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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin Clients for Primary School in Technical; Hi all! We're looking to replace some computers in our primary school and are considering replacing them with thin clients. ...
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    Chris_'s Avatar
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    Thin Clients for Primary School

    Hi all!

    We're looking to replace some computers in our primary school and are considering replacing them with thin clients. They will be additional computers in classrooms and aren't connected to IWBs or other peripherals. One of the reasons for looking at thin clients is for a more 'instant-on' setup where they could be turned on and students logged on in <1 minute. We would need to be able to deliver a good user experience, including the playback of full screen flash video (YouTube etc).

    We'd like to use standard RDS on 2008 R2 servers at the back-end. Would a couple of desktops with latest gen i7's, 12GB RAM and a few SSDs in RAID1 or 10 cope?

    Are there any particular make/models of thin client that you'd recommend for this sort of use that we could look into further and get some demo units of?

    Thanks in advance!
    Chris

    EDIT: I should have said, initially we'd be looking to use this setup for around 20 thin clients.
    Last edited by Chris_; 13th June 2014 at 02:04 PM.

  2. Thanks to Chris_ from:

    VeryPC_Colin_M (13th June 2014)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'd personally not want to use desktop spec processors for it, specifically because of Flash player and Youtube. They hammer the processor in my experience. You want more cores than processor speed also.

    SSD is a definite good idea, it basically eliminates the disk IO as a bottleneck.

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    Make sure whatever you go with on the endpoint supports RemoteFX so you get the best multimedia performance out of your environment (Even if you don't put in hardware GPUs)
    Last edited by kmount; 13th June 2014 at 02:12 PM.

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    Cost it up accurately and carefully. You may find that you could go with fat clients for the same price and then never have to worry about things like flash animations and youtibe videos or badly written CPU hogging primary school software ever again...

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    If you're looking for servers to run the back end give me a shout, one of my Z800s with a pair of hex cores should do the trick!

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    Honestly buy fat clients.

    Thin clients aren't great for flash videos, you tube etc etc. Clients can end up being nearly as expensive as fat clients to as initial cost.

  8. 2 Thanks to Achandler:

    AButters (16th June 2014), zag (16th June 2014)

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    achedgy's Avatar
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    Yeah, agree with all the above, been there, ended up ripping it all out, as it just couldn't handle what they wanted to do, some of the software was just a nightmare to get working. Best thing ever, going back to normal PC's

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    AButters (16th June 2014)

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    ADMaster's Avatar
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    Go with fat clients if you can, or perhaps chrome boxes. We had thin clients in our primary and with all the flash and shockwave type stuff they like to do it was horribly slow. Granted this was on a 2003 TS and the remote FX features may have improved that sort of thing greatly now.

    I just replaced several thin clients with Lenovo all in one units no complaints now.

    The thin clients were put in places where basic web research and word processing is done.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    For a primary, I'd probably recommend fat clients too. If you can't afford the price of new stuff, you could look at refurbished stuff. ICT-Direct would be able to sort something out that would suit.

    You can do flash/video on thin client very reliably now, but the cost to create the setup is quite high to start for a small number of clients.
    Last edited by localzuk; 13th June 2014 at 03:22 PM.

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    ICTDirect_Dave (13th June 2014)

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    Yep, fat client...and that's even as a thin client user. Just not really appropriate for what you want in this case I think

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    Alis_Klar's Avatar
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    Thin clients have no advantages in a primary IMHO unless you want users to access a school desktop and apps from home or use a iPad as a thin client.

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    witch's Avatar
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    IME Thin clients are great for office-type applications. Anything else and you will be better off with fat clients

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    I totally agree with the above

    Another way to look at it, is you have a single point of failure, whereas with FAT clients they can run standalone or networked accordingly.

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    You would never want to use desktops as the servers for thin clients, unless you want a really bad user experience.

    VDI solutions can work quite well in the right environment and setup, but most of the time they aren't setup correctly in one way or another (i.e. inadequate VDI servers and storage, slow network, need for apps not suited to VDI). The best VDI setups I have personally seen all used Sun Rays and Sun Ray Server, and they worked extremely well even over WAN connections. But, since Oracle decided to kill off Sun Ray last year, that's no longer an option.

    In your situation, you should either go with traditional thick clients or Chromeboxes if these will meet your requirements. Chrome OS is really just another variation of the "thin-client" or network computing systems, but one that works quite well as long as you have a good internet connection and are happy with the limitations of Chrome OS.

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    Performance is not the reason people chose thin clients - PCs will always be faster and more flexible - the real question is, are thin clients fast enough for the intended purpose ?

    There are many benefits which in many cases out-weigh any performance limitations - for example cost, instant booting (a point the OP raised), silent, no fiddle-factor, no software updates - no virus implications or AV required - easy and remote administration etc.

    How long does it take to rebuild a failed PC ? - a TC can be replaced and the user connected to the work they were previously doing in 5 seconds...

    This may help set expectations for multi-media performance - it's a few years old - but most of the points are still relevant for a device costing in the range of £150...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMnzHJbHHT0

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