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How Should I connect 30 Thin Clients To One Host.

Last response: in General Connectivity
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June 3, 2013 5:18:22 AM

Hello guys...Me and my friends are going to setup a computer lab for kids. I was thinking on saving some money by using thin clients. It has been two days of googling and no one seems to tell me that "How am i supposed to connect these thirty thin clients to one pc?". The userful website says that "Plug 20 zero clients directly to the host computer over USB" There are not 30 usb ports in a Single cpu. Even if i use usb splitters i can't connect all of them together.
Thanks For Your Answer.
June 3, 2013 5:32:36 AM

Thin clients are connected via ethernet to the server. On the server you need a virtual machine environment, like VMWare. I recommend to call a thin client manufacturer and ask for the details.
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June 3, 2013 5:35:02 AM

What are you considering a thin client? Will the clients be running an OS with a virtualized desktop (delivered through the host?)? Which OS?

A common high-quality wireless router or a router in conjunction with a 32-port switch (if you need to hardwire) would do the trick. I've never heard of a USB method, though I'm not certain it doesn't exist.

The host and the clients would all connect to the network.
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June 3, 2013 5:41:14 AM

If your just after the kids being able to view what is on the teachers screen, TightVNC has the ability for remote viewing.
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June 3, 2013 5:53:47 AM

Sunny Rao said:
The userful website says that "Plug 20 zero clients directly to the host computer over USB" There are not 30 usb ports in a Single cpu. Even if i use usb splitters i can't connect all of them together.

With USB hubs, you can theoretically go up to 127 devices per root hub but the amount of bandwidth per device would be horribly low.

The more common way of connecting devices is Ethernet as noidea said. You connect the server/host PC to either a pair of 24 ports switches or a single 48 ports one over a gigabit Ethernet connection and then connect your "thin clients" to the remaining ports. Some of the more affordable large switches have 2-4 GbE ports and 24/48 100Mbps ports so you would connect the server/host to a 1GbE port, uplink to the school network on a 1GbE too and the thin clients connected to 100Mbps ports.
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June 3, 2013 8:53:52 PM

ubercake said:
What are you considering a thin client? Will the clients be running an OS with a virtualized desktop (delivered through the host?)? Which OS?

A common high-quality wireless router or a router in conjunction with a 32-port switch (if you need to hardwire) would do the trick. I've never heard of a USB method, though I'm not certain it doesn't exist.

The host and the clients would all connect to the network.


I would run linux on the pcs using userful it would save me from licensing cost.
Are you talking about the kvm switches? I really never have used a router? Practically you are saying that i connect host computer to the router and then connect the 32 port switch to the router and after that individually connect the other thin clients to the router.right?
A BIG thanks for your precious reply....It helps a lot....
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June 3, 2013 8:56:35 PM

das_stig said:
If your just after the kids being able to view what is on the teachers screen, TightVNC has the ability for remote viewing.


I want the kids to tun a scratch or other kids programming software.
thanks for your reply....

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June 3, 2013 9:09:04 PM

InvalidError said:
Sunny Rao said:
The userful website says that "Plug 20 zero clients directly to the host computer over USB" There are not 30 usb ports in a Single cpu. Even if i use usb splitters i can't connect all of them together.

With USB hubs, you can theoretically go up to 127 devices per root hub but the amount of bandwidth per device would be horribly low.

The more common way of connecting devices is Ethernet as noidea said. You connect the server/host PC to either a pair of 24 ports switches or a single 48 ports one over a gigabit Ethernet connection and then connect your "thin clients" to the remaining ports. Some of the more affordable large switches have 2-4 GbE ports and 24/48 100Mbps ports so you would connect the server/host to a 1GbE port, uplink to the school network on a 1GbE too and the thin clients connected to 100Mbps ports.


Can you please take a look at this product link http://

Will this do the work?sorry i am a real newbie in this networking stuff but i would need ethernet cable also right?
Thanks For your very valuable reply......

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Best solution

June 3, 2013 9:52:36 PM

Sunny Rao said:
Will this do the work?

With 16-ports 100Mbps switches, you would need a pair but the link to your server/host (30 sessions sharing 100Mbps) may become a bottleneck since this only yields ~6Mbps/client.

Ideally, you would want something like this: http://www.flipkart.com/netgear-prosafe-48-port-switch-...

Server connected to one of the GbE port(s), clients on 100Mbps ports. With 30 clients attached, you have 30Mbps available which should be more than enough to keep things running smoothly.

Since your budget probably does not allow for that sort of equipment, the next best thing would be to have a 8x1GbE switch connecting to your server and then plug 5 8x100Mbps switches into the 1Gbps switch to feed your 30 clients, which yields 12-15Mbps sustainable per client and should still be more than enough for reasonable performance - worst case, you can use the remaining ports on the 1GbE switch to add more 100Mbps "client-facing" switches and move some clients to that new switch to relieve congested ones which would allow you to raise the bar to about 20Mbps sustainable.

As for wiring, yes, you will need one cable between each client and its switch, one cable from each "client" switch to the "server" (1GbE) switch and one more cable from the server to the "server" switch. Lengths depend on how your clients and switches are laid out.

The single large switch option would cost you 14k Rs for equipment and may have a somewhat steeper learning curve if you want to manage it while the cobbled-together 35x100Mbps + 3x1Gbps option would cost you 7-9k Rs depending on how many clients you end up putting per client switch... about half the price but also only capable of 1/3 as much sustainable bandwidth per client.

If you can afford the large switch and do not mind having to learn at least enough about it to secure its management interface, I would recommend that - much cleaner setup, higher hassle-free performance and most importantly, much more predictable performance. This may save you a lot of messing around with re-arranging switches to relieve bottlenecks if you go with the multiple cheaper switches option.

Personally, I use an SRW224G4 for my home network... 4xGbE + 24x100Mbps. Somewhat costly (was around $240 / 12k Rs back when I bought it) but much more convenient than the mess of small routers/AP/switches I had before it so even though the management interface is crap, I'm still happy with it.
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June 3, 2013 11:40:34 PM

Thanks A lot Invalid Error........
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June 4, 2013 5:30:23 AM

Sunny Rao said:
ubercake said:
What are you considering a thin client? Will the clients be running an OS with a virtualized desktop (delivered through the host?)? Which OS?

A common high-quality wireless router or a router in conjunction with a 32-port switch (if you need to hardwire) would do the trick. I've never heard of a USB method, though I'm not certain it doesn't exist.

The host and the clients would all connect to the network.


I would run linux on the pcs using userful it would save me from licensing cost.
Are you talking about the kvm switches? I really never have used a router? Practically you are saying that i connect host computer to the router and then connect the 32 port switch to the router and after that individually connect the other thin clients to the router.right?
A BIG thanks for your precious reply....It helps a lot....


Not KVM, but rather a network switch in conjunction with a router. Everything could plug into the switch. The clients would use DHCP from the router to get dynamically assigned IP addresses. You could set up the host with a static IP as necessary.
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