Going Thin: Implementing Thin Client Technology in a Library Reference Area


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Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference: Indianapolis, IN, April 2003

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  • Going Thin: Implementing Thin Client Technology in a Library Reference Area

    1. 1. Going THIN : Implementing Thin Client Technology in a Library Reference Area Richard Bernier Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology April 15, 2003
    2. 2. The Old Days <ul><li>Card Catalog – Local collection only </li></ul><ul><li>Paper Indexes </li></ul><ul><li>Dumb terminal – Text only terminal for card catalog. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Database searching was something librarians did in services like Dialog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Desktop Computers </li></ul>
    3. 3. Advantages of computers <ul><li>Graphical web browsing. </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity software </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-media capability </li></ul><ul><li>CD-ROM Databases / Web-based databases </li></ul><ul><li>Download capability </li></ul>
    4. 4. Problems with workstations <ul><li>Staff time needed to maintain and trouble shoot many workstations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating Systems / installation, problems, upgrades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware failure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security for each workstation / locking software or hardware to prevent system changes. Can make updating system more time consuming </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Problems with workstations <ul><li>Staff time needed to maintain and trouble shoot many workstations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networked CD resources with client software are notorious for problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many CD products are for one PC only and so multiple copies need to be purchased. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple points of failure (For each unit and for reference area as a whole). </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Problems with workstations <ul><li>PC’s become obsolete quickly. New operating systems have higher hardware requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>PCs are bulky and take up allot of space. More wires than thin clients. </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to be stolen. </li></ul>
    7. 7. A New Alternative <ul><li>Thin Client Technology </li></ul>
    8. 8. What is Thin Client Technology? <ul><li>Hardware/software model that runs applications on a server, not on a desktop. Only screens and keystrokes are transmitted over the network. </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware clients can be low powered PC or a thin client device. (PCs must have at least a 33 MHz 386 processor, Client software takes up 500K if disk space) </li></ul><ul><li>A thin client is a “small” computer void of a hard drive, CD-ROM or diskette drives and expansion slots. Hardware needed: mouse, keyboard, network cable. </li></ul>
    9. 9. The thin client model
    10. 10. What are the benefits? <ul><li>Smaller footprint saves space in reference area </li></ul>
    11. 11. What are the benefits? <ul><li>Cost effective over the long haul. Maintenance time by staff is reduced significantly, hardware upgrades are needed less often. </li></ul><ul><li>More secure environment than PC. Each PC needs security configuration. Thin clients do not, only the server does. </li></ul><ul><li>Saves time in maintenance and upgrading. Changes only need to be made on the server </li></ul>
    12. 12. Drawbacks <ul><li>Single point of failure: Sever goes down, so does all the clients attached to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Some terminal services don’t support sound or video. Some can only handle 256 colors. </li></ul><ul><li>Capable IT staff is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing can be a headache. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Types of Terminal Servers <ul><li>Linux Based Terminal Servers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Windows Based Terminal Server (WTS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(ICA) Independent Computing Protocol – Citrix MetaFrame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(RDP) Remote Desktop Protocol - Microsoft </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. ICA vs. RDP Citrix ICA is much more robust than RDP, but is also much more expensive. Feature Description RDP4 RDP5 ICA Clients 32-bit client for Windows® based PCs X X X Windows CE-based client X X X UNIX client, Macintosh client, Java client , Linux, Browser, DOS X Transport Protocols TCP/IP X X X SPX, IPX, NetBEUI and Direct Asynch X
    15. 15. ICA vs. RDP <ul><li>Text here </li></ul>Feature Description RDP4 RDP5 ICA Audio System Beeps X X X Support for stereo Windows Audio X Load Balancing Pooling of servers behind a single server address and for increased availability X X Color True color X Video X
    16. 16. Improvements for Windows 2003 Terminal Server <ul><li>True Color (24-bit). </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum resolution increased from 1024 x 768 to 1200 x 1600 </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Scalability – supports more users on each high end server. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Improvements for Windows 2003 Terminal Server <ul><li>RDP 5.1 client has improved interface, allowing users to change and save settings. </li></ul><ul><li>Local resources are available within the remote session, including the client file system, smart cards, audio (output), serial ports, printers. (PC client). </li></ul>
    18. 18. What does it cost? <ul><li>Server = $1,000 - $2,000 each. </li></ul><ul><li>Windows 2000 Server = Depends </li></ul><ul><li>Client Licenses = Depends </li></ul><ul><li>Thin Clients = $299 - $899 each </li></ul><ul><li>Plus - Monitors, keyboards, network cables, mouse. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Connection Licenses Packs <ul><li>Citrix Connection </li></ul><ul><li>license packs </li></ul><ul><li>5 user = $1,450 </li></ul><ul><li>10 user = $2,900 </li></ul><ul><li>20 user = $5,800 </li></ul><ul><li>50 user = $14,500 </li></ul><ul><li>Windows 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Client Access </li></ul><ul><li>License </li></ul><ul><li>5 pack = $199 </li></ul><ul><li>20 pack = $799. </li></ul><ul><li>55 pack = $1,799 </li></ul>
    20. 20. Thin Client Devices $299 - $899 <ul><li>Wyse </li></ul><ul><li>Neoware </li></ul><ul><li>TeleVideo </li></ul><ul><li>Compaq </li></ul><ul><li>Maxspeed </li></ul><ul><li>Exilis </li></ul><ul><li>Esprit Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Acute Network Technologies </li></ul>
    21. 21. Thin Clients <ul><li>No hard drive, floppy drive, or CD-ROM </li></ul><ul><li>Little or no memory (often 32-64 MB) </li></ul><ul><li>Small operating system – Windows CE (firmware) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Light” processor (300 MHz) </li></ul><ul><li>Low power consumption (55 Watts) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Connections <ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><li>Keyboard </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse </li></ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor </li></ul><ul><li>Local printer </li></ul><ul><li>USB Port </li></ul><ul><li>Serial Port </li></ul><ul><li>Headphone </li></ul><ul><li>Mic </li></ul>
    23. 23. Other features & capabilities <ul><li>Built in LCD monitors </li></ul><ul><li>Built in web browsers </li></ul><ul><li>Built in sound card & speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 256 MB memory </li></ul><ul><li>Built in CD-ROM and/or hard disk </li></ul><ul><li>Built in modem </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless network card </li></ul>
    24. 24. The Rose-Hulman project <ul><li>Replaced 10 computers with 10 Terminals – Kept one computer for CD products. </li></ul><ul><li>Purchased two servers </li></ul><ul><li>Redesigned reference area – (New Tables, new wiring, new layout) </li></ul>
    25. 25. The Servers <ul><li>Windows 2000 Server installed </li></ul><ul><li>Dual Pentium III 1.13 GHz </li></ul><ul><li>1 GB RAM </li></ul><ul><li>Two 40 GB IDE hard rives in RAID-1 (mirror) configuration </li></ul>
    26. 26. 2 Servers for backup <ul><li>Server-1 Server-2 </li></ul>Clients 1-5 default to Server-1, but can connect to Server-2 Clients 6-10 default to Server-2, but can connect to Server-1
    27. 36. Thank You <ul><li>Richard Bernier </li></ul><ul><li>Reference and Electronic </li></ul><ul><li>Services Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>5500 Wabash Avenue </li></ul><ul><li>Terre Haut, IN 47803 </li></ul><ul><li>(812) 877-8199 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>