HP slims down
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Easier deployment: Hewlett-Packard's new thin client allows users to tap into the power of the data center.
Going ... going: Trusted Solaris will be phased out, its features folded into standard Solaris.
With its latest set of thin clients, Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif., has come up with a new approach for large-scale rollouts, according to Manoj Malhobra, HP's thin-client manager.
This month, HP will release the entry-level HP Compaq t5135 ($199), a stateless client, and the HP Compaq t5530 ($299), which comes with a Web browser, media player and terminal emulation software. To accompany these releases, the company has introduced HP Thin State Tools, a new technology to ease deployment across a large organization.
Typically, an administrator must build a thin-client image that contains all the organizational configurations, so all the clients have the same printer, background and security settings. Building this master image usually requires third-party software. The image is then put on a File Transfer Protocol server, downloaded by the thin clients the first time they boot up and written to Flash.
HP's new thin-client models have the option of doing away with this third-party configuration software altogether, Malhobra said. Instead, the administrator sets the configuration on one thin client, called the master thin client, which then can be copied by the other thin clients. With the t5135, the administrator puts the image on a USB drive and then goes to each client and installs it manually.
The t5530 offers the option of having thin clients download the image automatically from the master thin client over the network.
'Everything you need to do to deploy images to all of the thin clients resides on the thin client software itself,' Malhobra said. 'You don't have to run anything on the software.'
Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.