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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin Client Solutions: Dataspire or Precedence Technologies? in Technical; Anyone willing to post experiences good or bad about in place thin client solutions from either Dataspire or Precedence Technologies? ...
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    Thin Client Solutions: Dataspire or Precedence Technologies?

    Anyone willing to post experiences good or bad about in place thin client solutions from either Dataspire or Precedence Technologies?

    We're looking at both. Both appear to offer good solutions. There's a significant cost difference on quotes we've had (Precedence is a good deal cheaper), but I'm nervous about Precedence being such a small outfit (5 people). We've had the Dataspire trial server and it is an impressive solution and their technician was excllent. But its more costly.

    Any reason NOT to go with Dataspire?

    We're a secondary school, RM CC3, 1050 students.

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    Precedence or Dataspire??

    We are a secondary school (inc 6th form) with 1400 on roll.
    We went through the same process a few years ago that you are going through. Who to go with? All the companies are providing practically the same solution, just a few differences really.
    We were looking at Dataspire, Ramesys and Precedence.

    We visited the Dataspire showcase at Campion School. We had a conference style briefing, a tour of the school and then the opportunity to chat with the staff. Quite impressive I must say, lots of thin-client use there. My largest concern there was the use of the Wyse terminals as I had heard from other suppliers that they were not that reliable and not to good at multimedia. I'm sure a few years down the line the technology would have improved. They were also using apple macs notebooks and apple air wi-fi access points.

    We then visited x2 schools that Precedence have installed (one secondary and one middle school). Both schools had a large implementations of thin-client technologies. The schools had a wide range of new thin-client devices together with older computers (some Pentium 233s!), all working very happily on the network.
    The sales team from Precedence were not present at either school, but I actually liked that. It enabled myself and our deputy head to chat with the staff and students to get from the exactly what the good and bad points were for the system, and how Precedence as a company responded to support queries.

    We went for Precedence in the end for the following reasons:
    - We felt that they had a good product (TCX thin-client devices)
    - Their thinIT product enabled them to provide a good user experience. Patches to the solution are automated across the network and written in house - This enables them to solve the users problems without needing to "pass the buck" on to another company who may-or-may-not fix the bug quickly
    - They were local to us, and as a Business college, we like to use and support local companies where we can
    - Their Netmanager product was exactly what we were after to provide students with a secure and controlled e-mail and web filtering solution (that was the 2nd part of our thin-client installation project - we wanted a method for teachers to be able to turn on/off the internet in each classroom and have granular access to log exactly what web sites the kids had been on)
    - The feedback from other schools was that they had full confidence in the abilities of Precedence
    - The cost difference between Precedence and Dataspire was far to great to justify to our governing body (there was 30k difference in our quote!)

    We are now in our 3rd year using Precedence and I would not hesitate it recommending them. The installation was quick and painless. They recommended some other things we could tweak on our network to improve logon speeds and conform to best practices.
    We now have just under 200 thin devices available on our network and we are looking to get more in the coming months. We have classrooms, laptops and administration staff using the thin network.
    We don't have that many problems with the thin-client network and whenever we do, Stephen or Phil are very helpful and often remote into the school network to investigate the problem quickly and it is resolved.
    We also use the application servers to enable staff, students, parents, governors and community education (adult) students to access the network from home. They receive a full desktop session and are able to work exactly as if they were in the college buildings.

    Precedence are a small company - especially compared to Dataspire or Ramesys, but I think that has worked in our favour as they are able to provide us with a quick and personalised service.
    They have supplied and installed several schools around our area (secondary and primary) and my impressions are that the support is good and the service works well.

    If you would like to come and visit you would be most welcome - just reply to this post and we can sort something out.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Also look at The Cutter Project. Very good educationally focused company using Sun Ray thin client technologies. They would be my choice if i was not sticking with CC3 for a while longer.

    Also - where are you looking to use thin clients - and what kind of software are you going to be running on the thin clients?

    Butuz

  4. Thanks to Butuz from:

    linescanner (13th September 2009)

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    OK, call me suspicious. Two first posters both talking about a company I've never heard of before, with some quite detailed info coming across. Time for some IP lookups I think.

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    Precedence or Dataspire??

    We are a secondary school (inc 6th form) with 1400 on roll.
    We went through the same process a few years ago that you are going through. Who to go with? All the companies are providing practically the same solution, just a few differences really.
    We were looking at Dataspire, Ramesys and Precedence.

    We visited the Dataspire showcase at Campion School. We had a conference style briefing, a tour of the school and then the opportunity to chat with the staff. Quite impressive I must say, lots of thin-client use there. My largest concern there was the use of the Wyse terminals as I had heard from other suppliers that they were not that reliable and not to good at multimedia. I'm sure a few years down the line the technology would have improved. They were also using apple macs notebooks and apple air wi-fi access points.

