By ThinGuy on Mar 31, 2010
Please welcome the first member of the 3rd generation of Sun Ray clients, the Oracle Sun Ray 3 Plus
Check out the data sheet. More to come!
As a 29 year old in the fall of 1999, I was recruited by tech juggernaut and dot com sweetheart Sun Microsystems to come aboard in their Professional Services division focusing on PC NetLink (remember that!!??) and interoperability. When I officially started in January of 2000 (I had to make sure the Y2K bug didn't bite Bellagio!) "Interoperablity" meant a totally different thing to Sun at the time. To me, and the team I joined, it meant making Sun hardware work in a Microsoft environment. Unix and SPARC in a MS Domain? Impossible? Nope. We were wildly successful for PS, a small team raking in millions in billable hours.
Eventually that led me to working with the Sun Ray product and doing the sacrilegious thing of displaying full screen MS Windows on a Sun Ray without ever interacting with Solaris from a user perspective. That eventually led to a job with Sun Ray Engineering where I've spent (thus far) the best years of my life. Three of my five daughters were born under the SUNW stock ticker. 10 years, my second job out of college, friends that I consider some of the best I've ever had.
I could dedicate a whole blog entry to the "second half" of my tenure at Sun, where I got involved with Social Media. I owe a lot to the Blogs.Sun.Com team, without their vision I wouldn't know half of the people that I know around the world today. Thin Guy became synonymous with Sun Ray. (Could you believe I was going to first use "Tall Guy"?). Talk about social media building a brand. I'm now introduced as "Thin Guy" rather than my given name of Craig Bender. There are so many to thank, Linda Skrocki, Rama Roberts, and of course the very early blogging queen Mary Smaragdis (Not to brag, but I was her new favorite blogger once...that was a huge deal). And the friends I made on those teams...too many to list. Liz Ditucci, Dave Arguelles, and so many others. I feel like I know them all personally even though I've only met one of them in real life.
If you're worried about me, don't be. I'm continuing on at Oracle and more importantly so are the Sun Ray, SGD, VDI, and VirtualBox products. The blogging policy is a wee bit different at Oracle, so my blog posts will be "on topic" for my job. I'm contemplating moving the personal topics (recipes, workouts, autism, general humor) to a new non-work related blog, but all the technical posts will continue to live over at Think Thin.
I have so many great memories of Sun. My colleagues made Sun what it was. The technology was a side effect of the freedom given to extremely talented people and the eye for hiring exceptional talent. We may have lacked at execution on bringing the stuff to market, but Sun was an innovator. Note to hiring companies, if someone has a couple of years at SUNW/JAVA on their resume, that's all you need to know. They're a keeper. One last thing about my time at Sun...I used to travel a lot (150K+ airmiles a year). I saw the world and it was beautiful. But when my youngest was diagnosed with autism, the travel was becoming harder on our family and had to be reduced and that was OK with Sun. Their work from home program was not only saving both employees and the company money, the environment, it might also have "saved" a little girl as well. While I won't say she's recovered, she's a totally different kid because Sun's policies allowed me to be there for her. For that I am eternally grateful.
With that I bid this "S-Word" blog goodbye. Catch me on Think Thin and speaking at Oracle events near you. Thank you so much for your readership. Let's see if Thin Guy can be synonymous with Oracle VDI. I know my new boss is finally getting the N|C he always wanted. GO ORACLE!
Yes, cloud. Not a typo. What do you get when you combine a low cost netbook and the upcoming Sun Desktop Access Client? You get a ton of computing power in a very small form factor that can go anywhere accessing powerful servers and Windows, Linux, and OpenSolaris VM's safely in your data center or cloud. How's that for VDI in the clouds?
(WiiMote shown for scale)
Here's a quick video I made showing the different supported OS choices available only with Sun VDI 3. I mention "supported" because you can make any OS VirtualBox supports into a VDI solution, but we officially support XP, Vista, Win2KPro, Ubuntu, and OpenSolaris. "Supported" means you can place a service call if something is not operating as advertised. Note the "Full PC" experience of the boot and shut down for each OS. I'll be cleaning this up a bit by making it shorter and adding some tunes (server was right next to me while filming so I removed the original audio track).
