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Thin clients bulk up on software

May 13, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Thin client vendor Bosanova has announced an alliance with Ericom Software, in which the former's hardware products will be bundled with the latter's client software. Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect clients provide access to Windows terminal servers, hypervisors such as VMWare or XenServer, and legacy hosts, says Bosanova.

As per the agreement, Bosanova's Windows CE- and Windows XP-based thin clients, such as the recently introduced 410XP tablet, will now include Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect client software, in addition to the Microsoft RDP (remote desktop protocol) and Citrix ICA (independent computing architecture) clients previously included. The WebConnect client, shown at right in the illustration below, is part of an infrastructure Ericom touts as providing similar functionality to Citrix, but at a lower cost.

Ericom's WebConnect architecture
(Click to enlarge)

According to Ericom, a WebConnect server (above, middle) “publishes” applications to thin clients via an easy-to-use application portal (below). Though users interact with them via the thin client device, applications actually run on one or more Microsoft Terminal Services servers, including Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2003 x64, 2008, and 2008 x64. Alternatively, they can run on IBM mainframes or hosts running Linux, Unix, or OpenVMS operating systems.

The WebConnect portal

Additionally, says Ericom, WebConnect supports use of virtualized desktops provided by more than 14 different hypervisors, including:
  • KVM
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Microsoft Virtual Server
  • Novell Xen
  • Oracle VM
  • Red Hat Xen
  • Sun xVM
  • Virtual Iron
  • Virtuozzo
  • VMware ESX
  • VMware ESX 3i
  • VMware Server
  • Xen Community
  • XenServer

A particular advantage of Ericom WebConnect is said to be that applications are easy for users to locate, no matter where they are actually located. Published applications can be launched via either desktop icons or a web interface.

Comparing its product to the popular Citrix infrastructure, Ericom claims WebConnect costs about half the price, at around $120-$230 per concurrent user. It also says that with WebConnect, a terminal server can support from 20 to 50 percent more sessions.

The Ericom WebConnect client will bundled on Bosanova thin clients running Linux, Windows CE, and Windows XP. More information appears on the Bosanova website, here.

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