Thin Clients Easier to Manage

Thin-client vendors are broadening the capabilities of their management software.

Thin-client vendors are broadening the capabilities of their management software, enabling users to update more machines simultaneously and bringing legacy PCs into the thin-client mix.

Wyse Technology Inc. last week announced the latest iteration of its Rapport management software, Version 4.0, and its Alcatraz product, which enables businesses to turn legacy desktop PCs into thin-client appliances.

Wyses moves are in the same direction as those of Neoware Systems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palto Alto, Calif. HP late last month rolled out its first all-HP thin client, the HP Compaq t5700, which is managed by Altiris Deployment Solution from Altiris Inc. Customers can use the software to manage networked thin clients and PCs.

Neowares ThinPC software enables PCs to access server-based Windows and Linux applications. The PCs are then managed by Neowares ezRemote Manager, which is used to handle thin clients. Neoware officials, in King of Prussia, Pa., said an enhanced version of ez- Remote Manager will be released this summer.

Wyses Rapport 4.0, which comes bundled with all the companys Winterm thin-client appliances, can manage thousands of devices with an enhanced Microsoft Management Console that includes an improved GUI and wizards for easier use, said officials, in San Jose, Calif.

The new software can also manage more simultaneous updates, officials said. Previously, the limit was 20 at a time, officials said. Rapport 4.0 can scale up to 1,000.

The software, which is available now, includes an agent for managing Pocket PCs running Microsoft Corp.s Windows CE operating system, part of Wyses plan to expand its reach beyond thin clients.

Managing Thin Clients

Vendors bulking up management software


Management Software


Rapport 4.0 to manage thin clients; Alcatraz to manage PCs in a thin-client environment


Thin PC turns PCs into thin-client appliances, which are managed by ezRemote Manager


Altiris Deployment Solution manages both thin clients and PCs

Alcatraz, available this week starting at $79 per seat, enables businesses to put thin-client-like capabilities onto desktops by giving the PCs access to applications housed on back-end servers, similar to Neowares ThinPC product.

Administrators will be able to control how employees use their PCs, including such things as what applications they can access, whether they can access Web browsers and if they can change desktop displays.

Golds Gym International Inc. has installed Wyse thin clients in all 30 of its corporate stores nationwide and is beginning to bring the technology into its more than 650 franchises around the world, said CIO Jeff Skeen.

"Were buying 10 to 20 stores a year, and were always updating the way we run our business," said Skeen, in Falls Church, Va. "Most [terminals] are centralized off our servers. If we can update them all at the same time, its a timesaver."

The Alcatraz software will let the franchises keep their PCs during the transition to thin clients, rather than simply dump the desktops and their investments in them, Skeen said.

Wyse officials said they are considering ways to combine Rapport and Alcatraz to give users a single product that can manage both thin clients and PCs, similar to what HP, with Altiris Deployment Solution, can do now.