I've been talking off list about VDI Blaster with a couple of guys and wanted to bring our discussion on list. So this is it.
Long story short, I was recently introduced to a product called VDI Blaster:
And within a few minutes of getting that software I was able to repurpose an old junky machine and turn it into a full blown PCoIP software based terminal. Personally, I don't see this software as a replacement for the hardware clients, but I do see it as a great tool to get buy in for the technology. The software cost $20 per license so you can do 100 desktops for $1500, and I'm sure if you worked with sales you could get it cheap.
I was just introduced to this yesterday and am somewhat impressed with the technology. It doesn't support dual screen yet, and I haven't tested printers yet, I haven't tested a lot of stuff, so I have more questions than answers but I know me and a couple of other guys are testing it right now. So feel free to chime in.
I will repost my last comment here:
I've been using VDI Blaster for a couple of weeks now and I'm very impressed with the product. It gives you an easy way to convert your fat clients to thin ones with out the need of having XP installed. Actually you don't need a hard drive in the computer, since you can create BOOT Cds or PEN Drives. The joke here is that you have to mount an appliance in your virtual environment that acts as a server console to centrally administrate all your Blaster clients. Otherwise, you would need to configure the view connection each time you reset the fat pc.
Basically, this is a linux operative system that has a view4 client embedded to connect to your VM with PCOVERIP. As gunnarb said, is not a ZERO Client, and it doesnt have its performance, but it might be a good and cheap option to buy some time until you deploy your final solution.
I heard that wyse is preparing a very similar product to launch in the next few months...but I couldn't find anything about it.
Hope that helps.
I tested external CD ROMs and USB Pendrives and they worked ok. The internal CD ROM of the fat client is not detected as a device in the VM. They dont support dual monitor yet, but that's not an issue for me (for the moment)
The video and multimedia stuff work much better than TCX, but it is still not as good as the zero client with the teradici chip.
The console is very easy and friendly to administrate and gives you a couple of interesting tools to handle the environment.
I sent a couple of questions by email to the support contact and they answered fast and accurate.
I will continue adding information as soon as I run into new issues.
I just got VDI Blaster running on a Dell SX260, an old #%@ peice of equipment. Believe it or not it worked, and I showed my peers Windows 7 running on it. Ha.
Now for the bad part, it was slow, slwo enough that it is not an acceptable solution, workable yes, it worked and would pass for general use, it reminded me of RDPing to a server from home, just not as fluid as my hardware NC240 I'm on right now.
Off to my next workstation...
512MB and 10/100
I just had my first failure on a GX270. DO you know if Devon will add driver support for workstations that don't work?
I think they can update drivers per request, but I'm not sure if it will be for free. You should contact the customer support and ask.
BTW, So far I've tied in DELL GX270, Latitude d600, and optiplex 320 and had not problems at all.
I'd really like to know why my GX270 isn't working then. I'm doing the USB boot option, maybe that is the reason.
Did you see the VNC Shadow feature! I about pooped my pants, I've been getting a lot of flack about this not being in the hardware solution.
You know, this solution extends the life of the desktop has basically no cost ($20), has auto login, shadow capabilities... and i'm typing to you on it right now.
Overall, great pick, it really should get more exposure.
Got the download links and downloading now.
Looking forward to trying this out both on CD and via USB key.
Will post feedback once I have had a chance to test.
SOmeone asked me to test Control-Alt-Delete. IT works but not like a zero client. It brings up a View Client dialog (something a user has never seen) and asks if you want to send the Control-Alt-Delete. You can't hit enter, you have to click on Send. Kinda lame, but again it's $20.
So far, excellent - could not be happier with a $20.00 client.
The only issue we have come across to date is the lack of persistence. When we begin to send our users home with a "CD" or "USB", I don't want to spend evenings and weekends telling them the URL to connect - if it means simply creating a document for usage, that is fine.
I contacted DevonIT yesterday about customizations and was told that at present they do not offer that but it is upcoming so that is great news for us. This is a national initiative for us so it's really critical that the app just works - which it does.
If we could figure out a way to create the "perfect image" and then package it back into an ISO for deployment onto CD's that would be fantastic - any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Personally, I'd like to see DevonIT strip all the firefox/citrix junk out of the client and keep it 100% PCoIP.
I'm with you on this too - but I guess DevOn likes to keep it this way for a broader range of users (not only PCoIP). However, what they could do, is make this configurable/customizable via the Management console and even to create such an ISO so that you can then burn it or boot from it without all the other protocols/web stuff available, which would reduce the image significantly. I also really would like to see a PXE bootable option, for a diskless fat to thin client conversion - similarly to what WTWare offers which we tried, but only using RDP protocol.
BTW I am also waiting for my download link We'll try this and compare it to the "view client only" solution and see if there are visible performance differences (towards VMs and hardware Teradici host).
Cheers for all the good posts and info!
I can tell you now there is a visible difference. It's passable, but I'm still using my samsung NC240, the DevonIT solution is a stop gap, definately not good enough to replace the need for hardware clients.
Yes - agree with Gunnar on this one.
It is not anywhere close to being as good as our P20's - but it is useable.
There is another option that I am trying to follow attempting to build my own View Client Live CD to see if I can get better results.
VDIBlaster certainly is good - but I think it can be a lot better.