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Virtual Desktops – The Dataman Approach
The growth of enterprise applications and the Sun Ray
requirements of desktops to run these applications on,
A Sun Ray is an UltraThin Client. Where normal thin
have led to ever increasing demands in compute power
clients still run a small operating system and require a
on the desktop. With increase in compute power we see
processor to run applications on (maintenance!), the Sun
an increase in heat production, required cooling and
Ray runs only enough firmware on a very small
noise levels, which all are bad for a productive
processor to connect to the central Sun Ray Server,
environment both in human aspects and in cost-
identify itself and receive screen-information for the user.
Traditionally solutions have been sought in use of thin-
clients and energy efficient desktop PCs. However,
these have the disadvantage of not allowing personnel
to perform the kind of tasks which are necessary for
proper operation on more demanding environments,
resulting in hybrid environments which are more difficult
Sun Ray 2
A centralized Sun Ray Server services the various
UltraThin Clients that are placed in the network. The Sun
Ray Server can display Solaris, Linux or Windows.
The Sun Ray Client uses 4 Watts of power as opposed
to the 200 Watts for an average PC desktop. With
efficient infrastructure power- and cooling requirements
can be reduced by as much as 50% or more.
There are no moving parts inside the Sun Ray Client.
Sun Ray makes use of smart cards which uniquely
An ideal solution would be an extremely low power thin
identify users and connect the user to his or her desktop.
client that allows desktop use as well as system
A special feature of Sun Ray is hot desking. This allows
administrator level installation and configuration of
the user to take the desktop to any Sun Ray in the
environments, yet at the same time requires zero
network and to continue work there.
desktop maintenance and centralizes and optimizes all
administrative tasks for the various corporate
In most enterprises the use of Windows is ubiquitous so
display of windows desktops is required to ensure user
In 2006 Dataman developed this concept based on Sun
Microsystems® Sun Ray™ technology in combination
with VMware® ESX™ as hosting area for virtual
Because Sun Ray clients have no CPU and no
platforms. Use of SAN technology and dedicated Sun
Operating System and actually only show screen
Ray systems allows hundreds of simultaneous users
information which is delivered through the Sun Ray
with various desktops to be operated and managed on a
Server, it is necessary to have a platform which delivers
single, centralized platform.
the required Windows Desktops. (only the XP desktop license
This new platform is a hybrid solution of best-of-breed, is used, no additional Terminal Services licenses are necessary!)
industry leading technologies with proven installations at
VMware is a highly optimized platform which can handle
various enterprise level customers.
up to hundreds of Windows Desktops as Virtual
The Dataman Virtual Desktop solution has Machines inside a single piece of hardware.
reduced our power requirements for the
training center by 50%
- JeanPaul Beerens, SAP Netherlands
Use of VMware allows the creation of groups of user
templates that facilitate instant creation of standard or
specialized desktops for specific users.
The centralized nature of the solution in combination
with datacenter facilities creates a secure, high
available, fast and efficient environment for corporate
Use of SAN technology for VMware creates a
centralized storage solution which holds both user and
corporate data and which can easily be backed up to
tape through traditional, proven tape solutions.
In addition the centralized SAN for the desktops provide
a high speed disk for loading of the operating systems or
What are the implications?
applications on the desktop.
First of all the user experience will remain largely
VMware also creates a universal hardware platform identical. Security is enhanced through use of
which means that all operating systems will run on the smartcards and centralized storage of data.
exact same hardware platform, which reduces the
amount of work involved in finding proper drivers for new The initial investment in a Sun Ray solution will be as
chipsets in new desktop PCs. high as or higher than a traditional desktop solution. This
varies per implementation.
Gains will become visible in:
- ease of operation of the environment
- reduced time to roll-out
- flexible use of desktops
- hot-desking facilities
- reduced down-time of users due to PC failure
- reduced power costs (4 W versus 200 W)
- reduced costs in cooling
- increased security and data-integrity
- increased productivity through less sound pollution, Sun
Rays have no moving parts
- long life of ultra thin clients, typically five years or more
- easy roll-out of desktops for new employees
- smaller real-estate footprint versus traditional desktops
- Service Level Agreement uptime for desktops can match
The total amount of work required to manage the
professional datacenter uptimes.
desktops in a VMware environment is drastically
- Centralized patch and upgrade management reduces
reduced, the environment is more flexible and the time network loads; upgrades are done within the SAN.
to roll out new desktops is significantly shorter. - Current networking investments can be extended as the
Sun Ray requires less than 10 Mbit/s to function at full
New Architecture speed.
- These gains can be extended over the WAN to
By combining VMware for centralized desktops and by employee’s homes.
using Sun Rays and the Sun Ray Server Windows
Connector the environment becomes a standardized, The typical ROI lies between 12 to 18 months,
centralized solution with zero maintenance at the depending on the suitability of migration to the Sun Ray
workplace. platform for various users.
One great advantage to the solution is that most of the
central infrastructure can remain in place. There is no
change in user experience for the Desktops; there is
only an expansion of the central environment.