Friday Dec 07, 2007

Sydney Business and Travel Academy - A Cool and Heterogenous Sun Ray Setup

After running a little proof of concept (I spent less than half a day there) at the Sydney Business and Travel Academy (SBTA) I was surprised with the speed at which things moved there to make Sun Ray the desktop platform of choice. That's when it became obvious to me the amount of pain they were going through with their current setup of about 200 PCs and servers running Linux, LTSP and Windows. Enter Sun Ray, and all of a sudden, it's a fresh start for them - three servers for the whole joint, nothing to manage at the desktop nevermore, Windows using the Sun Ray Windows Connector for those who must, and only those who must, and mobility to become a given.


For students, there's little change, except the open source desktop they use on the new "workstations" is Solaris' JDS with StarOffice. Better yet, the students got locked down to printed smartcards with their student details on them, and access to the system only with a registered smartcard, hard tied to their login (no card sharing!) At the end of their tenure, their card is de-registered to revoke access forever, and so the card just becomes a memento.


But by far the most interesting thing about their deployment (let's face it, the above functionality is just standard functionality of the Sun Ray framework)  is how they physically locked the Sun Rays down to the desks, using a clever little bracket dreamed by the systems integrator and Sun partner, Noveix, and made by Argent . Check the pictures below for a simple and fantastic way of providing "locked-down" access to a workstation:






So, in the face of this, I decided to re-acronym SBTA: Special Bracket is Totally Awesome! And, monitors screwed to the desk too. Sweet!


In closing, this is what the same room looked like before - sorry I can't reproduce the noise!




Friday Jul 13, 2007

Enabling credentials pass-through to Windows TS running Novell Client

It is often necessary (and useful) to be able to automate credentials pass-through from Secure Global Desktop and the Sun Ray Windows Connector to a Windows Terminal Server that uses the Novell login "GINA" (Graphical Identification and Authentication).

Unfortunately, this doesn't work out of the box, unless you follow these instructions:

  1. Upgrade your Novell client to 4.91SP3
  2. Create the following registry entries in HKLM\\Software\\Novell\\Login
    TSClientAutoAdminLogon = 1
    DefaultLocationProfile = <LocationProfile> (Go for "Default")

Thanks go to Jon Knight for this valuable information - and for putting it all together. I finally got a chance to test all this at a customer site and it worked instantly, and while some of this has been documented for other platforms, I wanted to make a special mention: it actually works flawlessly with both SGD AND the Sun Ray Windows Connector (which of course presents us with different challenges and opportunities!)

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