The thin client quest is on

We are on the quest for the best thin client for our uses at HTC.  My co-worker, Jason, has been leading the evaluation process.  So far, different people in my group have seen presentations from Pano Logic, HP, Wyse and we have Dell coming later this month.  We have evaluated the Pano Logic solution and the Wyse solution so far, and are impressed with both.  

The Pano solution is very impressive to me.  There is really no logic at the end-point.  It simply boots and receives a help address which directs it to the connection broker.  From there, it connects to a virtual desktop and you’re off.  It offers pass-through for USB and the devices appear as local devices on the virtual desktop.  The product is VMware backend, Windows OS only at this time, though they say Linux may be in the future.  

Pano was just as advertised as well.  We had it setup in a relatively short amount of time – with the most time being spent trying to get our old Cisco Network Registrar software to hand out the vendor specific helper information, which it was ultimately not able to do.  So, we switched to a Linux based DHCP server and the problem was quickly solved.  Their documentation of the DHCP options could have been better, but for a relatively young company, the technology behind this solution seems very solid.  

The Wyse device we receieved is comparable to the Pano, with a few additional features.  It has a thin, hardened OS which lets you setup basic network and VPN settings for the device.  You also point it to the VDI broker and Citrix server to establish connections.  This device is nice because it doesn’t require modification of DHCP scopes – it just plugs in and runs.  In some environments, it could allow for off-network access for users, although not here.  We use a third party VPN solution which has its own client software.  

We are awaiting HP evaluation units.  Unfortunately, the two to three days promised to arrange for the evals has long since past and the two weeks to arrive has also gone by.  We’re still waiting and not sure the hold up, but maybe soon we’ll be looking at their product offerings.  

More to follow…

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Philip is a IT solutions engineer working for AmWINS Group, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm in Charlotte, NC. With a focus on data center technologies, he has built a career helping his customers and his employers deploy better IT solutions to solve their problems. Philip holds certifications in VMware and Microsoft technologies and he is a technical jack of all trades that is passionate about IT infrastructure and all things Apple. He's a part-time blogger and author here at Techazine.com.

5 Responses to “The thin client quest is on”

  1. Jan #

    Isn’t Dell selling also wyse terminals? We are a Dell partner in the Netherlands and they only could deliver Wyse terminals.

    October 29, 2008 at 8:26 am Reply
  2. Philip #

    I talked with Dell’s representatives at VMworld and they indicated that they’d be releasing some new models of their own. They are currently selling Wyse products. I also talked with the Teradici representatives and they told me that Dell would be utilizing their chipset in their upcoming thin client product.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:19 am Reply
  3. Jan #

    Oke, very interesting.
    Thanks for the information!

    October 30, 2008 at 10:42 am Reply
  4. Philip #

    I have a conference call with Dell later today to see what they are offering. My co-worker pointed me to this page on their site which has the specs of their Optiplex thin client – http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/sitelets/solutions/virtualization/fcs_optiplex_fx160?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz. I don’t think its using the Teradici chipset, but its appears to be their own product.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:44 am Reply
  5. Why have you not tested an IGEL solution? IGEL has the best Remote Management software, plus it is FREE with free lifetime support, and does not use PXE. They are VMware certified, finalists in Citrix Solution Provider 2008, have a TC card that can turn an old PC into a thin client, and the only Linux with VDM appliance. Plus, they have free demos!!

    December 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm Reply

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