Linked by Nik Tripp on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:40 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE IT solutions companies have been generating lots of buzz regarding thin clients basically since the early 1990s, but have yet to really penetrate into many suitable environments. These relatively cheap computer appliances carry broad promises like energy efficiency, space efficiency, and centralized maintenance and data storage. These claims could sound like the computer industry equivalent of snake oil. Kiwi-LTSP, a combination of KIWI imaging technology and Linux Terminal Server Project, is one open source solution for thin client servers.
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If you really prefer diskless PCs, I would just use this superior setup instead. This is easily the best solution on the market right now, for diskless PCs. Highest performance. Cheapest. By far the safest solution.

- OpenSolaris server (which includes ZFS, iSCSI and CIFS).
- PCs without hard drive

Setup a ZFS raid which is the safest file system ever, because it handles SILENT file corruption:
ZFS needs no hardware raid cards (which sucks because they have their problems) and just needs a few cheap SATA drives. With 7 SATA drives you reach 440MB/sec. And you can add one SSD drive as a ZFS cache, giving you crazy IOPS. One SUN 7000 storageserver gives close to 250.000 IOPS in extreme cases, because of the SSD drive.

CIFS and Vista gives 90MB/sec on 1Gbps NIC. Thus, you get good performance with CIFS.

Create a ZFS filesystem and format it with NTFS and install windows XP on it + MS Office. Snapshot the filesystem. Now, make one clone of the Windows filesystem for each user, this takes one second. The Master filesystem is untouched.

Each PC connects to the server and boots his snapshotted cloned Windows XP over the network via iSCSI. No hard drive needed.

If a user messes his Windows partition up, just clone a new copy from the Master filesystem. And off you go in one second. ZFS snapshot each users partition and you have a backup.

Buy another OpenSolaris server, and you have a redudant fail safe system.

This is extremely cheap. All software is for free. You only need a server. And some diskless PCs. More info:

Edited 2009-03-04 10:28 UTC

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