Linked by fran on Mon 11th Apr 2011 22:50 UTC
Red Hat "San Francisco‚Ä"Red Hat is the strongest Linux company in the world when it comes to servers, but it has almost no presence on the desktop. That will be changing in 2012 with the reintroduction of a Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments-based virtual desktop infrastructure."
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Wait.. but..
by reduz on Tue 12th Apr 2011 05:47 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Is the difference between a thin client device and a full desktop that big (hardware and cost wise) to make it worth creating such kind of hardware?

I mean, a custom thin client device can't be really cheaper to manufacture than some enterprise desktop based on commodity hardware you purchase from, say dell..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wait.. but..
by acobar on Tue 12th Apr 2011 07:10 in reply to "Wait.. but.."
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

The cost of the hardware is not the main concern. Easy system maintenance, security, data backup, control, easy deployment and relocation are. This is what it brings to corporate environments. And you will use commodity hardware on the client side anyway like you do with Citrix and Windows RDP, and both of them work very well on internal networks and reasonably well over Internet.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Wait.. but..
by ricegf on Tue 12th Apr 2011 10:20 in reply to "Wait.. but.."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

That's not necessarily the point.

For example, let's say you (major corporation) have a key custom client-server app that you need to distribute to a few hundred suppliers. The suppliers are providing the desktops, but you're providing the server and data warehouse accessible via an encrypted channel over a wide area network. You have at least three options.

(1) Rewrite the client as a web app. This takes probably a year, includes considerable risk, may affect performance, and may not be feature-complete.

(2) You can send the client to each supplier, work through each of their app approval processes, and provide remote technical support - for every version you release.

(3) You can set up a virtual terminal server such as SPICE or Citrix and run the client on your own servers. To your supplier-based users, it launches like a web app but runs like a native app. You keep full control of the client code, and distribute new versions with a centralized server install. Tech support drops to usability issues, as you know it's installed correctly on a capable machine. And you needn't change a single like of code in the client or server to do it.

Really, for rather common scenarios such as this, it's a no-brainer.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Wait.. but..
by laffer1 on Tue 12th Apr 2011 17:16 in reply to "Wait.. but.."
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

Consider that many people are buying devices like iPads, netbooks and lowend laptops at home. I think desktop systems will get phased out for general use. If a company doesn't want an employee to have a portal computer, it might be cheaper to buy a thin client rather than a full desktop system in the future because the demand is dropping for them.

Most people are happy with a tinker toy computer and don't want the power you can get with a desktop or workstation. That could change with the right killer app, but I doubt it will. I'll keep paying the premium but businesses won't.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Wait.. but..
by TechGeek on Tue 12th Apr 2011 17:32 in reply to "RE: Wait.. but.."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

This isnt aimed at the home user. This is aimed at businesses where if I am your boss, I dictate what you need for work. Thin clients are also likely to longer than desktops do.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Wait.. but..
by nt_jerkface on Tue 12th Apr 2011 18:12 in reply to "Wait.. but.."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I mean, a custom thin client device can't be really cheaper to manufacture than some enterprise desktop based on commodity hardware you purchase from, say dell..


No it isn't and existing XP machines can be turned into virtual clients.

Spice is tech that should have came out 10 years ago. Citrix and RDP are already well established. I've seen Citrix used over the internet on a junky laptop for some heavy applications and I was really impressed with how smooth it was.

If Red Hat is serious about competing with MS then they need to increase funding to Samba and LibreOffice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Wait.. but..
by phoenix on Tue 12th Apr 2011 18:31 in reply to "Wait.. but.."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Is the difference between a thin client device and a full desktop that big (hardware and cost wise) to make it worth creating such kind of hardware?


Nope. Our current diskless client boxes are just over $200 CDN. This includes:
* slim desktop case
* M2+ motherboard (onboard hd audio, nVidia 6100 graphics, gigabit NIC)
* AMD Sempron CPU @ 2.0 GHz
* 1 GB RAM

These run full 3D accelerated graphics. No local harddrive, no local optical media, no local floppy drive. Just connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and ethernet cable. They are disposable appliances (which is how we treat them).

The least expensive thin-client system we could find (albeit a couple of years ago, but the above system was only a little over $300 CDN at the time) was almost $800 CDN, used a wimpy VIA CPU, had hardly any RAM worth mentioning, and couldn't handle 30fps video, let alone 3D accelerated graphics.

I mean, a custom thin client device can't be really cheaper to manufacture than some enterprise desktop based on commodity hardware you purchase from, say dell..


They could be ... if the thin-client companies wanted them to be. But they don't, so they aren't. It's hard to find a thin-client terminal device that's under $300 CDN. Considering how useless a thin-client device is without a fat server to connect to ... it's even more amazing how much they gouge the end-user.

Especially since most thin-client/remote desktop solutions require a tonne of client access licenses to connect, on top of the client licenses for the software to be run, along with the licenses for the server OS, etc, etc, etc, etc.

A diskless, network-boot setup, along with NX (or Spice, or even an RDP server) with standard, commodity hardware is a *much* nicer setup. You still get all the administrative benefits of centralised installs, setups, configuration, and management ... *and* you get all the power of a local "fat" client.

Reply Parent Score: 2