Thin Client Solution

Looking for a viable thin client solution where cost is a major issue.  We are running server 2012 Hyper-V with 4 VMs and another 2012 physical server to add redundancy to our virtual environment.   Have about 10 fat clients in which there only function is using a WEB browser, have an additional 6 that use MS Office and a print control app to capture print charges.

Was thinking of Linux over MS for the cost advantage.  There is a Linux Terminal Server project, but have not spent time to research. Looks like Citrix XenServer is free, does that include XenDesktop which looks like a thin client application?
Securing the browser is another concern only want a few site to be accessible.  Currently controlling with Group Policies.

Any other suggestions and additional information about products would be helpful.

Thought once the fat clients start to die off would replace with thin like "ncomputing" or "Wyse" terminals.

Thanks
WebccAsked:
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basrajCommented:
XenDesktop is not free. If you get XenDesktop platinum license then you cover XenApp and XenServers too.  With XenDesktop 7 you can do both desktop and application virtualization. You can also stream the OS to Thin clients. In fact, use Thin clients to access VDI and Virtual apps. You can do much more than thin clients with XD.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
This is the best VDI whitepaper on the internet, which compares and contrasts all the current vdi/thin client projects:-

you will need to create a login for the VDI Smackdown

http://www.pqr.com/vdi-smackdown
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kabilanisCommented:
Are you looking for a Thinclient solution for VDI or Virtual server?

"We are running server 2012 Hyper-V with 4 VMs " - does this mean that you have enabled Hyper-V role on a Virtual machine or you have created 4 Virtual Machine on hyper-V enabled physical server.

Even the Fat clients can be used with Windows Thin PC OS. This will help you reduce admin overhead.

Xendesktop can be used only with windows. Your linux will be ruled out there.

If you are looking for a VDI solution, we need to consider the end user requirements.

If it is for virtual Server, you can access them over RDP from fat/thin client. Additional cost can be reduced.
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WebccAuthor Commented:
Have created 4 virtual machines on a 2012 hypervisor server.

I have come across VDI but don't know anything about it.  Is there something within my virtual setup that I can leverage to run a thin client solution without having to purchase, install and configure addtional software?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need to purchase OS Licenses for the VMs, and RDS CALs.
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WebccAuthor Commented:
Is RDS a thin client solution?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, it is, it's the new name for Terminal Services.

see this article

http://www.wtslabs.com/Downloads/TSAtoZ.pdf
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kabilanisCommented:
Hi Webcc, after seeing the above details, I have few questions for you to understand the requirement completely.

I understood that you have 4 VM servers and wanted your end-users to access them using thinclient.

1. Do these users use only the servers for regular work or they have client desktop also?
2. If they have client desktop, they can go with accessing these servers thru RDP
3. If they will only use the VM server for daily activity, then you can go for thinclient to access them. Provided they do not have a physical desktop now.
4. If you already have physical desktop and worrying about XP EOL, you can install Windows thin PC in the physical desktop and use it as Thinclient
5. If you are particular in buying thinclient, you can have many options in the market with Linux based embeded OS. Few examples will be Ncomputing and Centerum.
6. You can have Windows based thinclients from HP/Wyse also. This way you can have light weight applications installed in the thinclient for additional usage (we had MS office installed in Windows based thinclient for local usage)

All the above solutions operate using the RDP protocol. This is the cost effective solution.
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WebccAuthor Commented:
Just to be clear going back to my original post the proposed thin clients primarily would just be kiosk stations with access to one web site.  Need to have them locked down.

Would like to leverage the 7 yr old machines we currently have setup as kiosk stations as thin clients and then would look to purchase Ncomputing thin clients sometime in the near future.

**These thin clients would not need access to any of the VM's I have setup.  Sorry for any misunderstanding denoted our environment to inform what we have and to see what possible solutions we currently have without having to purchase any additional software.

Maybe you can recommend a good Windows as well as a Linux solution.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
How about a Thin Client OS with just a browser installed?
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WebccAuthor Commented:
Yes.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
how about

http://www.thinstation.org/

with just a browser installed?
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