GCN Insider | The Sun rises on thin clients

TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES that affect the way government does IT

Walking up to a Sun Microsystems Inc. Sun Ray thin client and popping in a smart card is actually pretty cool. We did so recently and were more impressed by the responsiveness of the system than anything else (lots of companies make good thin clients)'the card goes in, the applications come up in about the blink of an eye.
The new Sun Ray 2 and Sun Ray 2 FS thin clients offer a little something for everyone. According to the company, the Sun Ray 2 consumes only 4 watts of power, which, if true, is fantastic news. The average thick desktop uses more like 80 watts. The Sun Ray 2 FS supports two monitors, which intelligence analysts, developers and network operations personnel will like.

In fact, multimonitor support is becoming a bigger deal in thin clients. Earlier this year, Wyse Technologies, which actually has an agreement with Sun to sell thin client solutions, rolled out enhanced support for multimonitor adapters.

The 2FS model also has a fiber port for brining high-speed, high-security fiber optics links all the way to the desktop, if you're so inclined. The Air Force Research Lab expects the dual-monitor and fiber support to save it more than $5 million over the next couple of years. The Sun Ray 2 starts at $249; the Sun Ray 2 FS at $499.

Perhaps most important, the new Sun Rays come just months before Sun rolls out a new version of Sun Ray Software, which will include the company's implementation of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol. The Sun RDF will allow Sun Ray clients to access Windows Terminal Services and thereby Windows applications. That could be huge.

For more IT trends and analysis, visit the GCN.com Tech Blog at www.gcn.com/blogs/tech.

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