    We then visited x2 schools that Precedence have installed (one secondary and one middle school). Both schools had a large implementations of thin-client technologies. The schools had a wide range of new thin-client devices together with older computers (some Pentium 233s!), all working very happily on the network.
    The sales team from Precedence were not present at either school, but I actually liked that. It enabled myself and our deputy head to chat with the staff and students to get from the exactly what the good and bad points were for the system, and how Precedence as a company responded to support queries.

    We went for Precedence in the end for the following reasons:
    - We felt that they had a good product (TCX thin-client devices)
    - Their thinIT product enabled them to provide a good user experience. Patches to the solution are automated across the network and written in house - This enables them to solve the users problems without needing to "pass the buck" on to another company who may-or-may-not fix the bug quickly
    - They were local to us, and as a Business college, we like to use and support local companies where we can
    - Their Netmanager product was exactly what we were after to provide students with a secure and controlled e-mail and web filtering solution (that was the 2nd part of our thin-client installation project - we wanted a method for teachers to be able to turn on/off the internet in each classroom and have granular access to log exactly what web sites the kids had been on)
    - The feedback from other schools was that they had full confidence in the abilities of Precedence
    - The cost difference between Precedence and Dataspire was far to great to justify to our governing body (there was 30k difference in our quote!)

    We are now in our 3rd year using Precedence and I would not hesitate it recommending them. The installation was quick and painless. They recommended some other things we could tweak on our network to improve logon speeds and conform to best practices.
    We now have just under 200 thin devices available on our network and we are looking to get more in the coming months. We have classrooms, laptops and administration staff using the thin network.
    We don't have that many problems with the thin-client network and whenever we do, Stephen or Phil are very helpful and often remote into the school network to investigate the problem quickly and it is resolved.
    We also use the application servers to enable staff, students, parents, governors and community education (adult) students to access the network from home. They receive a full desktop session and are able to work exactly as if they were in the college buildings.

    Precedence are a small company - especially compared to Dataspire or Ramesys, but I think that has worked in our favour as they are able to provide us with a quick and personalised service.
    They have supplied and installed several schools around our area (secondary and primary) and my impressions are that the support is good and the service works well.

    If you would like to come and visit you would be most welcome - just reply to this post and we can sort something out.

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    !!!!!!

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    Sorry, didn't mean to post that again!
    Please feel free to check up on my IP or just come and visit the coffee pot is always on.

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    Would you please include some technical info please? What thin clients were fitted and running off what systems. You post has been flagged as suspicious as it looks more like a sales pitch rather than an in depth reply on thin clients and suppliers.

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    Ok cool. Yes, reading that back it does sound rather sales like!

    We have 4 application servers running windows 2003 terminal servers, then we have Citrix Presentation 4.5 sitting on top of them.
    All the students access a full windows desktop session, and we have tweaked our group policy and profiles so the students would not know (from the desktop look) whether they were logging onto a fat machine or a thin-client machine.

    In our IT suites we have a few suites using the TCX client that precedence produce which gets updates every now and then. These can come with mounts to attach to the rear of the tft screens or as we have security mounts that padlock the unit to the desk. We do this not for the security element, just in an attempt to keep the suite tidy - I.e: the monitors don't end up floating down the desk!
    They have a solid state disk of 128mb and no moving parts, so they are totally silent. The teachers really like it - they prefer teaching in the thin-rooms than the few remaining fat rooms with crt screens!
    Energy consumption is down quite dramatically too.
    Precedence Technologies - ThinIT TCX and TCM - Revolutionary media-intensive thin clients

    What else can I tell you. They just work really. No more of this imaging of computers, just plug it in, name it and you are away.
    We have a couple we keep as spares in the office so when children pull the plugs out and bend the pins, we can simply swap the tcx device and within a minute the lesson can continue as normal.

    We still have a few "fat" rooms - media studies for example as they do a lot of heavy HD video editing, but we are slowly converting most of our general purpose teaching rooms. The thin rooms don't cause me anywhere near as much grief as the fat rooms do.
    If there is a problem with one of the thin-rooms, it is generally the whole room. Not a thin problem as such, usually a switching problem. The fat machine would just cope but if the thin devices loose connectivity obviously that is not good! - as in lay-mens terms it is just sending the mouse/keyb/screen changes so it needs a good connection back to the servers.
    Occasionally we get a problem with one of the appservers, but we reboot them every now and then, but in the main things run well. Most of our software runs without any problems - even audacity works well (using the beta release though!).

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    which school are you based at ?

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    The Dataspire guys have been brilliant at ours, Citrix just works.
    We have just added another 2 servers to our citrix farm and will be replacing a couple of other suites with the thin client solution.
    We're trying out the Axel boxes as the Wyse ones were ok but not brilliant!

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    Wyse ones appear very expensive to me! Axel should work nice! Have you gone for the M70 or the M80?

    Butuz

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    M80's our senior tech has just mentioned!
    The guys who've been doing it haven't said a bad thing about them!

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    Cool! M80s are much more powerful than most other thin clients - better for flash animation and videos!!!

    Butuz

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    It had been noted!
    Looking forward to seeing the suite in action after the summer hols!

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