We’ve recently installed some HP T200 zero clients with an HP Z210 acting as the host.
Axel were also kind enough to send me one of their M80 thin clients to test against as a comparison.
This is not a scientific test but my observations.
The T200’s work by encapsulating USB over Ethernet to communicate with the hosts and this is quite compute intensive which is going to limit the number of clients you can connect.
The M80 on the other hand is an RDP client and it will scale to larger numbers of client on the same hardware, Matthew Stones from Axel also sent me over the WMS firmware for the M80 which turns it into a dedicated WMS client and restricts it to only connecting to a multipoint server.
Installing the firmware on the M80 was a breeze basically consisting of installing the Axel management utility discovering the device and pushing the firmware to it. Matthew linked me to one of his youtube videos that demonstrated the process.
The biggest test for both these devices seems to be the playback of flash video and I tested each one with a windowed youtube clip of an F1 car, the thinking being that it’s fast moving video with sound and on board graphics that help check if everything is in sync.
Both devices played back the video well however I think that if connecting a lot of clients to a multipoint server that the M80 WMS is going to scale better and at the moment it’s what I would recommend.
The T200’s due to their lower cost however are ideal for smaller clusters but they are also a new product and their has been at least one driver/firmware update since their release and the updating process is a bit slow.
With 8 users connected via T200’s I was seeing a memory usage of 3.5GB and networking at around 99%
Continuing with my project to use direct attached graphics in my multipoint builds to replace multiple boxes in ict suites here you can see my latest.
I’ve had to change the motherboard to a Maximus III Gene due to the unavailability of my previous one.
They still have the same i7-870 2.93GHz cpu, 16gb ram and dual firepro 2460 quad mini dp graphics cards.
The other change I’ve made is to use the antec gamer 300 case with a 440w truepower psu instead of the antec atlas.
The new case is about the same size but around half the cost however due to it’s bottom mount psu layout brought its own problems as the 12v lead from the psu to the motherboars wasn’t long enough and I had to order some extensions.
The connection from each mini display port socket on the graphics card goes like this:
mini displayport to displayport adaptor – displayport 2m or 5m cable – Sapphire single link dp to dvi active converter, sometimes the dp cable can be left out and the Sapphire converter plugged straight into the mini displayport to displayport adaptor.
Each client station also has a D-Link 7 Port powered usb hub connected back to the multipoint server host.
All of the cabling is secured in 75m x 50mm white pvc trunking with holes cut where needed to keep it all neat and tidy.
I’ve been trying to formulate the spec for a multipoint server solution using 2 quad head graphics cards per host.
The graphics cards I’ve selected are the ATI FirePro 2460 these have 4 x mini displayport connectors.
The issue with this is that all of my monitors are vga or vga/dvi so I need cables and converters.
I’ll get on to those in a future post once I’ve received the first delivery of all the various cables and adaptors and can confirm if they work or not.
My primary concern now is to test one of the 2460 cards under mps2011 to see if it works as expected.
I received a card this morning and have installed it into my mps test rig which is an HP dc5750 small form factor pc. Luckily the card comes with both a full size bracket and a low profile one.
I’ve installed the evaluation of mps 2011 from scratch this morning.
I currently have 1 monitor connected via one of the supplied mini dp to dvi adaptors.
After the install of mps 2011 the first thing that had done be done was to install a graphics driver, I used the supplied cd and picked the 64bit install from the disc and then installed it but didn’t select the option to install the catalyst control centre.
So far so good.
I just need my cables and adaptors to validate this as 4 user host setup before I move on to building my 8 user host.
Windows MPS 2011 builds on the 2010 version and is currently available as a beta.
One big enhancement is the control over usb device allocation and the fact that devices are now contained to the station it’s been inserted on rather than available to all as in 2010.
The main problem that I’m having that will stop me deploying MPS into a real life scenario is application compatibility, one such app being game maker from yoyogames.com
I’ll post more if I find a solution.