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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin Client Network Setups in Technical; Basically I'm interested in what thin clients anyone has set up. I'm curious to what spec the server and clients ...
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    Thin Client Network Setups

    Basically I'm interested in what thin clients anyone has set up. I'm curious to what spec the server and clients have, along with what distro your using. I'm thinking of putting a proposal in this week (using the TCO as reason ) as there is currently 10 random workstations lying around school and I just want to get a general background.

    Things that would be useful:
    Server spec, and how many, and what capacity is it at ?
    How many clients ?
    Do they boot off network card or hard drive ?
    How long does it take to configure one client ?
    If so, average hard drive size ? Processor speed ? RAM size ?
    Do/Will you actually buy any new clients or just use ones donated ?
    Is it working in tandom with Windows ?

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Ric_ is the man to answer this for you he has a mix of converted clients and proper thin clients. He also is running a lot of clients.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Deep breath:
    I have approx. 180 thin clients currently. These are mix of thin client terminals, XP Pro machines and re-harshed old gear. The old stuff simply has an etherboot image on the hard disk (takes up about 2MB) that bootstraps the ThinStation image via TFTP. I use SolarWinds TFTP Server (simply because it is free and multi-threaded) on Windows Server 2003.

    I currently run 5 Citrix servers (cos I haven't cconfigured number 6 yet) and these are running Server 2003. Using a published desktop the users can't really tell any difference between what they use and Windows XP. Performance is perfectly acceptable and Citrix handles basic multimedia and all the everyday apps perfectly adequately.

    The servers I use are Sun Fire v20z servers (2x Opteron 244 with 4GB RAM) and these should handle 30-35 concurrent connections with ease. Citrix reckon that 60 is doable - I suppose this could be possible if evryone is just doing basic stuff and my servers barely break a sweat anyway).

    As for client configuration, installing the Etherboot image takes about a minute (the config file editting is maybe 10 seconds if you have it open)and installing thin client devices prob takes about 5 mins each. The setup of the XP clients takes a bit longer.

    A word of note - scanning works magically with Citrix. I don't even pretend to understand how it works!

    You're welcome to pop in and have a look if you want - PM me.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Still waiting on that guide to your setup btw Ric

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    It sounds like I get to do a bit of experimenting

    How much does Citrix cost you ric ? I got a rough estimate at £15 per access licence to windows 2003 is that about right ?

    Does anyone do this completely linux based ?
    I'm wondering what would be best to use if I was to do it that way.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Edubuntu is specifically designed as a Educational distro. You can use it as a Thin client server as it includes LTSP already setup and working out the box.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    @Pear: I pay £120/license for Citrix (Enterprise Edition) but you need only buy as many licenses as you think you will have concurrent connections.

    You will also need a Windows CALL (~£5) and a TS CAL (~£9) for every device.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Our setup is pretty similar to rics, but we have more (6 soon 7) lower spec servers - dual 2GHz, 2GB RAM, U360SCSI using W2k and Citrix XP -they take 20-25 connections without problem, but struggle with 30. Hopefully we can afford a RAM upgrade in April!.
    with the servers just get lots of ram, dual processors and fast disks.
    Clients are either Wyse terminals, thinstation (PXE boot, no disks) for full desktop or mac/xp/linux for published applications.
    Via-EPIA boards are pretty good for thinstation clients.


    I also have a FreeNX server, that is testing linux only. Its similar to LTSP but uses compression and disk caching so is more suitable to WAN links. Works fine for me, as good as Citrix but without the windows only apps and without a management gui (available at cost from nomachine).

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    I'm guessing it depends on the bios but how well do these options work with wireless cards ?
    Is it possible to not include a hard drive and use a wireless card ?
    And does anyone use thin client laptops ?

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    You can't do PXE booting from wireless I'm afraid. You could use a CD/floppy/
    USB device/flash rom though.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    thinstation has limited support for wireless and you can buy wireless thin client terminals too.

    i have one laptop that is a thin client (since the hard drive passed onto Silicon Heaven) and it works a treat - just a standard thinstation config but it is hard wired.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Quick couple of questions regarding Citrix Thin client setups:-

    1) How well does Citrix cope when it comes to running multimedia applications. Flash-based stuff and movie/sound files? We've tried running these on windows terminal server and noticed that they can be very resource intensive (eg streaming full screen video,etc). Does Citrix work better than native windows terminal server when it comes to things like this?

    2) Does Citrix offer any kind of support for local devices that would usually connected directly to client PC's (memory sticks,scanners, camera's,etc)?

    Any info or links to useful sites would be appreciated

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    1) How well does Citrix cope when it comes to running multimedia applications. Flash-based stuff and movie/sound files? We've tried running these on windows terminal server and noticed that they can be very resource intensive (eg streaming full screen video,etc). Does Citrix work better than native windows terminal server when it comes to things like this?
    Citrix certainly works better than TS for this.
    I'd say that sound/video is reasonable, but not nearly as good as full clients.
    small flash movies work fine, but full screen video - probably not.

    2) Does Citrix offer any kind of support for local devices that would usually connected directly to client PC's (memory sticks,scanners, camera's,etc)?
    Citrix supports USB/Parallel and Serial devices as well as local hard drives. Only thing I've not got working is Promethean IWB hardware! - but the software runs fine.

    Good comparison between RDP and ICA here: http://www.precedence.co.uk/products/citrix/

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis
    How well does Citrix cope when it comes to running multimedia applications. Flash-based stuff and movie/sound files? We've tried running these on windows terminal server and noticed that they can be very resource intensive (eg streaming full screen video,etc). Does Citrix work better than native windows terminal server when it comes to things like this?
    Yes lots better than terminal server. If your just browsing the net and playing the odd media file then its not a problem. You need to allow for a bit more memory on the server side per client but thats all. Ric can probably give you some specifics.

    OTOH don't expect to do heavy media processing on a thin client (Graphics, Video Editing, CAD, etc.) You need conventional desktops for that sort of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis
    Does Citrix offer any kind of support for local devices that would usually connected directly to client PC's (memory sticks,scanners, camera's,etc)?
    Definatly local sound/printers/floppy, CD, Hard Drives. USB and TWAIN is also supported. So that covers your memory sticks, scanners, camera's and whatnot.

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    Re: Thin Client Network Setups

    When I run citrix as a user to access my university work over the internet from home on a basic broadband connection it is very good. I can open all of the microsoft office suite and it runs very smoothly unless my internet slows down. It connects my computers hard drives in my computer and I think my removable media as cyberned said. The file transfer rate is very good too as I am constantly copying my whole course folder back and forth.

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