The real definition of Sun Ray At Home

My home setup in many ways exemplifies in miniature the value I see in Sun Ray.

In my house, I have a Sun Ray server with a few Sun Rays (bought and paid for) around my house for my family and I to use. I frankly got sick and tired of being a Windows Sys Admin for the 4 PCs on my home LAN. I got sick of constantly researching how to remove the latest virus. Sick of trying to diagnose why a PC got slower and slower and less and less stable over time (due mostly, I believe, to adware/spyware). This was on a network with a hardware firewall as well as software firewalls on all PCs, and the latest virus protection and periodic adware scans/removal. It's a vicious world out there. Actually, just as with the biological sort, I think kids are the main vector for computer viruses as well. They just don't have good Internet hygiene. :-)

Since I installed the Sun Rays I no longer spend my time on this nonsense. My wife is perfectly pleased with StarOffice for her writing/presentations, and my daughter and she have problem-free experiences with the firefox browser on 95% of the websites they visit. The Sun Rays are always on, and instantly available for small tasks such as to find a local business, get driving directions, buy movie tickets, or lookup a grade on a test. When not in use they use very little power - about the same as a decent monitor in power-save mode. They don't make any sound - no disk or fan. Any of us can sit down at whatever Sun Ray we like and pick up our work where we left off, without waiting for bootup. I've plugged in some speakers into a few of them, and we can listen to our mp3 collections wherever we are, and the sound quality is great.

Of course, this isn't our target market, and the cost of the licensing probably prevents us from rolling out Sun Ray servers in people's homes, particularly since the Windows Administrator works for free, so it's hard to make the TCO argument :-). But it wouldn't be hard to justify at all in a business where you had to pay your workers.

'nuff said. On to content.

Comments:

So how can others try this out?

I can download Solaris 10 (or better, Solaris 11) from the Sun Down Load center.... I can buy SunRays pretty cheap on Ebay... can I get the SunRay server software as well?


- Bart

Posted by barts on November 20, 2005 at 03:54 PM EST #

Thanks for the note. I just added a final paragraph to this entry to clarify that this wasn't a real world example, simply an attempt to illustrate "in miniature" the value of Sun Ray. Since the Admin (me) is free, there's no TCO argument to make. Here are our licensing costs. It's the licensing costs that make this scenario unrealistic, but the licensing costs are far less than the cost of a Windows Sysadmin.

Posted by BobD on November 21, 2005 at 04:41 AM EST #

Hmmm - I just noticed a discrepancy. According to our download website our software is free, but according to our product page (referenced in the previous comment) it costs $45 (plus licenses, of course). I'll point this out and have somebody look into updating the links.

Posted by BobD on November 21, 2005 at 04:51 AM EST #

The software download is free, then you're supposed to buy per-DTU licenses if you use it beyond the evaluation period. I think the product page is trying to say that if you want the SRSS media kit (CD plus hard-copy docs) then that kit costs $35.

Sigh. You'd think that presenting this kind of information clearly would be second nature for sun.com by now.

"No cutesy BS", eh? I give you a week before your first cat blog.

Posted by MikeO on November 21, 2005 at 01:53 PM EST #

I'm with you on the beauty of Sun Ray at home. I wrote a blog entry last week about getting an old one going with a home LAN. Even with the $100 licensing fee, it's still a pretty compelling argument if you can get a DTU cheap. I mean, how great is a $140 PC going to be?

Posted by Greg Trasuk on November 23, 2005 at 03:22 AM EST #

So how is the project going?

Posted by Robert Denare on March 19, 2009 at 05:17 AM EST #

It's less of a "project" and more of a "deployment", in that it's not really evolving. That's the beauty. You set it up, and then you use it without worrying about constantly tweaking it. It's going just great, although now my daughter is off to college and now it's just my wife and I using it.

I have set up a VMware server for testing that I run a Windows envionment on that I occasionally have to resort to (e.g. I just purchased some flowers online, and they just weren't displaying properly on Firefox 2/Solaris for some reason but were fine in FF3/XP), but I connect to it from my Sun Ray using the Windows Connector (uttsc) when I occasionally need it.

Posted by BobD on March 20, 2009 at 04:54 AM EST #

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