Zero Client ?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Youkai, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    Anyone heard of the so called Zero Client's yet ?
    As far as my research go they were invented by teradichi 2007 and they still seem kind of rare and very expensive :/

    I think these things could be really awesome but somehow informations are really rare.

    If I understand correctly you need to buy one of those ~500$ Host Cards and put it into your server than you can buy a Zero Client which is very expensive too even though there is hardly anything in it

    From the Videos it seems to run much better than any thin client and is much more secure as there are just pixel transmitted and nothing else, some videos even show games running flawless which usually won't work on a thin client.



    Would be awesome if there is any way to use a normal computer as a Zero client (as they are available to me) and maybe use a virtual host card trough a VM or whatever (if possible)


    // I searched for infos a few hours yesterday but I could hardly find anything ... most infos are at least 3+ years old :(
     
    Last edited by Youkai, Sep 1, 2016
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Never heard of this one, might have but probably dismissed it as a buzzword and if the only stuff you are finding is a decade old then everybody else probably saw it for a buzzword. Have seen a few people set up ultra minimal boxes to RDP into a remote server (be it virtual machine or something like http://www.aads-worldwide.hk/products.html ). RDP these days is quite impressive with full 3d acceleration, videos, sound and more all in far lower latency than most other offerings I see.
    http://rpitc.blogspot.co.uk/ is a raspberry pi project aimed at it but I am sure you could join a linux box to a domain and then autoload remote connections if you wanted to go that way.
     
  3. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    The thing is that it is NOT supposed to be just normal RDP as RDP transmits all the data over to your computer which still needs an OS installed to run an RDP client.
    I think this video explains it kind of good.



    There was a "new" protocol invented for this called PCoIP (PC over IP, works similar to VoIP using UDP as well)

    Here another Video saying it should be a lot less expensive and better than a thin client ... than again I cannot find any "cheap" Zero Clients and less informations :(
    just some company you could ask for informations but have to give them all infos about you and the company you work for -.-V



    found a white paper by vmware
    http://www.vmware.com/content/dam/d...ing-a-zero-client-environment-white-paper.pdf



    Looks like there is actually a Server solution by Microsoft called Multipoint Server ... never heard of it before ...
    There was Multipoint server 2011 and 2012 and now it is implemented into Windows Server 2016 as a Role you can install.
    The Windows Server uses the RemoteFX protocol which seems to be different from PCoIP but is still much faster than normal RDP and you can use thin clients it seems even though I am not entirely sure about how it works as it says IF you do use a computer that has a Graphic card it will send the raw data to you so your computer can render it. So I guess this would require a HDD or enough RAM.
     
    Last edited by Youkai, Sep 1, 2016
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The distinction seems minor, and though RDP does have a lot of two way options (very nice ones in my experience -- local printers or local printer permissions for one) it can still be reduced to basically a video stream that sends back keyboard/mouse commands for many purposes.

    The lack of a full OS stack may have meant something once but at the same time I am inclined to point at my router and say that runs such a thing, it also goes low power, has no moving parts and is largely a single chip affair. It might have meant something back when and I would observe a distinction between it and some of the thin clients I have seen in the wild (most of them are awful, locked to vendors and actually quite expensive and this could be a counter to it). I don't know if I want to say solution in search of a problem but I am thinking it.

    Maybe in some ultra ultra secure setups it might be useful but at the same time you can lock a write protected piece of flash memory in a box and go that way and that will do for most secure or unpleasant environments. Set permissions by domain login creds or mac address or whatever and go from there. If you are thinking for a cheap terminal, web cafe and the like, maybe eventually moving into having them just be a dumb box and all controlled from your servers then VM (I fought with the other thing linked when it was called xp unlimited and can't suggest it really) and something as powerful as RDP is it for me.
     
  5. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    well yeah but as far as I know if you use normal RDP it will strain the server and the client as well plus you can hardly run any videos or games or whatever (not that I want to do that)
    The benefit in my opinion would be the very fast deployment of virtual desktops on a very small piece of hardware (no hdd no cpu no nothing) and like with normal VMs as well easy administration.

    We have a room with lots of Igel thin clients and they are kind of slow and meh ... they boot to their IGEL OS than they connect to a remote desktop and everything is slow and sluggish, if you look at some of the videos on Youtube you can see that even games like WOW run flawless without any noticable lag some years ago already trough this PCoIP.

