Home Virtualization The thin client quest is on

The thin client quest is on

by Philip Sellers

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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