How to forum: Thin Client Network

by: bobdobob5 March 17, 2013 3:57 PM PDT

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Thin Client Network

by bobdobob5 - 3/17/13 3:57 PM

I hope this is the right forum to post in. If not, please move it to the appropriate location.

A couple of years from now I will be looking at developing a network of computers for an educational program and am trying to get ideas of how I should go about it. This network will probably have 45-50 computers on it which at times could be running fairly intensive software, such as a flight simulator.

It'd be best for the computers to be able to run OS X, but Linux Ubuntu is also an option. They'll also need to be able to switch over to Windows.

At the university where I am, a user can login with his/her credentials and be presented with a certain set of software based on the location. Upon logout, all the settings and content created by the user are erased and the system is "refreshed" to its previous state. Some of these are Macs and some are PCs. The PCs use thin clients, like these ones: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-informat...e-clients.html. The computers on my network will need to be able to "refresh" in the same way.

Now, for my questions:
1) Is using thin clients like this the best way to go? It seems that it would be much easier to control user settings and update software and that the hardware would hopefully be smaller and cheaper.
2) Does one simply create an image of the OS and software that will be used and load it onto a server for the clients to access?
3) Could different images be used based on the client logging in?
4) What kind of hardware would one need to setup a server to run 45-50 clients? Could one Mac Pro do it?
5) What kind of software would be used for the server and for the clients?
6) What kind of network infrastructure would one need?
7) Would software licenses have to be purchased for each individual client?
8) Is it possible to have the clients running OS X?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

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