HP T200 vs Axel M80 WMS Client trial

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.

Update 13/03/2012

With 8 users connected via T200’s I was seeing a memory usage of 3.5GB and networking at around 99%