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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin Client Admin Computers in Technical; Hi All I've got a number (about 30) of ageing admin PC's that really need replacing quite soon, and I'm ...
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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    Thin Client Admin Computers

    Hi All

    I've got a number (about 30) of ageing admin PC's that really need replacing quite soon, and I'm interested in using thin clients to do this. The machines are mainly used for SIMS, Outlook and the rest of the office suite. There arent any really graphic heavy bits of software on these machine.

    Has anyone on here had any experience of this and could share their thoughts as I need to make a decision quite soon. I also have a classroom of 30 PC's that are used by the languages dept and the only real software they use is Taskmagic. All the other software is web based, with some video and audio involved. Again so advice or suggestions would be extremely useful.

    Thanks!

    Steve

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    We use Citrix VDI in a box and 10zig thin clients in our classrooms and would imagine they would work just as well in a admin PC kinda area. One of the things you can do is set persistent desktops which aren’t refreshed on logout - that way your admin staff have a personal machine even though its VDI hosted.

    Another option is to just setup Windows 7 VMs on a Hyper-V server and then offer a direct RDP connection into the VMs - you would need Windows Embedded thin clients (which are nearly as much as a normal PC) to offer the best possible 'experience' though.

    Either way PM if you would like to know more!

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    Axel's Avatar
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    As forum sponsorer we have supplied terminals to many schools over the last few years, various Edugeek'ers comments here:

    Axel AX3000 m70 for Lesson Monitor

    Would be happy to talk, or offer an evaluation M80 terminal for you have a "play" with. All you would need to do would be to download W2008r2 or Windows Multipoint from Microsoft's website and the terminal would connect instantly and directly with no fuss or hassle... Axel Technical Support - M80 setup and booting - YouTube

    Matthew@axel.com
    Last edited by Axel; 5th March 2012 at 09:23 AM.

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    Bezwick's Avatar
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    We have most of our admin staff using remote desktop and Server 2003 terminal server and it works ok for them all except finance. The FMS program cant cope with more than one user being logged in on a computer with the same name. So our finance staff have their own PC's all the others are on thin clients and havent complained.

    Quote Originally Posted by truebluesteve View Post
    Hi All

    I've got a number (about 30) of ageing admin PC's that really need replacing quite soon, and I'm interested in using thin clients to do this. The machines are mainly used for SIMS, Outlook and the rest of the office suite. There arent any really graphic heavy bits of software on these machine.

    Has anyone on here had any experience of this and could share their thoughts as I need to make a decision quite soon. I also have a classroom of 30 PC's that are used by the languages dept and the only real software they use is Taskmagic. All the other software is web based, with some video and audio involved. Again so advice or suggestions would be extremely useful.

    Thanks!

    Steve

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    budgester's Avatar
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    Wait for the RaspberryPi to become generally available then use one of them as a thin client.

    I mean 40 is gonna blow away any competition out there.

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    Thanks for the posts -they were very helpful and I shall be contacting a couple of you via PM!

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    Bezwick's Avatar
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    No worries, depending on what spec the 30 machines are and if you have schools agreement you could also look into installing windows thin pc

    Windows Thin PC by Microsoft | Windows Enterprise

    on them and converting them into thin clients rather that buying new systems. When used with a 2008 R2 remote desktop server they work quite well, i havent moved the admin staff over to this setup yet purely because we have no need to at the moment. However we have classroom machines using this and they fly along. Also server 2008 R2 may be able to get round the FMS problem as it has the ability of assigning each user session its own IP address and client name but we havent looked into it yet. My only concern would be that as 2008 R2 only comes as 64bit you may get other problems elsewhere. But you still have the option to go down the Hyper V and virtual desktop rout as opposed to the remote desktop route. Have fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by truebluesteve View Post
    Thanks for the posts -they were very helpful and I shall be contacting a couple of you via PM!

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    For SIMS.net fat client use I can't really see thin client being a go'er. SIMS can be quite nasty in terms of memory and cpu hogging depending on what you are doing, which on a workstation is not so much of a problem as just that workstation will slow down. On a thin client set up it could be catastrophic to have many users editing whole school attendance or running reports for example, could eventually drag the entire server and every other thin client user to a halt. Luckily SIMS.net is not multithreaded so each instance of SIMS could only use one CPU core. If you had a beefy enough terminal sever (16+ cores) it could work out.

    I'd be very careful about it, do some testing first (e.g set up a test terminal server on a 4 core workstation and have 4 8 users use it see how it performs) before you spend thousands on a server.
    Last edited by AButters; 7th March 2012 at 04:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    For SIMS.net fat client use I can't really see thin client being a go'er. snip
    We've used SIMS on thin clients with some success. Never had issues with slowdown etc that you eluded to. The problem, as usual is capita don't want to support it. Most companies are pretty reasonable about varying systems schools have in place, but Capita don't want to know because their software is the be-all and end-all of school software. If pretty much anything goes wrong (last time was inTouch) capita come back with Discover/SIMS/InTouch isn't supported on thin client go buy a PC and windows.
    In general it works. until it doesn't.

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