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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin client question... (Multiple users on Windows XP???) in Technical; Wasn't sure which forum to put this question in. I've found a piece of software called WinConnect Server XP. Let's ...
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    Thin client question... (Multiple users on Windows XP???)

    Wasn't sure which forum to put this question in.

    I've found a piece of software called WinConnect Server XP. Let's XP handle more than the maximum (2 or 3?) rdp connections, pushing up to a maximum of 21. I've tested out a trial of the software and managed to open eight connections, so I'm guessing it's legit.

    I want to know if I can set up some thin clients to connect via rdp (rdesktop maybe?) to a winconnect-enabled machine without using a boot server. Thinstation looks promising, but I wouldn't know where to start. If I could set up a simple load-balancing system then brilliant, but otherwise I'm not bothered.

    The idea is to put a couple of beefy machines running the software in key locations (such as the IT classrooms, keeping traffic local) and have a poor-man's thin client setup.

    Cheers all.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I'm very doubtful that this is legal as it is breaking Microsoft's liscencing conditions. The software company would need to be in a major partnership with MS like Citrix to pull off something like that.

    If it does turn out to be legal you would just need to have a very basic shell OS on the clients ie some form of linux or even windows 98 setup to automatically connect to the preferred server on startup.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 18th February 2008 at 08:30 PM.

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    Thinstation looks promising, but I wouldn't know where to start
    Thinstation can boot from cd, hard disk or network(pxe). It does support rdp.
    Start with a prebuilt image, then roll your own with ts-o-matic

    If I could set up a simple load-balancing system then brilliant
    use round robin DNS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    I'm very doubtful that this is legal as it is breaking Microsoft's liscencing conditions.
    It probably pi**ses them off, there are other products that can do this as well, http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
    I though 2x did, but couldn't find on their website

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    According to their FAQ #23 you are expected to deal with liscencing details yourself. The story looks to be that you need to buy a separate windows liscence for each user that connects to it.

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    That is correct. Each copy of Windows XP comes with 1 CAL in order to buy more CALS you must buy more copies of Windows XP. You cannot buy the single CALS.

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    Woindows XP has a license that limits one concurrent user to access it... hence why the screen locks at the console when a remote user connects. As a result, doing anything like this would require multiple Windows licenses.

    You would be better off with a 'proper' setup of Windows 2003 and some terminal services CALs.

    As for rdesktop... not a problem... just install your client OS on the 'thin' client and job is a good un.

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    What would you run on the thin client? would it boot right into Windows TS?

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    Hmmm, seems that this may be more trouble than it it would be worth then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    Hmmm, seems that this may be more trouble than it it would be worth then.
    It's not necessarily more trouble than it's worth. Server 2003 licenses are only about 80 and TS CALs are about 9. If you run a basic Linux OS on your desktops you need not have Windows licenses for them - better still use thin client devices (HP ones are about 150 for the cheapest) which will reduce the TCO considerably.

    I suppose it depends on what you are trying to achieve at the end of the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    It's not necessarily more trouble than it's worth. Server 2003 licenses are only about 80 and TS CALs are about 9. If you run a basic Linux OS on your desktops you need not have Windows licenses for them - better still use thin client devices (HP ones are about 150 for the cheapest) which will reduce the TCO considerably.

    I suppose it depends on what you are trying to achieve at the end of the day.
    Sorry, I meant the WinConnect thing!

    Yeah, we're definitely looking into thin clients. We'd like to set up a test suite where we can put older machines to run as TCs so as to avoid buying the extra hardware just yet. We actually have a whole building with only about ten machines in, so I may convert it in it's entirety. Viglen are pretty competitive for license prices, and I've been quoted:

    Windows Server Standard 2008 @ 48.70 each
    Windows Server 2008 Device CAL @ 3.11 each
    Windows Terminal Services 2008 Device CAL @ 8.81 each

    If I was running linux on the clients, would I need a regular device CAL? We have a surplus anyway, but I'm curious.

    What are the actual figures for bandwidth usage? We have a 100mbit fibre connection to the building I mentioned above, so what's the maximum number of connections that it could comfortably handle?

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    Windows Server Standard 2008 @ 48.70 each
    Windows Server 2008 Device CAL @ 3.11 each
    Windows Terminal Services 2008 Device CAL @ 8.81 each

    If I was running linux on the clients, would I need a regular device CAL?
    Yes. Cricky though, at the prices listed above, defiantly go for it! Your ten machines only need around 200 worth of software. You'll need to buy MS Office licenses if that's what you're planning to run - if you're not, I wouldn't bother running a Windows server, just install Edubuntu on your server and use that. Are all your machines in that building all in one place, or all cabled to one location? If so, I'd network them all into their own switch and plug the server directly into that, too, rather than mess around having your thin client traffic use the same network as everything else. Save bandwidth, but also reduce latency too.

    Actually, I've always wanted to try having the server machine as the teacher's machine, with the terminals in the classroom run off that. You shouldn't need anything too fancy for a server, either - a quad-core "desktop" machine with 4GB of RAM (a sub-1000 PC these days) should be able to handle ten clients well enough.

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    options for multi-users

    there are several options for using XP as host and mini-rdp terminals. the people at ncomputing are best known for that though there are people in Israel as well as Canada with same solutions. The ncomputing people also support Ubuntu so that is liability-free option.

    The liability being that none of the are officially covered/sanctioned in the MS Eula and technically they could come back at some time and demand compensation. Having said that MS seems to like the ncomputing guys and obviously needs toolset to battle Linux (no help from Vista there).

    I did an eval of ncomputing up on my blogger at thinclient.org that might be helpful plus some other options.

    On the ncomputing side the x300s are much faster than the L-series.

    Craig
    www.thinclient.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by thinclientorg View Post
    I did an eval of ncomputing up on my blogger at thinclient.org that might be helpful plus some other options.
    I've just installed a 4-workstation NComputing-based system (running on Windows Server 2003, with appropriate device CALS and licenses for application software, so no worries there) in our staffroom, we'll see how it gets on.

    Anyone else using NComputing's equipment? It sounds like a good idea when you hear about it, but then you read the website and install the device and it all seems a bit cobbled-together - all the instructions are translated from Korean, the install process is a bit random, and sales/support is rather vague. It does seem to have produced 4 workstations for around 100 a workstation, though (second-hand Dell 1505FP monitors with integrated USB hubs in the side, NComputing terminal attached via our advanced attachment and integration technology device (okay, an elastic band) on the back, cables all neatly tied back). The main issue at the moment is the lack of support for 32-bit graphics, at the moment it's 16-bit only. This shouldn't be a massive issue for workstations used for a spot of web browsing and word processing, and seemingly there's an updated version out Real Soon Now.

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    Axel supply RDP terminals that direct boot into RDP, and cost less than 100......

    Their hardware is designed to be the minimum required to run RDP, no 'extra' hardware is needed to accomodate an operating system, so price and complexity is low, and performance is high, as RDP sits direct on the hardware.

    As a plus there is no network booting, not BIOS or logging in accounts to manage, no linux scripts, no ini scripts. Connecting to RDP server takes <5 seconds...

    Thin Client Installation....

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