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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Fat v. thin v. multi-seat client showdown in Technical; The traditional motivation for thin clients are factors such as: Power consumption (5 watts) Trouble free/reliable (5 year warranty) Easy ...
  1. #16
    Axel's Avatar
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    The traditional motivation for thin clients are factors such as:

    Power consumption (5 watts)
    Trouble free/reliable (5 year warranty)
    Easy remote setting up
    Totally silent (no fans / harddisk noise - which is noticable in its absence - though we all get used to it)
    Zero on-going maintenance (no Microsoft upgrades, no service packs, no virus implications)
    Instant booting (3 seconds)
    Easy deployment - anywhere the LAN/WAN extends to etc

    For multi-media requirements, to cover all the bases, a PC is probably the best option today...

  2. #17

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Has anyone used 2X to connect thin clients to Windows servers? Do I have the right idea here: 2X provide a propriatory replacement for RDP - instead of using an RDP client I use the PXE-bootable OS that they provide, which then connects to the Windows server using the 2X protocol? This, handily, would seem to imply that I don't need an RDP-capable thin client, so I don't have to be limited to RDP 5.2 (and its associated sound issues) on an RDekstop-based machine or buy £150 new devices, the 2X OS should work on our current old-desktops-used-as-thin-clients.

    2X costs around £700 to install on one Windows server, so for 30 devices call that £25 per device, but we could save on client device costs by using old desktops - maybe £50 a device instead of £150, so maybe saving around £75 per device.

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  3. #18
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    I'd be surprised if you didn't need a TS CAL still. With Citrix you buy a Citrix CAL and still need a TS CAL as well. RDP is actually licenced by MS from Citrix.

  4. #19

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I'd be surprised if you didn't need a TS CAL still.
    Oh, I assume you do - the £150 cost is just for the thin client hardware, we'd still have to pay for Server/TS CALs for each device.

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  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    we'd still have to pay for Server/TS CALs for each device
    Okay, so we could shell out £3,000 in total to upgrade our server a bit, install Windows Server 2008 R2 on it along with 2X for Terminal Services and license 30 clients. That would give us a server capable of running 30 thin client sessions. Can I run RDP sessions to a TS server at the same time as 2X sessions? What about if we wanted to use this TS server for home connections - if we wanted staff to be able to connect via VPN and use a remote desktop from home - what licensing do we have to sort out to do that?

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  6. #21

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    if we wanted staff to be able to connect via VPN and use a remote desktop from home - what licensing do we have to sort out to do that?
    Ah, just found out - £2,000 for an external connector license.

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  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Ah, just found out - £2,000 for an external connector license.
    Thats for use with any computer, it may be cheaper to simply get some TS User CALs that should allow connection from any machine or TS Device CALs which would limit the teacher to one 'home computer' that they could use for it.

    Edit: Oh and if using this setup I would sugest using a TSGateway server role included in 2008 which will redirect RDP traffic from any internal host that it is setup to connect to and pipe it over https. This allows for really easy globally accessable remoteApps to (from liscenced machines).
    Last edited by SYNACK; 1st July 2010 at 01:35 PM.

  8. #23

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Thats for use with any computer, it may be cheaper to simply get some TS User CALs that should allow connection from any machine or TS Device CALs which would limit the teacher to one 'home computer' that they could use for it.
    True - 30 TS CALs X £20 would be £600, but I figured it might be easier to simply pay the one-off cost and be able to connect unlimited people (including, if I'm correct, pupils), allowing for expansion/change in usage.

    Oh and if using this setup I would sugest using a TSGateway server role included in 2008 which will redirect RDP traffic from any internal host that it is setup to connect to and pipe it over https.
    Thanks, I'll investigate - does this mean I don't have to have a VPN set up?

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  9. #24

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    True - 30 TS CALs X £20 would be £600, but I figured it might be easier to simply pay the one-off cost and be able to connect unlimited people (including, if I'm correct, pupils), allowing for expansion/change in usage.
    Yes thats right it will cover students too.


    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Thanks, I'll investigate - does this mean I don't have to have a VPN set up?
    Yes, the RDP is still encrypted over https and it means that it will work from almost anywhere. This also removes the posibility of ip range collisions and firewall/proxy issues. It does require the version or RDP client from XP SP3 or above but is a much safer less disruptive way of connecting for clients.

    You can still have a VPN access method avalible for clients without this supprt allowing for Linux users to connect too. I am reasonably sure that the latest Mac version of the RDP client has this feature too. As the RDP client handls all of the encrypted traffic directly it never exposes an ip directly into the internal school network either which is better for security.

