Archive for October, 2010

Repurposing Old PC’s

October 22, 2010

Let’s face it, the concept of VDI and virtual desktops is definitely not new news.  The technology has been around for a long time and has proven to be a cost effective model for desktop deployment for more and more companies.  What we are seeing as a reseller of both VMware and Citrix, arguably two of the biggest players in this market, is that many companies are just now starting to consider VDI as they look at having to replace hundreds or even thousands of their pc’s.

May customers own their pc’s but the hardware capabilities just can’t keep up with newer operating systems like Windows 7 so VDI is a very viable option.  A problem we see over and over is restricted budgets.  As customers look at replacing say a $500 desktop that they already own with a $200-300 thin client, there is some “savings” depending on how you look at it but at the end of the day you still end up purchasing more equipment.  An obvious solution to this problem is to turn those older PC’s into thin clients.

The question we get as a reseller is “What should we use to convert our PC’s to thin clients?”.  There are several solutions out there, some of them even free but we typically recommend 2 in particular, purely based on our experience with the products and the manufactures.  Below is a list of some of the features and benefits of the two products.

WYSE PC Extender

  • Well established company know for quality thin clients
  • Easy to deploy and manage.  Has a centralized management program that allows you to manage and configure all of your PC’s remotely for things like system updates.
  • Support for Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware View (PcoIP) and Microsoft RDP
  • Based on SUSE Linux
  • Auto Central Configuration and Auto Update capabilities
  • Local/Remote printer support
  • WYSE TCX support for multimedia, USB, sound and flash
  • WYSE Virtual Desktop Accelerator for better performance across high latency links
  • Minimum Hardware requirements **
    • 1Ghz Processor
    • 512MB RAM
      • ** May not work on all hardware


DevonIT VDI Blaster

  • Easy to deploy and manage.  Has a centralized management program that allows you to manage and configure all of your PC’s remotely for things like system updates.
  • Support for Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware View (PcoIP) and Microsoft RDP
  • Can be setup for dual-boot on existing XP desktop so you can keep the core XP image alive
  • Will work on most hardware that is capable of running Windows XP

Both the WYSE and DevonIT solutions will run for around $30 or less per desktop which is very reasonable when you look at the cost of an average thin client.  So if you’re considering going the VDI route in your environment you may want to take a look as one of these products.


New Arrival – Cisco C-Series C250 Extended Memory Server

October 11, 2010

As part of being a Datacenter Cisco Partner we get our hands on all kind of neat toys to play with.  First was the UCS blade chassis which was very cool and continues to be a very compelling compute solution for all types of clients.  Building on the success of UCS blades Cisco came out with its line of C-Series rack mount servers to compete with the likes of Dell and HP.  At first I was a little sceptical if Cisco could compete with servers that had been around for years like the HP DL380 and the Dell PowerEdge.  After seeing the inovation and doing some side by side cost comparison, in my opinion, the C-Series is something clients should definitely take a look at.

So last week a nice surprise showed up at our office, a Cisco C250 extended memory rack server.  I knew we were supposed to be receiving some sort of demo model but was pleasantly surprised when we received the C250.  Now anyone in the IT industry for any amount of time probably doesn’t get very excited about servers.  You’ve probably seen a hundred of them and pretty much if you’ve seen one…….  I certainly share the lack of excitement when it comes to servers but when I opened up the lid on the C250 my initial response was …….. DAMN that’s a @#$%load of memory!  Here’s what I’m talking about.

So fully populated with 48 x 8GB DIMMS gives up 384GB of RAM in a 2U server!  Pair that capability with the new 6 core Intel processors and you’ve got a lot of power in a very small footprint.  In many environments memory usually ends up being the bottleneck when it comes to virtualization but with the memory options you have in this platform I doubt you’ll have an issue.  Aside from the obvious memory architecture it has everything else you’d expect from an enterprise class server:

  • Up to 8 SAS or SATA hard drives
  • Support for RAID 0,1,5,6,50 and 60
  • Up to 5 PCIe cards and flexible NIC/HBA/CNA options
  • 4 GigE ports

If you’re looking at having to upgrade your existing server infrastructure or just starting from scratch, definitely take a look at the Cisco C-Series.

For more info you can check out the Cisco Site here: