need to stay 2003 atm.
Also VDI is now worth considering over TS. The cost of VDI deployment is coming down rapidly as the performance of the tin available rises. VDI gives you a better user experience as most of the cool developments are now aimed at VDI as TS has some inherent technical issue that are difficult to overcome.
If you need anymore info, drop me a PM
Originally Posted by wesleyw
the reasons just keep stacking up. You know it makes sense :)
I don't think I need to add anything here....
Must admit, Andy from Cutter demo'd these to me the week before last and they look really cool. No, they're not the solution to every problem everywhere, but in the right place they look like they'll work really well. For me SGD alone is a reason to buy so I could work from home, and the fancy smartcards are kinda sweet... ;)
I just cry when we have to buy replacement cards due to everyone losing them, and the administration cost of manually directing sessions to machines is diabolical at times. (Not to mention the price of official Sun ones :( )
Originally Posted by Duke
At present we use a Solaris server, and an ESX box connected to a Sun Storage Array. All desktops are available and online circa 45, each user has their own desktop, and smartcard assigned. We use the multi-session kiosk addon to redirect cards to start UTTSC into the boxes, when they lose the card, we need the terminal ID's to manually map them to their desktops which is rather annoying, and means no one else can use the machine while its assigned to someone else.
Just one of those things in the end and how our solution is setup.
Have 1 or 2 Wyse in the mix, and I can whole heartily say. I prefer Sun Rays, even with silly little things :)
They're sleek, they behave, the handle everything I throw at them, they last, they are easy to manage and update with firmware and the users adore them.
We'd only have the smartcards for ICT Support staff and maybe senior management so that shouldn't be too big an issue. Andy did show everything running from one server so it can be done in theory, but he did say it definitely wasn't recommended for a production environment. For the coolness that the Sun Ray / VDI Broker provides it looks worth having a server for on top of ESX/View/VirtualBox. We'd probably go for a similar solution to you, S7000 on the backend, ESX or VBox, Sun Ray VDI on Solaris, then Sun Ray thin clients.
blinky - I don't think you need a Windows server to provide the Windows desktop unless you were using Terminal Services? Your second server on top of Solaris would be the ESX/View/VirtualBox server that hosts the virtual machine images clients are actually connecting to. Someone correct me if wrong, very new at this...