"Andrew Harrison SUNUK Consultancy"
> I am using a SunRay to post this mail, graphics performance is good,
> MPEG videos work fine for example.
I would expect things such as image output to be fine. The real testers are
things where a small number of things are changed over a large area in a
single operation - like a 500 pixel long XOR line. You can optimize this a
number of ways with tradeoffs on where you want to burn CPU, throughput, and
latency. This isn't sophisticated graphics we're talking about.
None-the-less, I said "it's probably OK for simple stuff". Images by their
nature are going to consume bandwidth regardless of where they end up. The
only ugly part is the fact that a browser (for example) will take a JPEG,
decompress it and display it, only to have the server software recompress it
and transmit it to the SunRay to be uncompressed and displayed. But as long
as you aren't trying to send 300 x 900x900 x 24 bit images a second... I
doubt most web browser users will notice.
Quote:> It isn't a 3D device but then
> the vast majority of desktops don't need high performance 3D and
> X11 to a remote display was never that great at it anyway.
I *deliberately* did not say anything about 3D. Since I know of no "thin
client" that will do high performance 3D graphics well.
> CPU cost is low, we run our desktop environment in this office
> which is ~50 SunRays using a 6 CPU E4500 (400 Mhz) with 6 GB
> of RAM. Performance is good, shared libs and shared code keep
> the memory footprint down and we have competely silent desktops.
I guess it depends on what you are doing. Shared libs are not the resources
I'm talking about. Each display needs (Z/8)*x*y bytes of memory for the
display, plus other state like colormaps. Then each display is driving an
IP connection. Plus it is doing the X11 operations in software and then
doing compression to send partial image updates to a LAN. So it really
depends on just how much you guys really beat on things - and what your
> The SunRays do have a separate network, however this isn't a
> problem, we just have a network in the machine room for the
> other servers and the SunRay server and then two desktop
> LAN's. 1 small one for non SunRay clients and a larger
> one for SunRays.
It may not be a problem for you, but it might be for some customers.
Quote:> SunRays in this environment have the great advantage of no having to run
> and X-Terminal emulation, that and having a native Tarantella client
> means that they perform rather well for this kind of mixed mode
And it's disadvantage is that it is a complete emulation of everything. The
SunRay doesn't run X11, it displays the results of X11 being done in
software and the results being send to it. I've used VT525 emulators
running from my PC over Telnet/LAT/DECnet/Serial, and they are every bit as
fast as a DECterm. The Multia implemented a "native" X11 server - direct
access to the HW (IIRC) so the performance was no worse than any remote X11
terminal (network bandwidth limited). But these days, any random PC is fast
enough to be able to emulate X11 so quickly that the network will always be
> > Yeah, most of these are Windows CE or XP based under the covers. But
> > most of the worlds desktops *are* Windows. And most customers have a
> > to run Windows applications even if they continue to use VMS or UNIX or
> > LINUX on their servers.
> > A VT320 didn't run an OS, it was just an appliance. A thin client
> > viewed as just a desktop appliance like the terminal. Just make sure it
> > all the right connections, to get to all your server systems. The think
> > clients above have no real moving parts. Just turn them on. They don't
> > require virtual servers on a host to operate, or a private LAN. They
> > flexible, and OS neutral. They are *not* the perfect solution for
> > who really wants a VMS "workstation".
> Th SunRay doesn't run an OS, and like your VT320's which had their
> dedicated Serial connection to the host each SunRay uses a 100BaseT
> connection into a generally dedicated network.
Bzzzzt. A SunRay cannot exist without a Sun backend server. Unplug
everything except a serial port on it - can you turn it on and use it as a
VT550? Nope - because all the intellegence exists as software on the Sun
server. It is just the "glass tube" front end for the Sun server in the
backroom. You *can* take an EVO (for example) and ignore it's network
capabilities and use it as a "terminal". You *don't* have to have a
specific *dedicated* system someplace that serves it. It could be one or
This really is a matter of where to you do the distribution. X11 was an
attempt to do it as low as possible. SunRay takes that even lower (in a
proprietary way). You can do the same thing in an "open" way with VNC - and
use any client. What SunRay *doesn* let you do is to use the right level of
distribution for the job at hand. You can't download a Java applet to it -
the Java applet runs on the Sun server - not the SunRay - for example.
Quote:> We never have to upgrade the SunRay's and they leverage something we
> have plenty of which is servers.
Yup. SunRays exist to consume servers.