One alternative has always been to convert the PCs in the room to ‘fat thin clients’ with a small OS (say Windows Thin PC) and hook them up to a Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Services Farm. The biggest show stopper in this has been the lack of graphics acceleration which performing graphics intensive tasks difficult if not impossible.
Luckily Server 2008 R2 SP1 has come around with RemoteFX technology - this allows you to harness the power of graphics processing in a server. Another issue crops up though – few if any servers (from leading OEMs like HP and Dell) support graphics cards and those that do are just as expensive as normal PCs.
My solutions is – build custom servers out of AMD Fusion APUs (which combine a powerful CPU and GPU on one chip) in true ‘cookie sheet style’.
This series of posts looks at the hardware, software and endpoints (fat thin clients) that I’m going to be using in this project.