[THIN] Re: Recommendations for Thin client devices

Difficult things to specify correctly are thin clients.

Under spec. them and they won't do what you want, and you'll spend a
lot of time and effort coming up with work-arounds
Overspec them and the cost of managing them will negate the benefits
of having thin clients in the 1st place.

You really need to look at it in detail from an application delivery
point of view. How are you going to deliver each application to each
user who requires it, and what the the most cost effective platform
you can use to deliver all the required applications to all the users.

The "100% Thin Client" projects I've worked on or have knowledge of
have all gone for a 'minimal' approach from a HW point of view
(Windows CE / very minimal clients). They have always come across at
least 1 application that would not work on/with TCs, and have had to
start dishing out PCs as a result.

The 1 project I've worked on where XPe clients were used is best
described as a political fudge. They still needed a sizeable PC
infrastructure, partly because of huge user resistance to change (we
had to modify the XPe clients to give them a Windows 2000 feel!). At
least, by having every possible type of client covered (at the time),
they didn't go to the expense of a complex cost/benefit study...

One thing that is worth considering is the new Blade PC technology. It
means you can have 100% thin clients whatever the application
infrastructure you need to deliver. It's new to the market from HP,
and is well worth considering.

Finally, don't forget SoftGrid as an alternative to application
distribution. Microsoft (talk last week) are arguing that it takes the
pain and complexity out of moving to Vista, as you can how separate
the application part of a Vista upgrade project from the PC-refresh
side, thereby greatly simplifying the management of both sides of the
project.

On 3/28/07, Matt Kosht <matt.kosht@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Although I have been using Citrix (1.8 Metaframe to PS 4.0) and MS
Terminal services (NT 4.0 TSE  to Win2k3 R2)  for about 7-8 yrs now,
I have only used them in conjunction with "real" PC's.  Seeing on the
horizon yet another painful desktop OS upgrade to Vista, I see a
chance to perhaps get off the hamster wheel.
I would like to test a small (initially 2-3 then up to 25 clients)
pilot of these devices. My only exposure to these was a lone Wyse
3360SE (Windows CE 3.0 I think) device many years ago. At that time I
found it slow and limited (graphics resolution) but usable.  I don't
think they would ever replace all the PC's (laptops and GIS editing
stations in particular) in my case, but the vast majority of users use
MS Office, E-mail (groupwise) and a handful of apps (most already
available as published applications on our Citrix farm).

I would be interested in hearing real world opinions of likes/dislikes
in these devices. Be sure to include:
_Make/Model
_OS (CE, XPe, Linux, others?) Do you find one of these superior to another? Why?

Thanks in advance.
-Matt
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