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Sun server and thin client questions

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by jmd, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. jmd

    jmd Guest

    i have a few questions about sun server and thin clients. a little background
    with what i am doing may help.

    first this is for home use, however i may host a static dsl connection or
    use a redirect in the future. but i would like to get away from desktops
    and go with a server/thin client arrangement. i do not use any 3d
    intensive or engineering programs so i think a sun ray will be suitable.
    surfing the net, open office, email are the main apps. i would like to try
    and build other apps like mplayer and multimedia and possibly use a gnome
    desktop.

    i have considered a low end sun server (new or used) and sun ray. so the
    questions are:

    1 i gather i need to have sun solaris 8 server or greater to use the sun
    ray?

    2 is the sun ray usable with cobalt servers using linux and intel
    architecture?

    3 smart cards. should i buy a used sun ray without a smart card are they
    available? are they pricey?

    4 i have a sun sparc 5 i can install solaris 8 on to test. but my ethernet
    card is a X1054A and i am not familiar with this style connector. any info
    would be appreciated on this card.

    5 last. the sun blade 100 or 150 desktop is an option. can i configure a
    sun ray to work with the blade?

    any *gotchas* to the above would be appreciated. especially if i buy used
    stuff. any info now will save in the long run.

    thanks
    jeff duncan
     
    jmd, Jun 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. Hi Jeff

    I might have some answers for you.

    2. The SunRays is only useable with Sun Solaris on UltraSPARC systems,
    because the SunRay server software only runs on that.

    3. There is no SunRay without smartcard readers, but you don't have to use
    a smartcard, to use a SunRay, you can login, like you do on a normal Sun
    machine.

    5. Yes, you can use a Sun Blade 100/150, because it is fully compatible
    with the rest of the Sun Fire servers (V100/120, and so on.)

    I worked as a Technical Presale for a Scandinavian Sun reseller for 1½
    years, so I did some configurations of SunRay orders.

    Greetings from Denmark
    Kent Wormsdorf

    --
    PS. (Sorry, only in Danish.)

    Er der nogen der mangler en mand med lidt viden om Sun HW og SW,
    så må I gerne sende mig en E-mail.
    Jeg er uddannet datamatiker og har senest arbejdet som teknisk presale konsulent.
     
    Kent Wormsdorf, Jun 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. |i have a few questions about sun server and thin clients. a little background
    |with what i am doing may help.
    |
    |first this is for home use, however i may host a static dsl connection or
    |use a redirect in the future. but i would like to get away from desktops
    |and go with a server/thin client arrangement. i do not use any 3d
    |intensive or engineering programs so i think a sun ray will be suitable.
    |surfing the net, open office, email are the main apps. i would like to try
    |and build other apps like mplayer and multimedia and possibly use a gnome
    |desktop.
    |
    |i have considered a low end sun server (new or used) and sun ray. so the
    |questions are:
    |
    |1 i gather i need to have sun solaris 8 server or greater to use the sun
    |ray?

    No - the older SunRay software version run on Solaris 2.6 and later.
    If you want to run Sun's GNOME release, you will need at least S8
    though.

    |2 is the sun ray usable with cobalt servers using linux and intel
    |architecture?

    The SunRay Server software only runs on Solaris/sparc at this time.

    |3 smart cards. should i buy a used sun ray without a smart card are they
    |available? are they pricey?

    All SunRay's have smart card readers builtin, but you can use them without a
    smart card if you want. You won't get somefeatures that way - but those
    features are more useful to corporate deplyoments than a small at-home
    setup.


    |4 i have a sun sparc 5 i can install solaris 8 on to test. but my ethernet
    |card is a X1054A and i am not familiar with this style connector. any info
    |would be appreciated on this card.

    A sparc 5 will probably be painfully slow, and glacial if you tried to
    run GNOME. As for the card, according to the hardware handbook (see
    http://sunsolve.sun.com ), it needs an adapter cable to one of the
    standard ethernet cable types. (I've run GNOME on a SunRay served by a
    Sparc 20 with a 40Mhz CPU once - I don't recommend it.)

    |5 last. the sun blade 100 or 150 desktop is an option. can i configure a
    |sun ray to work with the blade?

    Yes. We often set up SunBlades in our lab as test servers for a SunRay
    or two.
     
    Alan Coopersmith, Jun 28, 2003
    #3
  4. I recently deployed a SunRay setup around my apartment here, and I
    absolutely love it. For the "server", I'm using my desktop (Ultra 60,
    2x260MHz, 1GB RAM), and I'm not using a separate ethernet card to connect
    the SR units. For a smart card, you can use just about any smart card, as
    it only reads the ID off it. I've seen people use smartchip-equipped
    credit cards. Personally, I'm using a student ID, in fact.

    Smart cards are a VERY NICE touch for a home deployment, though. I
    absolutely love being able to "hot desk" between my computer room and my
    living room.

    Performance is quite nice. I'm actually running Sun GNOME 2.0 on the
    desktop (as my main non-thinclient desktop is KDE, and both use the same
    account). The interesting thing, is that for some 2D operations (like
    scrolling in a web browser), the Sun Ray is actually FASTER than my
    Creator3D framebuffer.

    Good luck with your setup. FYI, Sun Ray 1 units can be had dirt-cheap on
    eBay, if you're willing to supply your own monitor.

    -Derek
    http://www.logicprobe.org/~octo
     
    Derek Konigsberg, Jun 29, 2003
    #4
  5. jmd

    Alex Balmer Guest


    I also run a small Sun Ray setup at home. It's based on an Ultra 30/300MHz
    (and a week ago only had 384MB RAM, but now 640MB) with so far, a single
    SR150. I run Gnome 2 - CDE is just too ugly compared the the SR, and while
    it is slow on this particular setup it's usable. For audio xmms is fine,
    and does not skip, however my U30 isn't fast enough for mplayer/xine with
    DVD's or most video, and I'm not sure if a blade 100/150 would be for that
    matter either, so you may want to scale up your budget or scale down your
    expectations or at least look for other counsel on this issue. I'd suggest
    looking for a Ray 1 or 100, as the 150's are TFT and only support 1024x768
    res which is low by comparison. I bought all the equipment second hand.

    Setup was fairly straightforward, with the server software revision >2 you
    can connect a Ray into a mixed ethernet with other dhcp servers and regular
    systems and expect it to work.
     
    Alex Balmer, Jun 29, 2003
    #5
  6. jmd

    jmd Guest

    this would tend to make sense. looking at the mplayer website there is no
    solaris specific binary or source code. without looking deeper, i imagine
    the mplayer is optimized for standard linux libraries and not any of
    solaris libraries.

    are there any solaris specific apps for this type of multimedia?

    jeff
     
    jmd, Jun 30, 2003
    #6
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