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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Is thin Client really worth it ? in Technical; Originally Posted by Ric_ I'd also be very keen to see a school where more than 20% of their PCs ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    I'd also be very keen to see a school where more than 20% of their PCs are used for tasks that thin clients cannot handle for the majority of the time. Remember that, just because your rooms are used a certain way now, it doesn't mean that you can't re-arrange room timetables to make better use of the resources.
    I completely agree.

    I'm pretty certain ('cos I have stats that prove it) that outside of IT lessons, the main "legitimate" computer usage is Word/Powerpoint/Browser. I need fat clients to drive whiteboards, and in the IT suites.

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    Do I understand from above with Sunray you have to have a Unix (Solaris/Linux?) server - which if true, would be, to say the least, an anomaly in an environment where the users need to run Windows...

    I know with a traditional thin-client environment the thin-client connects direct to the Window/Citrix server.

    Is it true with Sunray, the SR thin-client connect to a Unix server, then connect to the Windows server...

    Sound like one server too many....!

    ...and another operating to get familiar with...

    I guess I must have misunderstood something....!

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    You do need a Solaris/Linux Server to control the Sun Rays. You can have any desktop you want pretty much. Windows XP/Vista/TS(Citrix), Linux, Solaris and even Mac OS X.

    The *nix server is there to provide the instructions/firmware details and connection info to the Sun Ray. SR are not thin client as most know them. They are Ultra thin. They have no OS on them in flash etc. This is what makes them very flexible.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    9 years! Blimey - are they really still able to cope with current apps after that long? i.e. can the machines you bought 9 years ago run Office 2007 at an acceptable pace?
    Yes they are struggling a bit now and no they wont run Office 2007. Bought in 2000 RM 600 MHZ Celerons 256 mb Ram. The head insisted we kept them after the last upgrade for the Library. They are good enough for Office XP and browsing the web, but any chunky app like adobe elements and they fall over.

    Normally our lifespan is 6 years.

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    We had a situation earlier this year (May/June) where we had the money for a new ICT Suite but couldn't go down the traditional desktop route because we couldn't install any more aircon units (not very green) so we opted for thin client. On the whole the room has been very well used and looked after. Staff were told of the differnces between desktop and TC technology and for the most part they've gone along with that. Our admin machines are all desktops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner View Post
    The *nix server is there to provide the instructions/firmware details and connection info to the Sun Ray. SR are not thin client as most know them. They are Ultra thin. They have no OS on them in flash etc. This is what makes them very flexible.
    As you say, the SunRay has next to nothing in it - it's essentially a graphics card, USB controller, audio controller, and network controller, and not much else apart from a boot prom.

    The UNIX server is responsible for redirecting the graphics from the X server to the correct SunRay token - a token being either the MAC address of the sunray unit, a smartcard, or a user id, and for doing load balancing/routing of session to correct sunray server, etc. (Because when a Sunray unit comes up, it "binds" to one server, but your disconnected session may not be on that server, when you re-connected it has to get to the right server)

    Unlike Windows, where session reconnects take time (generally not a huge amount of time, but time), with Sunray, it's instantaneous ; if you're using smartcards, then it's literally shove in the card, and off you go. (Although you can use policies to dictate whether users need to enter passwords, etc, as well as the card).

    You can also use multiple sunray units next to each other to give you multiple screens using xinerama, and it's smart enough to know to turn off the screen spanning when you're on a sunray that's not connected to multiple screens.

    I've seen a lot of allegedly thin clients, but none are anywhere near as thin as Sunray. It's just a shame there's no sunray server for Windows. However, people like the Cutter Project can help you make the UNIX side of things invisible, and manage it for you.

    I seriously recommend getting a demo.

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    Ajtaylor - check out the sponsor of the forum....!

    I fully agree with your comments of the benefits of Ultra-thin clients but you are mistaken in saying Sun are the only manufacturer of Utra-thin client technology.

    Axel have been making Ultra-Thin client terminals for many years (our definition of Ultra-Thin client is a TC with no operating system).

    The key difference between Axel and Sunray UTC technology is that Axel technology lets the user connect direct to the Windows/Citrix server without requiring a unix server 'gateway'. This avoids the Unix admin, cost, power overhead, space etc of a Unix server....

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    Ajtaylor - check out the sponsor of the forum....!

    I fully agree with your comments of the benefits of Ultra-thin clients but you are mistaken in saying Sun are the only manufacturer of Utra-thin client technology.

    Axel have been making Ultra-Thin client terminals for many years (our definition of Ultra-Thin client is a TC with no operating system).

    The key difference between Axel and Sunray UTC technology is that Axel technology lets the user connect direct to the Windows/Citrix server without requiring a unix server 'gateway'. This avoids the Unix admin, cost, power overhead, space etc of a Unix server....
    Yeah but it also cuts down on the flexibility

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    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner View Post
    Yeah but it also cuts down on the flexibility
    Now, now... play nice children!

    There's advantages and disadvantages to all the solutions, whichever you choose though, you still get a sustainable ICT solution.

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    Now, now... play nice children!

    There's advantages and disadvantages to all the solutions, whichever you choose though, you still get a sustainable ICT solution.
    Sorry Dad

    but my advantages are better than his
    Last edited by linescanner; 23rd December 2008 at 09:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner View Post
    Sorry Dad

    but my advantages are better than his
    At least they are if you plan to have a mixed environment, or change it every few months. If on the other hand you want a nice, stable, single-client environment his is better.

    Plus his is better if you don't want to grow a beard and wear sandals year-round. That's what you need for root access to a UNIX system, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Plus his is better if you don't want to grow a beard and wear sandals year-round. That's what you need for root access to a UNIX system, right?
    I though for UNIX to work you had to turn the server room into a dark room (switch the lights off) and sacrifice a goat in the name of the UNIX gods?

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I though for UNIX to work you had to turn the server room into a dark room (switch the lights off) and sacrifice a goat in the name of the UNIX gods?
    I do have a large supply of goats that I am willing to share

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    Got to be better then the arm, leg that Microsoft wants... not forget my soul, if you believe in all that.

    Still if Sun wants my soul, I'll happy trade of a few of those (ultra) thin clients and a network to back it up with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Plus his is better if you don't want to grow a beard and wear sandals year-round. That's what you need for root access to a UNIX system, right?
    Oi, I don't have a beard - though if I wasn't ginger I might consider it :-)

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