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    dhicks (1st July 2010)

  11. #25
    Butuz's Avatar
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    Using older HP thin clients here for our sixth form provision. 36 clients are running off one server (Dual Quad Core 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, Raid 5, Win2k3 32 bit).

    Clearly the server specification does not allow us to run 36 x graphics intensive programs up the sixth form. Overall for Word processing and internet including some flash sites it works well. The upgrade from 6 archaic PC's with 10 minute log on times to 36 thin clients with 20 second log ons was very very popular with my sixth form!! The whole project was implemented on a shoe string budget.

    With regard to your licences, I pay £9.09 for a TS CAL and £3.27 for a Windows Server CAL via my LEA so I am not sure where you are getting the £50 odd licencing figure from.

    Clearly things have moved on, if I was doing it again i would be looking at something along the lines of:

    Tight Budget: Axel M80 clients off a Dual 3Ghz+ Quad Core 16GB RAM Win2k8 server.
    Better Budget: Axel M80 clients or SUN Ray's off a Dual 3.2+ghz Quad/Six core with 24GB RAM with Sun ray or Citrix.

    Either way upgrading from the HP thin clients to the Axel thin clients gives a massive boost in performance for intensive apps. With the HP youtube is unplayable, with the Axel youtube is watchable in a window and sound is fine.

    Butuz

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  13. #26

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    With regard to your licences, I pay £9.09 for a TS CAL and £3.27 for a Windows Server CAL via my LEA so I am not sure where you are getting the £50 odd licencing figure from.
    That was simply a guess - checked pricing today, we pay £7.40 for a Windows Server CAL and £21.27 for a TS CAL, so nearer £30.

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  14. #27

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    I think Terminal Services would be way too slow for Photoshop and a complete non starter for video editing. That said if you decide to go down the TC route then I can whole heartidly recommend Axel. Got a M75 and a couple of M70's for our admin staff. Easily the best TC's I've ever had the pleasure of setting up. Probably going to get a few more over the next couple of months and accellerate our Admin/Office PC refresh program.

    Gut instinct would say get fat clients. For that type of work other options are not really worth the hassle.

    Multipoint Server will easily run video editing on three workstations (I've don't it) and the Education license definately connects to AD, but unless you are desperate for the savings (should be cheaper than fat clients) it's not really ideal for that kind of work.

    EDIT: What license agreement are you using? I'm pretty sure I'm paying nearer £10 for a TS-CAL and around £3 for a CAL on a Academic Select Agreement. They look like more expensive Open Agreement licenses to me.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 1st July 2010 at 03:24 PM.

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  16. #28

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think Terminal Services would be way too slow for Photoshop and a complete non starter for video editing.
    Actually, the requirements have changed somewhat - we're now not looking at 30 workstations for the sixth form, we're now looking at moving our current LTSP server over to Windows Terminal Services. The sixth form are getting new harddrives in their 6-year-old Dell Dimension 2400 Windows XP machines and a 4-workstation Multipoint system made out of a spare desktop PC and two graphics cards from eBay. Our LTSP server currently services 18 clients in our prep IT room - it's going to cost us £5,000 to do what we could do for free if Edubuntu 10.04 didn't keep conking out after 14 people have logged in.

    What license agreement are you using?
    Open Agreement - we're a private school, we don't have anything to do with the LEA and we prefer to buy our software outright rather than rent it.

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  17. #29

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    @dhicks: I've watched this thread a little and something else that your users might like is the ability to use their own machines. We use Cirix Secure Gateway to provide access to XenApp for our lot and they reckon it's better than using our thin client devices (not had the heart to tell them that it is the same system barring some of the devices not having the latest HDX tech).

    You could provide a similar setup using TS Web Gateway (I think that's what it is called) which may mean that you could scale down the number of end devices you have. It will also allow students to access computer resources within lessons.

    Just something to think about there

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  19. #30
    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    @dhicks: I've watched this thread a little and something else that your users might like is the ability to use their own machines. We use Cirix Secure Gateway to provide access to XenApp for our lot and they reckon it's better than using our thin client devices (not had the heart to tell them that it is the same system barring some of the devices not having the latest HDX tech).

    You could provide a similar setup using TS Web Gateway (I think that's what it is called) which may mean that you could scale down the number of end devices you have. It will also allow students to access computer resources within lessons.

    Just something to think about there

    Yes we have a similar setup here. We're thinking about allowing students to use their own laptops to access Citrix over our wireless setup, this will allow them to use their equipment saving us money and they can access the network with a much lower virus risk through the secure gateway.

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