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Question Design Server feeding multiple thin clients

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by 2CT Media, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    With the rise of huge core counts, ultra fast processors, and gigantic memory sizes.. are there any vendors who make design servers to feed multiple design thin client workstations?

    Maybe SignBurst?
     
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  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    No ideas on this?
     
  3. BVG

    BVG Member

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    Is there any particular reason you're trying to centralize all of that computing power?

    Just as ever shrinking manufacturing nodes have allowed for 20+ core counts on high end Xeon products, they've also given options on the other side of the price scale with low power consumption units such as Intel's NUC range. It's usually more cost effective and easier to maintain a network of full featured NUC's handling all tasks locally with centralized server storage. For the cost of one high end Xeon CPU (excluding motherboard, ram, power supply, storage etc) you could grab 10 x i5 NUC's.

    The other thing to consider is core clock speeds. Typically in Xeon's you'll see lower clock speeds, but with more cores. Adobe, Corel and RIP software are generally horrible with multi-threading, and you'll see better performance with 4 higher clocked cores (~4GHz+) than with 8+ lower clocked cores (~2.2GHz).
     
  4. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    The problem with NUCs is they are strapped to low power setups and have limitations when it comes to design. I have i5 NUCs and a i7 NUC.

    Centralized computing is easier to deploy, and allows for massive amounts of power when needed. It was mainly just a thought as we prepare to build yet another designer PC.
     
  5. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    So I want to resurrect my old thread as I have again come to a crossroads.

    Looking at current tech it looks like even better of a possibility to create a centralized computing system. We have a tech company coming out next week to analyze our needs and make suggestions. But, the purpose of my zombie thread is to see if any larger shops have moved in this direction and paired it in a more hybrid type cloud solution?

    We are thinking of centralizing our Design and RIP and segmenting our admin support to a centralized power computer and pairing the in-house processing with cloud processing for deeper capabilities. I would be interested in talking with any of our peers who may have already deployed a similar solution.

    Our main need is singular tech support and ease of expansion/deployment as we grow rapidly. It's becoming cumbersome to manage our tech as we expand and having a single point to support is easier and cheaper than multiple systems.
     
  6. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Are you actually using a true server or a desktop acting as a server?

    NUCs aren't totally bad. They do have their limits performance wise, but can handle some tasks. I have one running a lightweight OS and it does its job.

    Others are true workstations, not glorified gaming rigs acting as workstations. Now, I'm also using true servers, not a desktop acting as a server.
     
  7. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    That's what I'm looking at doing is building a high performance server and having thin clients with their own dedicated work environments allocated for them for our designers, office admins and RIP stations.
     
  8. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    There are ups and downs. How many designers do you have? It's a neat idea, but I can see too many downsides for it to be practical.

    Depending on your artwork... it's not just processing power, GPU's play a pretty big role in photoshop also. Hard disk utilization... if you have 5 designers trying to save a huge file at once to that sever it'll bog it down.

    The biggest concern to me would be... what do you do if the server crashes or has a hardware malfunction? Or a hard drive needs swapping...can you afford to have every single designer be down for xx hours while it gets fixed? In a perfect world you have 99% uptime...but unless you're mantaining the server there will be down time.

    Theres too many obstacles and bottlenecks to overcome to make it worth while, IMO. You'll never get comparable performance out of a single system as you would multiples, not when designing is taxing on a lot more than just the CPU's.


    let me know how your meeting goes - I havent looked into it in awhile... I don't think we're quite there yet, but who knows! Itd be interesting to hear what they tell you.
     
  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Having a bunch of thin clients connected to a server wouldn't be my ideal choice. Resource heavy design apps work better using local hardware. Relying on the network to run everything could prove to be the bottleneck. Don't think you could do all that using some retail router... probably have to go with an enterprise router... all this sounds like a giant PITA.
     
  10. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I would make sure to get get a server that allows for hot swapping. Now if it's in a RAID, is it a hardware RAID or software based RAID. Those have their pros and cons.

    Are you using the server to host the software for the individual workstations or do the local stations have needed software installed directly on bare metal?
     
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I would have it going through a switch, not directly through the router.
     
  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    thats what i meant.
     
  13. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    I'm not talking about a small server, we are talking Enterprise class 128core quad chip servers with 1tb of memory and nvme ssds. I'm thinking long haul for ease of management. Obviously backup systems have to be in place like local compute ability (maybe we explore full nucs) and networking for speed and redundancy. We are already on 1g/1g fiber and are moving to a sfp+ 10g fiber network.

    I don't fear with current tech it's not affordable or accomplishable. Heck we have 4 design pcs that are close to $5,000/ea and our rip computer was $2500 last year and we are fast just management is a nightmare.
     
  14. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Unusual terminology as far as context.

    What exactly is your server serving?

    What exactly is a thin client as far as you’re concerned?
     
  15. netsol

    netsol Member

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    i was wondering if you are doing this to change the licensing scheme?

    so you arr counting concurrent users?

    there are plenty of companies that will host VDI or desktop as a service .do you have enough bandwidth to transfer your typical file size to a cloud host?
     
  16. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    The server is serving computing power along with centralized rapid storage and software access to multiple clients.

    A Thin client is exactly that, a client terminal with little to no computing power in the terminal that serves as an access point for the users and peripherals to the main computing core.

    Neither of these terms are unusual in context at all, I just think its way outside the box of our industry right now. But if you look at large engineering firms, movie studios, and 3D design houses more and mroe of them are moving to this computing model and tying in more cloud computing capacities beyond the local power.

    In my companies use case we would be centralizing all computing tasks from individually managed "computers & workstations" to one extremely powerful computing server that can be managed in totalitarity onsite or remotely from a single point. This increases our ability to service, manage, and deploy our computing assets in an easier more efficient method. This also allows us to grow in power as a company and deploy more assets rapidly when we hire on more individuals.
     
  17. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    This has nothing to do with licensing perse but brings up a good point in that it allows for the ever-growing SaaS market to become partially circumvented.

    Our current bandwidth is not a problem we Symmetrical 1gb Fiber Enterprise Internet and our internal network will be migrating shortly over to 10gb Fiber.
     
  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    How many thin clients would you need?
     
  19. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Currently 14 : 3 design terminals, 1 rip terminal, 1 cut terminal, and the rest sales / admin. We plan on adding 1-2 designers soon and more personnel overall. As we grow managing our IT is becoming expensive and cumbersome.
     
  20. netsol

    netsol Member

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    this model also eliminates many types of malware threat, since you can wipe and load a fresh "virgin" image every day. . no undetected keyloggers, no threats lurking waiting for a trigger event. client plugs a flash drive in, anything he leaves behind in os is wiped at end of day
     
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