If you're tired of doing the VNC route to remotely display an apple desktop, check out AquaConnect! AquaConnect brings an RDP Server to OS X Server. This means you can use our Sun Ray Windows Connector to display a Leopard desktop on your Sun Ray and couple it with hot desking and stateless goodness!. Here's a couple of shots of Sun Ray and AquaConnect from MacWorld
(Photo's courtesy of Chris Kawalek)
We'll be meeting tonight at the Yard House about 7:30 PM. Nothing too formal, just drinks, appetizers, and some good conversation. The Yard House is located in the Town Square, cab drivers should know how to get there. (Don't attempt to walk it like folks from last year as things in Vegas are farther than they appear)
In my last entry, "CL" posted a comment wanting more to see more examples of Windows media redirection. Here's another video showing a variety of clips. Talking heads, animation, a couple of VC-1 live streams. Enjoy. Still have the dog barking at the tripod problem, so I apologize for some of the shaky parts. Take a Dramamine if you get queasy. If you want to watch this in a bit better quality, follow this link and click on the "watch in high quality" link once you get into YouTube (right under the "Views" number).
I've decided to do a series of small videos showing the new features of our forthcoming Sun Ray Server Software 4.1. The first video will feature our Multimedia enhancements. I had a nice setup for the first shoot, only to find my dog really hates the tripod. Second attempt, with the tripod in the garage and the camcorder in my hands is less than optimal quality but you get the idea. Cut the video a little short as my dog decided to start barking at other dogs in the neighborhood halfway through the windows demo. It's not often I get a quiet house with 5 daughters so I'll have to accept this cut for now. :) Oh yeah, don't watch this YouTube Video from a Sun Ray as Flash support is next up on the drawing board.
As a follow on to my last post regarding RDP resolution, I thought I'd post some pictures of various multihead configurations using Sun Rays and the Sun Ray Connector for Windows. Note that these resolutions work for normal Windows Terminal Server sessions as well as Virtual Desktop Computing (VDC/VDI).
Here's a Sun Ray 2FS Driving dual 24.1" LCD's. Resolution is 3840x1200
Here's a 3x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. Resolution is 3840x1024
Finally here's a 4x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. The individual Sun Rays were constrained to 1024x768 in order not to exceed the max resolution width of RDP which is 4096. Resolution is 4096x768
When Microsoft introduced Service Pack 2 for Windows 2003 Server, they introduced a bug that prevented any RDP sessions greater than 1600x1200 from displaying in 24 bit color. When Matt Hatley built a fresh Windows 2003 server for an event last August, we could not quite figure out why his full screen session on a dual headed Sun Ray 2FS would only display 8bit color even though we were telling the Sun Ray Windows Connector to connect in 24 bit color. My server worked fine, his did not. Turns out I was not current on my service packs and SP2 was to blame! Sure enough, after applying SP2 to my server, I was limited to 8 bit color as well. Since a customer just ran into this issue, I thought I'd post the fix and some answers.
Bear in mind that this is not just limited to the Sun Ray 2FS, which in a dual head setup runs 3840 x 1200, but this also happens on a multihead setup of any type Sun Rays.
You can apply this hotfix from Microsoft for Windows 2003 Server to get your higher color depth back for your larger RDP sessions.
For the record, you can go up to 4096x 2048 in an RDP session. From a width perspective, that is about 3.2 Sun Ray 270's. Four Sun Ray 270's would be 5120x1024 which is larger than the max resolution in width allowed by RDP. If you wanted a four head setup, you could use four Sun Ray 2's with each screen limited to 1024x768 (4:3 maintained).
I'll be pulling booth duty (Tues and Weds), giving chalk talks (Tues 2PM in MS IVA Booth) and also a featured speaker in a session with Foundry, Mitel, and Microsoft (Weds 3:15-4 PM Mandalay Bay Room L).
My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.
I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.