Tag: ltsp

By Alex Colcernian

ltsp diagramDo your discoveries, interests, or work revolve around cloud computing, low-resource computing, server-centric computing, thin clients, or virtualization? If so, chances are good you’ve heard of the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). Started in 1999, LTSP was the driving force in delivering network booting X/GUI (graphical user interface) and applications in the Linux space. As a solution to lower cost barriers compared to deploying multiple PCs throughout an organization, LTSP rapidly gained traction. Today, LTSP is used worldwide in education, health care, manufacturing, retail, and more. Providing the efficiency of delivering applications and storing data on a server(s), LTSP drastically cuts IT support requirements, while lowering or eliminating burdensome software license fees dues to it’s open source nature.

Limitations to the adoption of thin client environments in the past are strongly linked to user experience and multimedia. With exponential growth in web-based multimedia technologies like java, ajax, and flash, client-side resource demands have increased. The need for additional computing resource places a tax on network bandwidth and server resources. Recent advancements in LTSP 5, specifically Local Applications (Local Apps), have mitigated multimedia and bandwidth challenges.

Local Apps allow system administrators to configure LTSP in a way which shares resource demand between thin clients, and servers. Running an application utilizing thin client resources reduces network bandwidth as well as load on the server. Multimedia runs notably better on thin clients in an LTSP 5 deployment utilizing Local Apps. With Local Apps, users are delivered a performance experience which mirrors that of a full desktop PC. In return, thin clients become a transparent device to the users in an organization. When using Ubuntu, the free Linux based operating system from Canonical Ltd., users can enjoy the latest 3D desktop effects known as compiz.

If you experimented or implemented LTSP in the past and were concerned with multimedia performance, it’s time to give LTSP 5 a try. Local Apps make a world of difference in performance. We recommend downloading the Ubuntu 9.10 Alternate Install CD, and following instructions to install an LTSP environment.

LTSP in today’s world is deployed on dedicated or virtual servers, providing a cohesive thin client environment. LTSP has the ability to be integrated with key features in organizational networks like network attached storage, and centralized authentication, (e.g. OpenLDAP, eDirectory and Active Directory). LTSP is the most flexible solution when it comes to terminal services functionality in Linux environments.

Alex Colcernian is the Director of Marketing and Sales at DisklessWorkstations.com. DisklessWorkstations.com founded alongside the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) in 1999, provides thin client hardware and solutions. DisklessWorkstations.com is the global leader in LTSP deployments, serving businesses, government, non-profits, and schools. For more information, please visit http://www.DisklessWorkstations.com.

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) With Ubuntu Linux
By Alex Colcernian

Looking to deploy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with Ubuntu Linux?

Virtual desktop infrastructure with Ubuntu Linux is ideal for anyone who is concerned about security of WAN based VDI. It is also perfect for organizations hosting their applications in the cloud, utilizing software-as-a-service through a web browser. VDI with Ubuntu Linux eliminates the maintenance of desktop devices, and reduces the number of hard drives in your IT footprint.

Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) allows the centralized deployment of virtual desktops on a local area network. Virtual desktop devices (thin clients) are connected to a switch on the LAN which connects to a server or cluster of servers delivering a desktop environment and applications.

LTSP is integrated into Ubuntu 11.04 and earlier versions. The logical choice for deployment is Ubuntu 10.04, a LTS version. LTS stands for long term support, which provides three years of security and maintenance updates.

Low Cost VDI with Ubuntu Linux

With LTSP organizations can recycle old Desktop PCs (800 MHz, 256MB RAM) or deploy new low footprint and energy efficient thin clients. A properly sized quad-core server could power up to 50 thin clients, providing desktop environments at a relatively low cost. Cost savings are most notable in maintenance and security over the years. Desktop hardware refresh cycles are between 7 and 10 years, thanks to the lack of spinning hard drive in each desktop device. Backups take place only in the server room. Desktop device replacement is as simple as drop in and power on (unless you have security customizations).

LTSP Technical Overview

Thin client devices in a virtual desktop deployment with Ubuntu Linux boot over your local area network. The virtual desktop environment and applications are executed on the server in a read only format. Users are still able to customize their desktop’s as well as access personal and shared fire storage. Applications can be delivered from local or remote application servers and can be Windows or Linux based.

Security is greatly increased with stateless operation of the virtual clients operating with a ssh connection between client and server. User storage can be moved to a SAN type solution, moving the VDI server another step away from risky IT files. Since this solution is over a local area network the concerns of sending sensitive data over the WAN are not present. User’s do not have access to make any changes to any server settings. USB devices can be disabled for all thin clients on the network.

Who’s Using LTSP Today?

LTSP is used by major public and private universities, Fortune 500 companies, government entities, charter schools, small and medium businesses, franchised retail stores and more. It is a versatile solution which allows for desktop delivery customization, network segmentation, and user control. Consult an experienced professional for more advice in deploying LTSP with Ubuntu Linux.

Alex Colcernian is the Director of Marketing and Sales at DisklessWorkstations.com. DisklessWorkstations.com founded alongside the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) in 1999, provides thin client hardware and solutions. DisklessWorkstations.com is the global leader in LTSP deployments, serving businesses, government, non-profits, and schools. For more information, please visit http://www.DisklessWorkstations.com.

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