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What thin client should we buy?

One of our clients wants recommendations for what thin client to purchase. They are a SMB and need about 60 thin clients. The server will be remote (different building, same city) and host all apps and data. Currently, the client has desktops in a traditional Microsoft client/server environment. I'm not interested in specs for the server, just the client. We are a Dell reseller, so it would also be nice if any suggestions could be acquired from Dell.

What specs should the thin client have? e.g RAM, HD, networking, monitor, etc.

This is somewhat new territory for us, so I look forward to hearing suggestions from those that have already fought the battles. Any lessons learned through this kind of deployment?

Thanks.
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notacomputergeek
Asked:
notacomputergeek
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Wyse (http://www.wyse.com/) Global Leader, Good Performance and Management.
2. Igel (http://www.igel.com/uk.html)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
3. Thinspace (http://www.thinspace.co.uk/)
4. 10Zig (http://www.10zig.com/)

Al those vendors will offer you an evaluation unit to try, but before you evaluate a unit, make a list of your requirements, and what do you need it for Citrix, RDP, RemoteFX, VMware View, VDI, HDX, Wyse THX etc, Do you need USB, Microphones, Use USB flash drives, small foot print, what OS on the unit, the ability to fix to a TFT screen etc.

Thin  clients don't have HD or usually monitors, although some can be obtained embedded with a TFT screen at high cost, but why when you can fix most thin clients to a TFT panel using a VESA bracket!
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jonahzonaCommented:
You could also re-purpose old computers that are able to boot PXE/Etherboot or even from USB or CD.

There is free app we use called AnywhereTS. It uses a basic linux kernel to boot right into RDP of your TS. It can be served up through a Network Boot or through USB/CD.

Check it out at http://anywherets.com

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That's a good point because the Best Thin Client is A is a PC (think about it!).

One danger of ALL thin client vendors, is although thin clients do last forever, and are usually warrantied for three years, vendors dump you after 3-4 years, and then you'll have to refresh them! (sounds familar - just like PCs!). Because they don't provide updates for RDP, Citrix ICA or VMware View, so if you ever change your server hardware, your Thin Clients will not be supported.

If you use the following software alternatives

1. www.2x.com (free Thin Client Server http://www.2x.com/thinclientserver/)

2. http://www.thinstation.org/

3. or Cloud OS from 2x (also free) http://www.2x.com/ccos/
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notacomputergeekAuthor Commented:
I think I have a clearer picture of what ports we need, but I'm still a little confused on the OS or software. The unit will only need RDP and be compatible with RemoteFX. They will connect to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Data Center Edition server.

Any suggestion on specific brands/models?
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jonahzonaCommented:
Dell GX250/260s seem to work really well for us. Boot right into an RDP environment. We are in A Win 2K3 TS.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
10Zig (http://www.10zig.com/)

10Zig are the best. Go for the Windows 7 embedded, there were the first, and hard to beat.

Get and eval unit!
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notacomputergeekAuthor Commented:
jonahzona: The client wants to purchase new equipment with a small footprint.
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jonahzonaCommented:
@notacomputergeek

I can understand that. We use the small form factor version of those dells.

We also have a few HP thin clients that also work well. They are more expensive, but have a good OS that makes setting up RDP connections a snap.

Here is a link to the HPs we use.

http://www.google.com/m/products/detail?oe=UTF-8&client=safari&q=hp+thin+clients&hl=en&bl=/m/search?q%3Dhp%2Bthin%2Bclients%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari&source=search&channel=products&cid=6790939488266169375&ptab=c&ei=G7e0TZmqGdDylAfZ9MdB&ved=0CCIQ8wIwAg#
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notacomputergeekAuthor Commented:
I've looked at Wyse S30 and S50. Any thoughts on Windows CE vs Linux thin clients for RDP?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
yes CE is slow, not high performing.

do they have remotefx support?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
In your requirements you state "The unit will only need RDP and be compatible with RemoteFX."

RemoteFX will be supported on Wyse thin clients based on Wyse-enhanced Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Embedded Standard 2009, as well as the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact 7 platform.

the above was from http://www.gadget.co.za/pebble.asp?relid=2980

At present, I'm not sure if Wyse, have released any Thin Client supporting RemoteFx.

http://www.wyse.com/about/news/pr/2011/0301_RemoteFX-zeroclient.asp

I believe 10Zig (http://www.10zig.com/) were the first to launch RDP 7.1, because they have units based on Windows 7 embedded, there were the first.
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notacomputergeekAuthor Commented:
The project I'm working on is several months down the road. Thanks for the input.
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