    I just installed the Multipoint Server Role on my W2016 test server and connected a client computer (opening 2 Remote sessions) and even though (I think) it used the new remotefx already (maybe not no clue) it could not show me the background and got a little bit laggy running videos on both RD and I guess it was mainly because the client got loaded with lots of data (got 90% cpu usage only using rpd) while it would take 0 cpu to run it on a zero client ...


    even though I still don't get all of it I think the difference is much bigger than you assume, did you read that white paper ?
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    VNC programs are generally iffy on 3d and video and with a latency that makes real time/reaction based games a tricky proposition. RDP on the other hand is surprisingly good and has been for a while now. Similarly servers often have big boy 3d cards in them these days and VMs can speak to 3d too.

    On rapid deployment then if you reduce the pi type stuff down an autobooting image you flash (I have a few I use for various things), and maybe a bunch of SDs ready to go then you are back to the ease of use thing.

    The lack of a desktop background is fairly common in remote and capture scenarios. I don't know why they do it, though I suspect it is hangover from the active desktop era (many years ago MS thought it would be a good idea to embed web pages on the desktop for whatever reason, this was during IE security at its worst as well) and there have been a few other things with desktop backgrounds over the years, to say nothing of aero if people are going in for that.

    I skimmed the paper (whitepapers like that are usually too dry for me unless I am really invested). I do agree a card that offloads things and pipes it all around over a network protocol, I guess it is a KVM switch with ideas above its station, rather than crowbarring video capture and USB pipes, possibly with some OS level fluff (I know RDP only works half as well as it does because it is a Microsoft technology for a Microsoft OS) like printer sharing is not without appeal. However for the very same reason that you have all those thin clients being awful I am so wary and jaded about proprietary card vendors* trying to sell me this, doubly so when I have small and big clients right now doing stunningly with RDP on fairly modest gear and many others able to get by with more conventional VNC (trying to secure RDP for internet use or fiddle with VPN and do it that way is not my idea of a good time, teamviewer on the other hand...) and triply so when it seems we are all going to the web hosted/browser based anyway.
    Said same clients are also such that when a machine blows up then the person moves to the desk next to them, logs back in, possibly resumes their session on the remote and still has emails and everything available to them. I might then get a call, or someone will grab another machine off the pile ( https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Refurb/Refurbished+Systems/ right now has higher end core2 machines with 4 gigs of DDR3 for under £100 ) and plugs it in, I then find out after enough have died or I am doing the weekly/monthly rounds -- for that price then between loss of productivity and whatever I might charge to wander down the hill to deal with a simple machine failure it might not even be worth fixing. Now those have not got the "screen is probably the greater power sink" power thing that you seem to be aiming for, one of the reasons I was looking more at pis and the like earlier (5V and 1A is nothing compared to some of the shinier monitors out there).

    *I am also wary of it being called open protocols and conforming to standards. It has happened in the past but I am definitely at believe it when I see it.

    Beyond all that I am banking on some of this for my next gaming machine. I will likely never see wine kick windows in the head for gaming but a virtual machine coupled with the RDP inherent to it might well spare me having to run a 15M HDMI cable to my TV to play on that, and get a bit creative with the windows license keys and I will have a VM and a pack of virtual machines as files like I have ROMs and emulators today.
     
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  7. FaTaL_ErRoR

    FaTaL_ErRoR AKA ŦƕƎ ƠṀƐƝ

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    http://pcoip.leadtek.com/eng/tera2240_hc.html
    You need this on the main pc. You need a VDI server then a network switch. And then you need the remote units using the vcoip connecting to the emulated OS.
    You can build these yourself. The sdk and api both were released. It is no different then any other method of thin client. Just a different way.
    Personally the way I usually set up client terminals are to leave an OS but set it up as Chroot and link the backend root to a remote pc.
    I mean seriously these days computers are so small. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/compute-stick/intel-compute-stick.html
    It doesn't matter. You can get them a little bigger than this with multiple usb ports and multiple monitors connections.
    Setting up chroot environment is real simple. And I know there is a windows solution as well I just can't remember what it's called. (lol I think it's the same name...)
    Besides if the host pc fails on a thin client al pcs using it fail. If one fails on a chroot/remote root setup only the failed pc is shut down.
    I don't know maybe it's just me. All of my clients seem to be happy.
     
    Last edited by FaTaL_ErRoR, Sep 2, 2016