The articles below delve into the wonderful energy saving world that is Virtualization. For the uninitiated Virtualization is the art of running multiple operating systems on a single item of physical hardware (commonly a server).
The first thing that will strike you about any thin client is how small (in physical dimensions) they are and the 5818v is no exception. In the past this small size meant poor hardware specifications; however, this time is long behind us.
The 5818v comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a Intel Atom D2550 dual core CPU, 16GB of local storage (the SSD like disk on memory), 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet and Intel GMA 3650 graphics (it won’t run Crysis but is ideal for Flash video).
In true keeping with the idea of thin computing (frugal on power, waste and dimensions) the packing for the 5818v is small and includes the power adapter, cable and a mouse making for quick and easy deployments. You also get a stand and DVI-VGA adapter included in the box.
As far as licencing goes the Windows OEM sticker is included on the DOM meaning no sticky labels to peel off the case.
A hidden surprise comes in the concealed secure USB port which can be used to integrate wireless adapters (Wi-Fi/keyboard + mouse adapters) or USB memory sticks (could be used for BitLocker drive encryption).
For more take a look at the screenshot sequence below…
One of the great features of the 10ZiG 5818v is the WE8 operating system. Based upon Windows 8 this thin client includes the same software that makes full Windows 8 PCs fast most notably kernel hibernation. The premise goes that when you click Shutdown on your PC the core components of Windows are hibernated and saved to a single file which is very fast to read.
In testing the 5818v took a little over 41 seconds to start up without kernel hibernation turned on, with it turned on boot time to a usable PC was just over 21 seconds that’s a 2x improvement just by turning on a software feature!
In this series of posts I’m going to be looking at the all new 10ZiG 5818v Thin Client.
Recently released and coming with Intel Atom D2550 CPU this thin client sets its self apart from others with the introduction of Windows Embedded 8 (WE8).
WE8 is essentially a cut down version of Windows 8 that is focused on devices that have limited storage space and are designed to fill a single role (like digital signage players, connectivity to Remote Desktop Services Farms and connectivity to VDI like Citrix VDI-in-a-Box).
Through this series of posts I’m going to be looking at the hardware of the thin client, the WE8 operating system including the tweaks 10ZiG have made to it as well as the performance of the thin client when connected to VDI sessions.
After unboxing and powering on my first impressions of the 5818v have been very positive particularly around
- UEFI boot with a boot time of around 25s
- The low power consumption
- The array of ports
- The robustness of design
As anyone who reads my blog knows I am a strong advocate for VDI techonlogies particulary Citrix VDI-in-a-Box which has the key advantage of being able to use local storage (which is great for SSDs!).
Even in this modern world of HTML5 there is still a very strong case for Flash Video playback (after all its still the option of choice on YouTube), the only problem is when you play flash video inside a Virtual Desktop session (VDI) the servers CPU can quickly be chewed up and so ruin the experience for everyone.
The simple fix here is to use Citrix HDX Flash redirection and a compatible thin client like the 10ZiG 8848c (Linux powered) or any number of the Windows Embedded Standard options out there.
In this situation the flash video is rendered on the thin clients processor and with more powerful (but power efficant) CPUs becoming available in thin clients all the time you can expect a nice smooth video playback on your endpoint device without hammering the servers CPU.
Its a long shot that many people will have this issue but hey why not!
If you have one of the uber new AMD FX Processors (e.g. the 6 core 6100BE) and have tried to run a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine on it you may have seen this error message.
An error occurred while attempting to start the selected virtual machine(s).
‘<VM name>’ could not initialize.
The virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running.
As such you can sort this issue out by running the command bcdedit /set xsavedisable 1 at a elevated command prompt.
Just make sure you restart your PC after and boom you will be able to run your virtual machines again!
If you have ever tried to boot a VirtualBox VM into PXE (Microsoft WDS/MDT based) using the default Intel PRO/1000MT Desktop adapter you may have seen the error message
FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.
This extension pack includes the required files for boot to continue normaly, a few screen shots are shown below detailing what you need to do.
So you’ve got your shiny new System Centre 2012 Virtual Machine Manager install up and running, Virtual Hosts are running, you’ve done P2V migrations of a few old machines all during the while you are watching the ‘Evaluation Version – xyz days remaining’ ticker counting down.
So where do I put this product key?
You may think its in settings, but that would be too obvious Microsoft instead have decided to hide it in File (blue button top left) and then in About, once in the About dialogue box you will see a nice big button that says Enter Product Key – from there on in you are on your own! (or just follow the screen shots below)
A little while ago the guys at Axel let me borrow one of their M80 thin clients to try out with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and also Microsoft RDS (Server 2008 R2) and I’m happy to say I can easily see this as a good thin client to use in the office although I have my reservations about use in classroom.
This review takes a look at some things that wern’t in the video (also makes some corrections to the video) and should help to give you a better overview of what the Axel M80 thin client can do. Continue reading
One of the wonderful things about Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V is that any driver that was written for Windows 7 will also run in Server 2008 R2! As such its very easy to take any Window 7 compatible PC (with a processor that can do hardware assisted virtualization like the AMD A and FX series) and turn it into a Citrix VDI-in-a-Box proof of concept (POC).
In the video below you can see me doing just that with a HP 6465b notebook (AMD A6 powered) which has been enhanced with a OCZ Agility 3 SSD.
Read on as well for a list of parts that cost less than £265 (exVAT) that you could use to run your own proof of concept for 3-4 VDI users! Continue reading