Tactical Advice

Small but Strong

Wyse Technology's V10L thin client packs power in a small footprint.
This story appears in the July 2009 issue of BizTech Magazine.

Desktop virtualization appeals to IT because it reduces support and maintenance costs. An important component to any desktop virtualization deployment is the device that sits on each user’s desk: the thin client. Wyse Technology’s V10L thin client provides flexibility, power and manageability at an affordable price.

End-User Advantages

The Wyse V10L thin client sports a small footprint, measuring just 1.8 inches wide by 7.1 inches deep and 7.9 inches tall. And because there’s no hard drive spinning or cooling fan, the device operates quietly.

The V10L can incorporate Wyse’s TCX extensions for USB support and enhanced multimedia. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for VDI is the ability to play audio/video files smoothly, because media playback is resource-intensive and server-based computing relies heavily on the thin client’s ability to update display changes quickly. But using the V10L, we’ve actually watched parts of Terminator 3, and the playback looks and feels just like a traditional workstation.

The V10L, with its 800-megahertz Eden processor, also solves one common user complaint: slow boot time. We have users today who have to wait up to 10 minutes for their traditional workstations to boot up and become usable. A Wyse V10L boots up in seconds.

Why It Works for IT

There are a number of reasons for IT to love the Wyse V10L. First off, there are no moving parts, which are usually the first things to break down. It’s possible for a thin client such as the Wyse V10L to last 10 years without significant performance degradation — try getting that out of a standard PC.

When there’s a problem with the hardware, you just swap it out for another Wyse V10L, and the user is back up and running in no time. There’s very little configuration and no need to copy over the user’s data or profile; just pull out the old and plug in the new. The Wyse V10L also supports a number of VDI configurations, making it one of the most flexible choices in this changing marketplace.

Wyse V10L thin clients are all centrally managed with the use of very simple configuration (.ini) files. Using a combination of the file transfer protocol (FTP) and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), rapid updates and upgrades can be pushed to the devices.

Wyse V10L thin clients offer energy efficiency, using just 17.2 watts when connected to one monitor, keyboard and PS/2 mouse, whereas a typical workstation averages about 125W.

Disadvantages

While the Wyse V10L offers many excellent features, there are still a few things to keep in mind. The peripheral device support for such things as CD-ROM devices or USB storage is limited out of the box. Wyse’s optional software product, Wyse TCX Multimedia, should be purchased to allow for USB support and for the multimedia enhancements mentioned above.

Even with TCX, multimedia support is still a work in progress. For example, Adobe Flash applications still perform somewhat poorly on the V10L. Not all environments have a need for Flash support, of course, but check to make sure any multimedia applications your organization uses are compatible before you buy.

Finally, some folks will have a hard time adjusting to the idea of not having local storage. Evaluate the culture and perhaps pilot to particular groups to judge user acceptance before diving headfirst into your VDI deployment.

Adam Wilson is a client-side virtualization specialist; Dr. Jeffrey Sheen is the lead enterprise analyst at Grange Insurance of Columbus, Ohio.
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