SafeDesk, Others Ease LTSP Setup

 
 
By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2005-05-30 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Third-party tools such as SafeDesk Server make it easier to get an LTSP thin client up and running.

The Linux Terminal Server Projects LTSP software provides thin-client connectivity to Linux servers. The latest version, LTSP 4.1, offers a low-cost open-source way to roll out a lightweight thin-client environment that will appeal to budget-minded organizations.

The Linux Terminal Server Projects LTSP software provides thin-client connectivity to Linux servers. The latest version, LTSP 4.1, offers a low-cost open-source way to roll out a lightweight thin-client environment that will appeal to budget-minded organizations.

However, getting LTSP to work with a companys installed applications is tricky because it requires Linux know-how. In addition, the lack of official technical support might deter companies that dont have a dedicated Linux-savvy staff.

Companies that decide to move to Linux thin-client computing to save money must keep in mind that some legacy applications wont be compatible with LTSP right off the bat, and most Microsoft Corp. applications are not compatible with LTSP.

Thats where third-party companies such as SafeDesk Solutions come in. With the right tools, getting an LTSP thin client up and running doesnt take a long time and is cost-effective. However, companies running applications that are not natively compatible with LTSP (such as Microsofts Office) will have to spend more time on deployment.

SafeDesks SafeDesk Server 1.8, reviewed here, provides an integrated LTSP solution using Novell Inc.s SuSE Linux distributions. The company also provides thin clients, bootable NICs and technical support, helping customers piece together their application compatibility puzzle.

ShaoLin Microsystems Ltd.s Aptus software also provides a hybrid thin-client architecture, called Fit Client network computing. Aptus is priced at about $1,300 per server and $220 per client. It allows Linux servers to concurrently share the applications running on the thin client, including Web applications, e-mail and productivity software, with multiple client systems. Using a proprietary distributed file system called IUA (Intelligent Union Architecture), Aptus provides network clients with read-only shares of the operating system and applications, enabling PCs with different hardware configurations to seamlessly access the same Linux server.

ShaoLins approach is similar to that of Windows-based software-streaming products such as Tarantella Inc.s Tarantella and Neoware Systems Inc.s Qualystem.

Another option, Symbio Technologies LLCs Symbiont (priced starting at $720), develops hardware and software based on LTSP that enables diskless thin clients to connect to application servers running various terminal services, including those from Citrix Systems Inc. and Microsoft.

The Symbiont boot appliance takes the role of a boot server, directing supported thin clients to application servers. The appliance gives IT managers a centralized system for managing thin-client functionality and deployment.

The Symbiont Management Suite is a collection of Web-based tools that aid IT managers in configuring LTSP servers and thin-client PCs. The suites Web interface provides centralized remote management.

With more tools and third-party LTSP options coming to market now, IT managers can make their purchase based on the specific needs of their companies computing environments to ensure the best ease of use, application flexibility and, ultimately, the lowest cost of ownership.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel