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VDI - Thin Client vs. Zero Client - Too soon?

Posted on 2012-03-23
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
So my company is moving ahead with VDI.  Only for a couple of departments.  We've bought a couple devices (Dell FX100 and FX130).  I'm testing them out.  I'm new to VDI and I have got it working but I don't think I fully understand the management of these devices yet.  The idea was to test a thin client and a zero client.  Yes the zero client's OS is more simple...but it's still an OS.  And from what i'm reading, we will still have to upgrade the firmwares, etc., and that might have to be done with a PXE server, and who knows what else.

I've also read a couple of recent articles saying that the promises of these clients hasn't really been proven true yet.  There is still management that is necessary, zero clients aren't really zero clients, problems with printing, etc.  

So is this technology still too young for us to wade into?  Are REAL zero clients around the corner?  Should we hold off for a while?  

thanks!
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Question by:readymade
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1200 total points
ID: 37758936
If you are going to purchase large quantities of clients, zero or thin, you still need management tools to manage large quantities of them.

e.g. lock them down, upgrade firmwares, change settings, connect to via VNC for troubleshooting etc

as well as evaluating the actual client for performance, also evaluate the management tools, otherwise, you will also spend time, still "floor walking" supporting the devices.

Some of the best clients are let down by poor management tools.
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LVL 123
ID: 37763752
have you been following the recent LinkedIn discussion on this?
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Assisted Solution

by:MCMC_Support
MCMC_Support earned 400 total points
ID: 37783724
with concerns to print you are going to want to make sure whatever device you use is ThinPrint certified and that can be found by going to: http://www.thinprint.com/Support/SupportedDevices.aspx. As far as the Management of those devices I am not sure, but I can say that we have been using VDI for just over a year now and have only run into the printing issues.
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Author Closing Comment

by:readymade
ID: 37787661
We are going to be using VMware View only, and it looks like most of the zero clients are built to run on View.  The Dell FX100 is very nice.  It has no cpu, hard drive, or memory.  I guess that's why they call it a "zero client."  We are going to be testing a similar zero client from Wyse, who come highly recommended.  We probably won't be running enough clients to need management software, but it's definitely something to keep in mind as we grow.  

Also, from what i'm told, people who need thin clients instead of zero clients are more likely to need to connect to multiple platforms (vmware, citrix, etc) and need the ability to connect using multiple protocols.  The zero clients are usually built to run on one platform, many times VMware View.
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