View vCloudPoint Zero Client Deployment Planning in PDF file. For support on a typical deployment, please contact our support team..
Frequently Asked Questions
vCloudPoint deployment guide
What about Windows licensing on sharing computing?
To properly license vCloudPoint zero clients in a Microsoft environment, certain CALs are needed for each vCloudPoint seat, along with certain OSes running on the host computer. Regarding the host machine, you have the option of running supported edition of Server 2008R2, Server 2012, Server 2012R2, Multipoint Server 2011, or MultiPoint Server 2012. Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 will work with the vCloudPoint Sharing Computing solution but at this time cannot be shared under Microsoft compliancy. In order for the vCloudPoint workstations to be fully licensed, they will each need a Remote Desktop Services Client Access License (RDS CAL) along with a Windows Server Client Access License (WS CAL). The total cost of these CALs combined will range anywhere from $10-$120 per seat depending on the type of organization deploying the workstations, and their licensing agreement with Microsoft. But these CALs are perpetual licenses – not annual subscriptions.
The result of the licensing model differences by using the sharing computing , traditional desktop PCs and VDI over three years can be seen in the following example:
Sharing: One server OS license per target server ($883 ) + For each client device: ( 1 Server device CAL ($30) and 1 RDS device CAL ($102)) x 30 = $132 x 30 = $4,843
Desktop PCs: 30 target desktop OS licenses ($187 each) x 30 = $5,610
VDI: 30 target desktop OS licenses ($187 each) x 30 + For each client device: VDA rights subscription ($100 / device / year) x 30 devices x 3 years = $14,610
* Cost based on 30 thin clients (not eligible for SA) over 3 years, Windows Server 2012 R2 standard, Windows 8.1 Pro, US MOL pricing, corporate customers.
Things to consider:
If you are replacing PCs, you may already have the WS CAL for each seat.
If you are replacing thin clients, you may already have both the RDS and WS CALs.
While deploying zero clients from vCloudPoint, the required licenses mentioned above must be purchased from Microsoft Windows. It is significant to note that Microsoft’s license policy varies between countries and vCloudPoint users are requested to refer to their local Microsoft’s partners before purchase.
For further details on Microsoft’s multi-user licensing please refer to Microsoft’s website or licensing brief titled: “Licensing Windows Client Operating Systems in Multiuser Scenarios“.
How to use domain management like Windows Active Directory with vCloudPoint zero clients?
1, Your domain system should include at least one Domain Controller and one sharing host that has joined the domain system.
2, Install the vMatrix Server Manager on the sharing host(s).
3, Create users on the Domain Controller.
(Note: as the users are not created through vMatrix Server Manager, you have to manually add the created non-administrator users to the Remote Desktop Users group.)
4, Log into the host with vCloudPoint zero clients. Hosts will automatically be recognized if they have joined the domain. The picture below shows two login options: the first domain name “CLOUDPOINT” is chosen for domain login; the second one “Local Account” is for local account login. If users choose local account login, they are logging on the host rather than the domain.
5, Select a domain, and then enter your username and password.
1, You cannot log in an domain administrator account from a zero client. This will cause unavailability of the whole vMatrix and zero client system. If you mistakenly do this, remove administrators from vMatirxServerRemoteUsers group on the shared hosts thought Computer Management –> Local users & groups –> groups–> vMatirxServerRemoteUsers group
2, Doman NTLM is not support at the moment
1. By default, only users in the Administrator Group can log into the remote Domain Controller, users in the Remote Desktop User Group cannot.
2. If you are using a vMatrix version of 126.96.36.199 or earlier, you have to install the vMatrix both on the Domain Controller and Hosts. If you do not want to install vMatrix on Domain Controller, please use vMatrix version of 188.8.131.52 or later.
Why all of my vCloudPoint zero clients get disconnected every a few minutes?
By factory default, vCloudPoint zero clients and vMatrix Server Manager software are configured to be used in an internet connected environment (WAN). If your host is provided with internet, no additional configuration is required to be done. The Operation Mode displayed on the User Management page of any device connecting to the host will automatically change from “Offline” in red to “Online” in black, meaning the device is properly working in an internet provided environment.
However, if the Operation Mode of the devices connecting to the host stays “Offline” in red all the time, you have to re-configure the devices for offline usage, otherwise the devices may be disconnected every few minutes during operation. Use cases where you may encounter this problem and need to apply for “Offline Usage” normally includes the followings:
- you do not provide internet connection (WAN) to the host or the internet connection is extremely unreliable;
- you use proxy or VPN or internet control software that the host cannot access our configuration server: api.cpterm.com.
How to re-configure the devices for offline usage:
1) In a non-internet connection environment, vMatrix Server Manager will prompt a message window for offline usage configuration within 5 minutes after host boot.
2) Open vMatrix Server Manager, go to Offline Usage page (this page only appears when the host is not provided with internet connection on system boot).
3) Export the configuration profile. Before exporting, please connect all client devices for offline usage to the host, so that the serial numbers (SNs) will be collected in the file. Alternatively, you can write down the SNs if you cannot connect all the client devices (especially in large deployments). The host profile contains hardware information of the host. Therefore, make sure the host hardware, e.g., CPU, memory, drives and network card, are exactly the same as your real offline usage condition, otherwise, if there is any change to the host hardware, the final generated offline configuration will be invalid to the host.
4) The dealer will return you with a configuration file based on your last exported profile. Import the returned file to complete.
5) If your configuration for offline usage is successfully accomplished, the Operation Mode changes from “Offline” in red to “Offline” in black.
