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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin client in primary schools in Technical; Originally Posted by witch Linux User? I'm not even a Linux Viewer! So, if I was to use our current ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Linux User? I'm not even a Linux Viewer!
    So, if I was to use our current computers then I would need to buy licences for Windows Thin PC? I would need a decent server (1, 2?) and...what else?
    I don't think you can actually buy licenses for it - you can only get it if you're a volume licensing customer with software assurance (eg. EES or School Agreement).

    My current server is an HP ML350 - is that good enoough? I know nothing about virtualisation.
    It really depends on number of clients, and what users will be doing with them. What is the spec of that machine? The ML350 had a huge range of CPU and memory options.

    Is setup easy or would I be looking at an external company?
    Basic server setup is relatively simple - install Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012, install the RDS server and licensing roles, add your RDS CAL licenses to the licensing console, and install software on the machine, as you would a desktop machine (although you do need to run it via the "Install Application on Remote Desktop" item in Control Panel - Programs).

    However, some software can be a royal PITA to set up, as it can be fussy running on a server. So, it might be worth getting a company to do it.

    I'm having an issue with what I would need, on the ground as it were, to do this. If I know, and can get costings, then I can compare it to the cost of a new IT suite.
    Ok, to give you those ideas, can you give us a more specific idea of what you're wanting? Number of clients? What software will you be wanting to run on them etc...?

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    witch's Avatar
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    Well, that is what I was told then - but since then some people have said it works OK for Video and stuff so now I am confused

    I want to keep my current 32 PCs - dual core with 2GB of RAM. Currently, Office, Podium, bit of video editing. really the sort of stuff the students up to year 8 use.
    Lots of educational programs
    I think I would go for a new server (or servers) with extra capacity in order to swap over other computers in the school as and when - that would be another 40-odd computers
    Last edited by witch; 18th June 2014 at 10:39 AM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Well, that is what I was told then - but since then some people have said it works OK for Video and stuff so now I am confused
    For viewing video, it works OK. It isn't as good as a fat client, and it wouldn't be any good for video editing or some older applications (for example, we had some software which managed to max out all cores of all CPUs whenever 1 client opened it).

    For most things, they work fine. You just have to make sure you get your server spec right.

    Your best bet, to be honest, would be to work with someone like the Cutter Project to spec things up.

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    Axel's Avatar
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    ...where this thread "falters" is that a thin client costing £3/400 is almost certainly running Windows7.

    There is hardly any possible difference from a technical POV between a Win7 PC and Win7 TC, just the TC lacks the flexibiiity and upgradability of the PC.

    In terms of cost they're pretty similar. (extra cost of PC disk negated by sheer volume of scale of manufacture of PCs)

    A Win7 TC has far more in common to a PC than a "proper" TC and provides the worst of both worlds, ie expensive, high management overhead, high power consumption, short warranties, AV considerations, long boot times etc etc (ie all the things thin clients were supposed to resolve)

    So - as a manufacture - we would say - if you need the performance of a PC - use a PC - if you don't, get yourself a thin client, and take benefit of the lower cost and all the other benefits associated with thin clients.

    Win7 TC are essentially inflexible, non-upgradable, relatively expensive PCs and in many cases hard to justify - as many of the posters above argue....

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I want to keep my current 32 PCs - dual core with 2GB of RAM. Currently, Office, Podium, bit of video editing. really the sort of stuff the students up to year 8 use.
    Lots of educational programs
    This is the problem. Take it out of the equation and Thin Clients might be a suitable solution. You're in for a world of pain if you're trying to do this. On the server side there is the processing power rendering takes up and what effect this might have on other users, or what would happen if you render multiple videos at once. On the client side you have the streaming of the display and lag being introduced while you're editing. Then you have USB pass through. I assume you use USB video cameras? or SD cards with USB reader? You'll have better luck with the later. God knows if you could get other video editing interfaces to function - firewire, composite capture, etc.

    IMHO, thin clients are just not a suitable solution for that particular activity, at any level. As has been pointed out, you said it yourself - thin clients are best suited to low work loads. Basic web browsing, word processing, etc.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yeah, video editing just won't work on thin clients - it is just too heavy (this is from experience trialling such things here, even on our beastly servers).

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    @Dantech
    Thanks for all that info. We would be looking to convert our current dual core, 2GB RAM IT suite machines to TC, so I wouldnt be buying more clients.
    No problem - hope it helps. We turned some much lower specs into TC's ourselves and re-purposed old laptops which would have been thrown out, so in this scenario it is worth it. I agree with the other peoples comments that if you are video editing stick to a fat client (PC).

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    @localzuk video editing works well for us however our servers are over-speced and the GPU really does help accelerate the performance of CS6 however we have spent a very large amount of cash on it (Not in education)

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnat1121 View Post
    @localzuk video editing works well for us however our servers are over-speced and the GPU really does help accelerate the performance of CS6 however we have spent a very large amount of cash on it (Not in education)
    Yes it can be done but you may know that you need a decent graphics card in the server and we are talking around £850 for the right type of card. We spent serious money on our server farm to make it work too.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnat1121 View Post
    @localzuk video editing works well for us however our servers are over-speced and the GPU really does help accelerate the performance of CS6 however we have spent a very large amount of cash on it (Not in education)
    Is that "shared environment" like RDS or individual desktops/VDI? I'm guessing the latter, as CS6 doesn't like being installed on server OS's. In which case, that situation is a lot more expensive than the shared environment setup we have here.

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    It's windows multipoint server 2012 with a windows 7 enterprise image when a user connects it automatically create the virtual desktop it's pretty cheap especially as educational prices for multipoint are very low so are multipoint cals and windows 7 enterprise from software assurance

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    Multipoint is a very different beast to RDS or full VDI - a single multipoint server usually only handles at most half a dozen machines. In fact, it has a hard limit built in for number of stations connecting per server - 20 if you use "Premium" or 10 for "Standard". There's also memory limits and CPU socket limits. The standard edition also doesn't have domain join etc...
    Last edited by localzuk; 18th June 2014 at 12:19 PM.



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