Thin Clients really can win!

<![CDATA[I will say from the onset of this article up until recently I would have called myself a thin client opponent, not a proponent.  My early experiences with thin clients were not pleasant.  Servers stretched to thin, poor performance, and inexpensive PC options made thin clients seem like a bad choice.  But two years ago we purchased an Firefly 208R2 Server and L300 thin client lab for a hot, poorly powered room that changed my mind.
This setup worked out so well we decided to look into configuring like systems inhouse.  We used old Dell D600 laptops and set them up to autologon and connect to a 2008R2 remote desktop server.   This ue of low end, old machines connecting to a Dell Optiplex 780 seemed like a perfect match.  We setup the system similar to the Firefly system with a VelociRaptor Hard Drive and 16Gb or RAM.  We found that 25 clients seemed to be the sweet spot, with 30 being a max for the system.
A great thing happened just as we were getting started, we got 210 free WYSE Z90D7 systems from the military DoDCFL program.  These Windows 7 thin clients had 4Gb DDR3 RAM sticks and with a little experimenting were easily setup.  We actually pulled the 4Gb sticks to use in the 780 systems and put 2Gb in them.  Furthermore we purchased SSD drives for them.  To say they rock is a vast understatement.  We put a 780 in every few classrooms (they were a workstation as well as a the server) so that no server  had more than 20-25 clients.
Systems logon in just a few seconds.  Students only make 1 profile per server.  I only need to update  5 systems for the entire middle school…I could go on and on.  The main takeaway is that making a thin client server is easy, and very responsive.  Just like using VMWare on a server to host multiple servers, you can use 2008R2 to host multiple workstations.
If you haven’t tried thin computing lately, I suggest you give it a try, you will not be displeased!]]>

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