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Cisco Thin Clients End of Life'd

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Bradley Bishop
I don't know if many of you have made the great mistake of using the Cisco Thin Client model with the management software VXC. If you have then you are probably more then familiar with the incredibly clunky interface, the numerous work arounds, and the awful customer support. I can not tell you the countless hours i have spent on the phone with Cisco attempting to fix issues.

Well I have good and bad news for you all. Cisco has "End of Lifed" this platform and will no longer continue to support or sell it. The official timeline for this is below. But for some of you who have invested a lot of time and more importantly money into the product are probably pretty upset.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/collaboration-endpoints/virtualization-experience-client-manager/eos-eol-notice-c51-731181.html

Well, there is a solution out there: the Dell Wyse Platform. The VXC platform was "purchased" from Wyse and simply branded by Cisco and they made a few coding changes but all in all the source code is the same. Even the asthetic look of the software is almost identical to the VXC. However, Wyse takes much better care of the software and has had out for quite some time a version of the management software that is compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2, that is something those of us with Cisco have been waiting for, for a while.

Wyse also releases patches much more quickly and has much better support, as well as an FAQ with discussion boards and forums. And the most interesting and useful thing about this software is that they have a free version for enterprise users that is good on up to 10,000 clients. You do lose some things such as High Availability and the ability to Auto Update devices when they come online. The link below details all of the differences between the Enterprise and the Workgroup versions. We are currently using the Workgroup Version and is what I will be referencing here.

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/wyse-wdm/pd

Now for the real winner: the Wyse platform will support and image your old Cisco Thin Clients that you are currently using. We had a total of 96 Cisco Thin clients and i implemented the Wyse Controller in a Windows Server 2012 R2 environment and it has been running our production machines for a little over a month now.

We have seen nothing but improved results from the switch. I find the system has much fewer "little issues", is quicker and is all around more responsive to the Thin Clients. I have been able to push images, remote views, and all the other tasks that I did with the VXC manager. I was even able to load the images for our Thin Clients that I got directly from Cisco and it quickly accepted them and was immediately ready for imaging.

Installing the software was also very quick and simple. The only issue that we ran into was that we did this on a fresh install; when the software installed IIS and the FTP features that required a restart, it broke the install because it would not let it proceed. We restarted the server and the install and all was good. This was minor for our situation as it was a new system. If you are installing this on a system that you already had the Cisco version set up on or do not utilize the FTP this would not be a problem for you. You could also just install IIS before you begin the install and would also not run into this problem.

All in all I am very happy with the switch and the support I have received and am looking forward to getting away from Cisco for these Thin Clients.
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by:Aaron Goodwin
We switched a while back to Shrew VPN in place of the Cisco thin Client.  It works much better, is free, and is compatible with our .pcf profiles already created.

Just a thought
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by:Bradley Bishop
How much are the Clients? We can get Wyse clients for around 300 and they are pretty good machines.
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by:jbla9028
We are looking at Wyse with Cloud Client Manager. Are you aware if it's able to manage both WyseOS and Windows Embedded TCs? We're also looking at the desktop extender LinuxOS to load on old laptops to keep them from going obsolete. Working with a rep there but haven't gotten answers yet. Looking for a way to manage all the ThinClient settings from one management interface. Switching from the Teradici zero client  model .
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