Note: Offline usage configuration on vMatrix Server Manager was introduced in the release of vMatirx Server Manager 2.0.2 version, if you are planning to use the vCloudPoint zero clients in a non-internent or unstable internet environment, please use 2.0.2 or a later version of vMatrix Server Manager, and contact the dealer for generating an offline configuration file.
Why the host is not shown in the host list?
1) The vMatrix Server Manager software is not installed on the host or not working properly.
Resolution: Install or re-install vMatrix Server Manager.
2) The host or the zero clients are not connected to the LAN.
Resolution: Connect both the host and the zero clients to the LAN, and make sure the network is fine.
3) The zero client is with a new firmware version while the vMatrix Server Manager version on the host is out of date.
Resolution: Upgrade the vMatrix Server Manager.
4) IP Addresses in the DHCP pool have been used up so that new connected zero clients cannot find hosts in the LAN while the old connected zero clients do not have the problem.
Resolution: Go to the DHCP setting page and enable more IP addresses or shorten the time of IP address tenancy.
Why the clients cannot connect to the selected host?
Please resolve the issue according to the prompt if there is, if there is not, refer to the followings.
1) A pop-up window says that the device serial number is invalid.
Resolution: Contact our technical support team with series numbers.
2) Unstable Local Area Network (LAN).
Resolution: Examine cable and switch and make sure the zero clients are connected to the host in the same LAN.
3) IP address pool is full that new devices cannot login.
Resolution: Lease more IP addresses, and recommend shorten IP address tenancy time in case there is a plenty of mobile devices connecting to the same network.
4) IP address conflict that the sign-in of one user may log the other out.
Resolution: Make sure all devices use different (IP address) from the others in the same (LAN). Recommend using default DHCP instead static (IP addresses).
The configuration of a zero client itself does not contribute to its performance
Most customers mistakenly think that a zero client should be, like thin clients, configured high in its internal hardware such as, CPU, flash, network chipset, to gurantee a high performance.
Unlike thin clients that typically use its own client hardware for processing, zero clients push all the computing power to what is running at the host side. In other words, the residing hardware of a zero client do not act on jobs of processing as in PCs or thin clients, but only to initialize a conversation with the network, begin network protocol processes, and display desktop output. Therefore, the configuration of a zero client itself does not contribute to its performance. Even a zero client with powerful configuration as a Pro PC can’t guarantee good performance.
Then what helps with good performance to a zero client?
There are a few aspects:
- Well-configured host computer– including sufficient cores and frequency of CPU, IOPS and storage of Disks, size and frequency of Memory. (Multi-threading technology of Intel also helps increasing CPU capability and i series with hardware acceleration performs better than Xeon series of the same level. Disks in RAID configuration increases redundancy and performance. Intensive graphics processing requires sufficient frequency of memory. Video card on the host helps in video playback only.)
- Low latency, high-bandwidth network– recommend local-area network connections provided by standard 100 /1000 Mb/sec networks (i.e. Ethernet) between the host computers and the zero clients.
- High efficient remote display protocol– offers high-resolution sessions, multimedia stream remoting, dynamic object compression, USB redirection, drive mapping and more.
Of the above 3 aspects, only the display protocol is determined by the zero clients. The display protocol determines two critical measures: experience and resource usage. The sticking point for many organizations will be various levels of multimedia support. Regardless of implementation status, any organization can have issues with multimedia support. This is true not only in large implementations that push bandwidth limits — even smaller installations may consume enough bandwidth to push the limits of the display protocol without a bottleneck on the wire. vCloudPoint zero clients utilized our innovative DDP (Dynamic Desktop Protocol) for remote desktop display. This protocol is purpose-built for zero clients and is designed to make efficient use of the network bandwidth and host resources, delivering a user experience that is equivalent to or even better than a business PC.
Network has a great impact on zero client performance
We all know the zero clients are free of CPU, memory, processor and hardware requirements. This means that another strong factor plays a role in transmitting of the information from server to client. That is the network. And in case of zero clients, this network bandwidth should be really wide and sufficient enough for the seamless transfer of information.
Let us start with an example. S100 zero client uses Ethernet as the network connection. The deployment so far has registered recognition about its appreciable performance, which is attained with the category 5 or 6 network cable to connect to the Ethernet network. The next question is:
What is a Category-5 or Category-6 cable??
Usually, the high quality copper wires are used for Cat-5/ 6 cabling. They are twisted into 4 pairs which run along an outer cover. This design of the cable makes it immune to the other signal interferences, which means a better transmission of the data signal over the cable.
Most of the times, the poor cabling is responsible for the faulty network transmission. This very often leads to the unnecessary testing of the other equipments. There are a few very high standards tagged with the category 5 and 6 cabling, which must be followed during installation as well. This guarantees a high performance over the network.
Recommendation With Us:
For multimedia intensive environments, especially those with concurrent multiple video playback, we recommend a standard 100 /1000 Mbps network between the host computer and the zero clients, to guarantee a smooth high-end experience; as shown in the figures: (click to view large pictures).
The videos consume higher bandwidth, for example, when the server side videos are played at vCloudPoint zero clients, each 480p video file consumes up to 13 Mpbs of the network bandwidth, a 720p video can take up to 15 Mpbs of bandwidth and a 1080p video can take up to 17 Mpbs of bandwidth straight away.
Most of the Wide Area Networks (WAN) have excessive latency and lower bandwidth. This compromises with the rich PC-like experience over the network.
The ideal recommendation from vCloudPoint is a low latency higher bandwidth Local Area Network, which is the secret behind the excellent performance of zero client devices.