[SunRay-Users] Microsoft RemoteFX

Ivar Janmaat ijanmaat at xs4all.nl
Sun Mar 28 00:04:14 EET 2010

Hello Vitaly,

See inline answers.

Vitaly Tsipris schreef:
> Ivar,
> I disagree with you on couple of points. 
> 1. When a company is buying a thin client solution, the look at
> performance and cost. They know that if the performance of the solution
> will not be close to what end-users are used to get with PCs, they will
> get an ear-full and solution will never succeed. So they definitely talk
> about protocols and performance. One of the main reasons VDI did not
> take off until lately is because RDP protocol is just not good enough
> for a large VDI deployment.
> Now that we have PCoIP, HDX, RemoteFX (soon), etc. companies are
> starting to look at VDI.
I agree that the minimal features of rdp have hold back VDI for a long time.
Was this done intentionally by Microsoft to secure the fat client market?
If so, you can also have your doubts about RemoteFX or do you think 
Microsoft surrendered?
I am quite amazed that it has taken so long for others to start 
developing alternatives.
But now the race is on and I am looking forward to the future.

But lets also look back for a moment.
In 2000 everybody was talking about Application Service Providers (ASP) 
which is now similar to Software as a Service.
If I remember correctly, the best you could buy to use ASP in 2000 was: 
128 Kbps ISDN internet connection, a single core Pentium 3 at 1 GHz, MS 
Office 97 and 100 Mbps LAN.
Not very well suited for ASP at all! But fortunately we have evolved.
In 2010 I can have: 120 Mbps Internet connection, six core cpu at 2.6 
GHz, MS office 2007 and 10 Gbps LAN.
My point is that performance is relative and changes over time.
BMW is not always the first with new features and it is also not the 
cheapest but they do have happy customers.
So you don't have to win on price and performance every year as long as 
you take your customer on a journey to a better place in the future.
If you manage to sustain this relationship with a common vision and 
stable products you will have a loyal customer.
I agree that the latest Sun Ray release should have been released a year 
earlier to make this journey easier for all of us.
I hope Oracle can give the development a boost so the Sun Ray will 
maintain its front position in performance.

> 2. Cost. You said that revenue from a SunRay is $400. I am not sure if
> SunRays cost more in EU, but in US, depending on the model of course,
> they range between $200 and $400 per unit. 
I was talking about full cost of the client and software.
List price in Euros something like 220 Sun Ray, 124 License, 25 support, 
44 keyboard and something extra for the Sun Ray servers.
Then you ask for a discount and change it to dollars and it is around 
$400. But maybe it is a bit more. I don't think it is that relevant for 
the discussion.
> Now, again, customers look at
> a full cost of the solution. That means, servers that host virtual
> desktops, storage, thin clients, etc. With SunRay solution, you need an
> additional "server" - SunRay Server. Thank God for virtualization! So
> now we can say that SunRay Server is just a VM running alongside your
> virtual desktops and that makes it even better because traffic is within
> the physical server. Before virtualization VERY few people even
> considered SunRay because of that "need for additional physical server"
> in their datacenter. Their thought was "why do we need to put another
> box into our already crowded datacenter if I can use Wyse clients and
> just throw Wyse Device Manager on one of my existing Windows servers"?
> So that was extra cost. Now, Sun came out with Sun VDI. Packaged VDI
> solution. Great idea! Works well out of the box. One issue. It does not
> scale as initially advertised. We were doing an implementation at one of
> our customers and we were told by Sun (after customer already purchased
> all required pieces - servers, storage, etc.) that we will need 3(!!!!)
> additional servers! Apparently there was a disconnect between
> engineering at Sun and Field SEs. Turned out that Sun VDI did not quite
> work for larger environments because of the need to support MySQL
> integrated database. So we had to add 3 physical (!) servers to the
> solution to host Core VDI servers. Again, goes back to cost.
> 3. Interoperability. I agree, SunRays offer a great deal of flexibility
> and can connect to a number of backend platforms. So problem is that so
> can Wyse and Dells of the world. Wyse clients can connect to Citrix,
> VMware, Terminal Servers, Hyper-V.
What I meant with interoperability is that you can decide at smartcard 
insertion what to do with the session.
It can go to:
Win XP/7 on Hyper V.
Win XP/7 on Virtualbox
Win XP/7 on VMware
Citrix terminal server farm
Windows 2003 terminal server farm
Aqua Connect on Mac
Kiosk browser
Single application

So you can connect every user to the best desktop environment even in a 
flex office where people use the same workstation.
This is different from supporting different 1 to 1 connections between 
thin clients and servers in a traditional two tier thin client setup 
like you mentioned.
So I present the Sun ray server tier as a feature no other vendor has.
I get the impression you see the Sun Ray server tier as something you 
don't need.
Where do these two views on the Sun Ray come from?

Please correct me if I am wrong here!

I think you have to separate two type of customers.
The first is:
Large customer with different virtualization backends or multi tenant 
Sun Ray provider like  Saas providers and Telecom  companies.
The second is:
Small sized companies with only one virtualization solution
For the first type of customer the Sun Ray server tier is certainly a 
must have feature to manage user and desktop mappings on the fly.
For the second type of customer I can see your point.
And maybe what i mentioned as the wrong way in my earlier e-mail might 
be the right way for the second type customer.
If Oracle would integrate a SME stack with Sun Ray, Virtualbox, Storage, 
Windows 7 and an application virtualization tool, this might fit well 
with SME customers.
However, since this SME stack would be competing at the same level as 
the other thin client solutions it needs a special feature no other 
competitor has.
What can that be?


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