+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, A question about thin clients please - would they be benefit our primary school? in Technical; Hey guys, firstly thank you for such an amazing forum, I am a new IT technician and I have learnt ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Question A question about thin clients please - would they be benefit our primary school?

    Hey guys, firstly thank you for such an amazing forum, I am a new IT technician and I have learnt so much over the last couple of months from what I have read on here. I am really grateful.


    The school I work at is to purchase 15 desktops to replace staff machines and 25 laptops. We are using Windows Server 2008 on our curriculum server. Including these machines, we could have anything up to 100 desktops and laptops connected to our network at any time (including an IT suite of 30 machines). The existing computers are all all thick clients.


    I have only recently found out about thin clients. I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer their opinions on whether you think it they would benefit us or if it would be best to stick to normal thick clients unless we were upgrading the whole network and most of the computers?


    My apologies for the beginner question but is possible to add a server on our network specifically to provide the computing power and software for the thin clients and still have our curriculum server controlling the whole network? Or could we have these thin clients actually utilising a part of the existing curriculum server (for their computing power and software) as well as maintaining the existing server roles? - I assume (without having our curriculum servers specification to hand) our existing server wouldn't be powerful enough to run all of these tasks if it even was possible.


    We do not need very powerful computers as they are only normally required for office applications, the internet, video playback, etc. This made me wonder if thin clients would be better due to the reduced hardware an electricity costs (although an extra thin client server may contradict these advantages, especially due to the small number of machines we are purchasing). We are using Microsoft EES so I don't know if this would cover licences for thin client software. If not then this may be a deciding factor.


    Even if it would not currently be cost effective do you think it could be if we replaced more of our 100 computers in the coming years with thin client alternatives (we have no plans to increase the number of computers in the future)? Or is a maximum of around 100 computers not enough to see any significant savings switching to thin clients?


    Thank you very much for any help or advice on this subject, I really appreciate it.


    Rich

  2. #2
    Geek_of_HeathMount's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Biggleswade
    Posts
    128
    Thank Post
    21
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    I asked the same question a coulpe of years ago and the answer I got was to speak to The Cutter Project. There isn't anyone better at doing what they do. Straight talking nonsense approach Home - Cutter

  3. Thanks to Geek_of_HeathMount from:

    Duke (20th March 2013)

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    1,114
    Thank Post
    6
    Thanked 221 Times in 200 Posts
    Rep Power
    56
    Personally Rich, I wouldn't change in your circumstances but there is no reason why you couldn't, some pros/ cons quickly off the top of my head.

    Pros: Easier to manage thin clients, probably cheaper in the long term, cheaper to add more "computers"

    Cons: Single point of failure (most likely), video playback isn't the best on them, you limit your software usage a little, you need to learn to set them up yourself of course.

    With regards to your licensing, yes you would need to ensure you have the correct RDS licenses for this setup, cost depends on your licensing.

  5. #4

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    18,529
    Thank Post
    527
    Thanked 2,648 Times in 2,049 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    925
    Quote Originally Posted by RTay View Post
    My apologies for the beginner question but is possible to add a server on our network specifically to provide the computing power and software for the thin clients and still have our curriculum server controlling the whole network? Or could we have these thin clients actually utilising a part of the existing curriculum server (for their computing power and software) as well as maintaining the existing server roles? - I assume (without having our curriculum servers specification to hand) our existing server wouldn't be powerful enough to run all of these tasks if it even was possible.
    It all depends on the server spec. If you've got a high spec server with high speed drives, then potentially, you could virtualise the curriculum server, host that virtual machine on the same server and add a virtual machine for the thin clients. However, this is *very* unlikely in my experience.

    We do not need very powerful computers as they are only normally required for office applications, the internet, video playback, etc.
    As much as you might think that this stuff doesn't require much power, I'd disagree. Video playback is CPU intensive for a remote desktop server. Add in flash content playback and your server requirements will be quite high. Even Office 2010 is pretty intensive compared to 2003.

    This made me wonder if thin clients would be better due to the reduced hardware an electricity costs (although an extra thin client server may contradict these advantages, especially due to the small number of machines we are purchasing). We are using Microsoft EES so I don't know if this would cover licences for thin client software. If not then this may be a deciding factor.
    Thin clients are great, I agree, we have around 80 or so in place here, soon to increase to 120ish. However, we have a significantly powerful server setup to run it all. We also don't expect them to run anything overly heavy. For example, we don't install subject specific software on them as we have found it is usually poorly written and absolutely hammers the servers. One such piece of software (MathMania KS2) we tried out on the last iteration of our servers (which were dual quad core xeon machines x 4 with 4GB RAM each (32bit at the time)) and a single copy of the software somehow managed to max out all 8 cores...

    You'd need to add RDS licenses to your EES subscription also.

    Even if it would not currently be cost effective do you think it could be if we replaced more of our 100 computers in the coming years with thin client alternatives (we have no plans to increase the number of computers in the future)? Or is a maximum of around 100 computers not enough to see any significant savings switching to thin clients?
    The costs are not quite as simple as buying cheaper clients. The server does end up costing a good chunk, and you really need to keep this relatively up to date (3 year replacement cycle in our case - the school tried to stretch it to 4 years and the thin clients seriously suffered for it). Also, bare in mind progression in technology. RDP has moved on several versions in the last 3 or 4 years, introducing things like RemoteFX and RemoteFX for RDP. So, the client requirements change also.

    The question I'd have is this - what are your multimedia requirements?

  6. #5
    Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,017
    Thank Post
    300
    Thanked 174 Times in 160 Posts
    Rep Power
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Geek_of_HeathMount View Post
    I asked the same question a coulpe of years ago and the answer I got was to speak to The Cutter Project. There isn't anyone better at doing what they do. Straight talking nonsense approach Home - Cutter
    Cheers.

    Even if it would not currently be cost effective do you think it could be if we replaced more of our 100 computers in the coming years with thin client alternatives (we have no plans to increase the number of computers in the future)? Or is a maximum of around 100 computers not enough to see any significant savings switching to thin clients?
    Yep, we do a lot of this type of thing and support a lot of schools (and other organisations) with Thin Clients. There's a lot of things to consider and we'd need to look at all the aspects with you - cost (initial and ongoing), performance, manageability, what you want to achieve, etc. 100 machines can certainly work with thin clients, but it would depend on what you want to spend and what your expectations are compared to the current fat clients.

    Drop me a PM or get in touch via our website (Contact Us - Cutter) and we can have a proper chat about it.



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Noob Question: Thin Clients and VMWare
    By Spicer in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17th January 2013, 05:49 PM
  2. Thin client question... (Multiple users on Windows XP???)
    By fafster in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 22nd October 2008, 12:52 PM
  3. newbie thin client question
    By strawberry in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11th September 2008, 06:58 PM
  4. Thin client basic question
    By pooneej in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 9th May 2008, 02:36 PM
  5. Just a few question from a Thin Client virgin.
    By Kyle in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 6th March 2007, 11:14 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •