I'm thinking about dabbling in the world of ThinClients but have a few questions.
I've got about 60 PCs in one particular room (a rather ridiculously huge room) and the performance is suffering (they're low powered AMD Athlons with 512MB ram) - I'm not sure I'm going to get the funds to replace them in the near future and the performance of the machines starting to affect the quality of teaching there.
So... I though I'd have a look at ThinStation with Windows 2008R2 RDS - mainly because it's technology that I'd feel fairly comfy with.
Can anyone offer any advice? These are my main questions:
1. Is ThinStation the best terminal software? Is there anything else that would be better for 'free'?
2. How do you setup a 'base-image' using Remote Desktop Services? Is there a nice guide anywhere?
3. What sort of spec server would I want to use for 60-ish clients? (I do have an old Dell PE2500, dual Xeons 12GB RAM, not much disk space though - maybe 120GB in RAID 5).
4. Is there anything else I need to know before I delve into the world TS?
Is ThinStation the best terminal software? Is there anything else that would be better for 'free'?
I had issues getting ThinStation to boot via PXE, we wound up using first Slax and then SystemRescueCD instead - Slax actually comes with its own PXE server, so you can get started right away, and SystemRescueCD seems to be kept very up-to-date with drivers for assorted network cards. All you really need is something to run RDesktop, although something that can also run an up-to-date local web browser (and plugins) might be a good idea so you can have web browsing happen locally and take some load off your TS servers.
What sort of spec server would I want to use for 60-ish clients?
We have a Blade Centre with a number of Blade Servers for the processing and a SAN for the storage.. We've got IBM kit because it met our needs/price and there is room to grow - we use VMWare VSphere..
I can't say I know the nuts and bolts of it all - I try to keep my hand in, but spend far too much time pushing paper and smoothing troubled waters (I would be in trouble if our NM ever decided to leave!)
...or when your Axel terminal arrives on Monday you can use a free utility from our website call AxMenu - where you essentially "publish" selected applications
on a per user or per group basis. The users can access these applications only and have no access to a desktop or any other part of the server...