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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin Client advise in Technical; My school is considering switching to Thin Client rather than having about 30+ PC's in each room - which are ...
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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Thin Client advise

    My school is considering switching to Thin Client rather than having about 30+ PC's in each room - which are starting to be damaged by the pupils (blanker plates bashed in - CD/DVD drives broken, etc, etc)

    I've been asked to cost a viable thin client solution, to be trialled in our LRC/library

    For those of you who have got them set up:

    What hardware do you use for the clients?
    What server you all running? (Citrix, Windows, Linux, etc)
    Are the servers clustered?
    Cost??

    advise on this would be welcome

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    Re: Thin Client advise

    Current plan is to convert one room:

    16-20 PCs. All are P2-400 with either 128mb or 64mb of ram. They will be booting from CD. They may be able to PXE boot. I'm unsure.

    100mbit networking going to a dedicated switch for the PCs. Server is also directly connected to this. Server will NAT out for internet access to the rest of the school LAN.

    Current server is a Athlon 2600+ with 512mb (it was just lying around) and will be running Edubuntu 5.10. Assuming all goes well with the test I'm hoping to get a rack mounted Opteron based system with 2Gb of ram.

    Cost atm is nil. Clients are old PC's. Server is a spare machine. Just need to do some recabling in the switch cabinet and setup the server + clients how I want.

    Assuming the trial works. That Opteron based system will cost about £1200.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Thin Client advise

    Check out http://edugeek.net/index.php?name=Fo...t=1539&start=0 for my setup.

    If you want to trial it, integrated into your existing Windows network, I recommend getting a P4 desktop and boosting the RAM and then installing Terminal Services using the 90-day trial you get with Server 2003 (you can use a trial copy of this for the test purposes). A machine with 1GB RAM would be sufficient for 15-20 users.

    For the clients, grab some old desktops and use thinstation to boot (via Etherboot) from the network into a TS environment.

    SMT will love you - it looks like XP, handles like XP and you can buy TS CALs for about £9 each (a lot cheaper than upgrading a machine from 98) plus hardware costs are minimal.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Thin Client advise

    I started at my sch after they installed Citrix throughout. 75 Clients on 2 application servers.

    What hardware do you use for the clients?

    We used all the current clients we had, plus pulled some old machinmes out of the cupboards. Our best machines were C600/64Mb/4Gb the worst just had to run 100 colour depth. We'd bought some 25 Wyse terminals with 16/32MB ram for £300/£400 each

    What server you all running? (Citrix, Windows, Linux, etc)

    3 Win2K Cirtix Application servers with 1Gb ram and dual 1Gz CPUs [a good spec for the time] - Our reseller told us that was enough to power 110 machines. We had to by a memory throttler to achieve this. Coped fine previously until a user scrolled down in Excel or tried to display something moving. Everyone just works slower. We're still trying to use it as standalone classroom machines with basic functionality.

    Cost??

    IO heard the setup was £17k including the S/W [for just the 2 App servers at the time of purchase] - then your usual licenceing costs on top. We'd apparently moved from RM so this was the cheapest was to go.

    Management were sold and expected full desktop audio and video, which of course wasn't possible.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Thin Client advise

    @Mark: What version of Citrix are you using? Presentation Server 3 does the throttling for you, can support upto 60 users on a server and has lots of bells and whistles.

    HP sell a Linux-based terminal now for £125 and they work really well.

    I think the biggest benefit will appear when we get remote access working as (particularly staff) will be able to access the school's systems from home and will theoretically be able to just have a terminal. Obscure software will also be able to be used without giving discs to all and sundry (breaching licensing).

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    Re: Thin Client advise

    Booting with etherboot into windows ts 2003 is it possible to allow USB drives ? (Without using citrix as there is no way we can afford that). It appears to be the only flaw in my system where I want to hide the workstation itself. Having just a monitor with mouse, keyboard and usb connection wire on view.

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    Re: Thin Client advise

    We had some evaluation HP and IGEL units delivered today. We had the IGEL Smart 2100LX and 2100CE devices and we had the HP T5125 and T5520 devices.

    First impressions, the HPs are a tad bigger and don't have front USB ports. However they have more USB ports and are a damn site nicer to use. They are a lot smoother and video performance is considerably better. I find that somewhat odd being as they're based on very similar hardware, I guess its just a matter of superior software engineering on the part of HP.

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    Re: Thin Client advise

    @pear: You can indeed redirect the USB drives. IMHO USB drives are a pain in the ass and are an unnecessary evil. E-mail and other file transfer means are far more reliable. It also stops idiots turning computers around because they have a 1" thick USB drive that doesn't fit into the front-USB sockets!



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