Which Wyse thin client is right for you?

I was at a Sun partner today who also resell products from another thin client vendor. I picked up a brochure they had on their current range.

I have nothing against this vendor in particular and am quite happy to agree that on occasion they might have the better tool for the job than Sun do. That said, I was amazed to count no less than 15 different thin clients in their product range. That strikes me as being overly complex.

In a shameless plug, I remembered a blog post I wrote last year on the subject of how managing Windows or Linux based terminals can be as complex as having a PC network.

For some reason, the hardest thing to get across is the issue of 'having' to manage a server as part of a Sun Ray set up. I don't see why this is an issue. What would you rather look after? -

\* 100 thin clients, each with an individual OS and applications, plus a management server to provide and provision updates and so on.

\* 100 Sun Rays which require no maintenance at all and a server controlling them?

If I'm missing something obvious, please pitch in with your comments, but it strikes me that if you're looking at thin clients to solve manageability and other cost issues, keeping complexity on the desktop itself isn't always the best way forward.


Well as of today there are solutions out there that allow you to have one single server managing Windows/Linux thinclients from one single location. OS, settings, etc, everything not only managed centrally, but with nothing locally running on them. No OS, no apps, nothing. Like the SunRays. All this at a fraction of the cost of the them. :-)

Posted by Cláudio Rodrigues on March 14, 2006 at 01:49 AM PST #

I still don't understand why you have to manage anything on a thin client--Sun Ray or otherwise. Now I agree that the Sun Ray is a step in the right direction (when compared to traditional thin clients), but why do you even need the server. Why can't you just do this, and then not have to manage thin clients or a server?

Posted by Brian Madden on March 14, 2006 at 02:04 AM PST #

To both Brian and Claudio,
Your points are valid, but Chris has a better point.
Name one model Wyse/Neoware/etc device that has been around since 1999. Just check out the EOL pages of the companies.

Other thin clients are out there, but they are much like PC's. Want more horsepower, upgrade the thin client. It's hard to understand why Sun Ray makes a great windows based terminal (not to mention a unix thin client), unless you work with them.

You also have to consider what you can do with a Sun Ray out of the box such as multihead, smart cards, hot desking, etc.

Of course I'm biased, but there really is nothing out there like them.

Posted by Thin Guy on March 14, 2006 at 02:28 AM PST #

Craig, 'DCD' passed ALL trials and will arrive in Q3-2006. NO 'spinning rust', fast, efficient, compliant with Mr. Joy's security concerns and WOOKS good too! The CEO of WYSE was on a CNet webcast, odd comments. Kudos to Marc and team at SUN as their 'T1' ware is GREAT news! (A [O-N-L-Y] GPL compliant CPU, very nice!) Keep you posted ...

Posted by William R. Walling on March 14, 2006 at 12:18 PM PST #

Well Brian, you need to manage them for some reasons: the ICA/RDP clients get updated every once in a while. Some of these updates require OS changes as well (for example the Longhorn USB redirection). Even stupid things like SpeedScreen require a newer ICA client. Secondly some users may need to connect at a higher resolution for example or if on lower bandwidth links, with a profile that disables some ICA/RDP stuff to improve performance. That is why you need to have a way to manage all that. Craig, I do agree the SunRays bring a lot to the table. The thing is most of its features are not a big plus for companies willing to pay $150-200 for a ThinClient device. That is why SunRays are still a nich on the ThinClient market in terms of sales volume. And unless Sun changes the way they handle their ThinClient offerings, SunRays will always be a niche (and expensive as the less you sell, the more you need to charge per device to recoup development/support/sales costs). Too bad because Sun has everything they need to bring HUGE things to the TS market and give Citrix a run for its money.

Posted by Claudio Rodrigues on March 14, 2006 at 11:52 PM PST #

HI Brain , The Ebay Links have no such Thin Clients for 6 for 13$.. I am willing to pay 100$ for 5 , in working Condition . Can you please identify one seller for me !!! But many vendors are Confusing the Diskless Clients as Thin Clients . They are Different . I want some thing which can work seamlessly with Windows & Unix , with hassle free Multi Media and little support for USB Accessories . I wont Mind a Smart card , Load balancing and 5 Year Warranty .. Wlling to pay 300$ for such a Device . Can you find one ?

Posted by David on March 14, 2006 at 11:57 PM PST #

We've got some wyse 1125SE (the previous generation of wyse terminals) which are much closer to the sunrays in terms of being "dumb" devices with no local settings or applications. They're much more simple to manage than the embedded windows devices they're starting to push now. It's a shame the simple ones don't (or didn't anyway - I've not investigated the new product line) support USB mass storage. I've just ordered a load of sunray 170s for our public catalogue terminal provision after a short trial, and they're an absolute joy to manage.

Posted by Ben on March 17, 2006 at 12:33 AM PST #

Brian Madden,

You're very focused around your Citrix world. This is exactly the same configuration as your Citrix environment would be.

You don't configure much of your thin clients (except the first time you set yours up, even though Sun Rays require ZERO configuration), because you setup policies and other items on your Citrix server to "configure" the thin client. So essentially your Citrix server is your "managing" server. Same thing with Sun Rays. You set it up once on the server and then just plug in the sun rays.

You really need to get your hands on sun rays. I keep seeing your negative posts everywhere against sunrays (actually against anything other than Citrix) but I have never seen you post that you've used Sun Rays.

I used to read your blogs quite a bit, but lately you've been so blind sighted around Citrix I almost feel like you've got stock in them.

Posted by Joe on October 07, 2009 at 07:53 AM PDT #

Hey Joe,

You realize that this thread is from early 2006, right?


Posted by Brian Madden on October 07, 2009 at 08:09 AM PDT #

Do you know or can you direct me to how to setup a Netra T1 AC200 with a Wyse-55 terminal? Thank you.

Posted by Robert Brisbin on September 10, 2010 at 07:49 AM PDT #

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