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Client/Server Networking at Home

by tonyny77 / May 26, 2008 6:17 AM PDT

Since many ? perhaps most ? homes now have multiple PCs, I wonder what networking trends you see ahead. I?m specifically interested in what ever the future may hold for us regarding implementation of client/server configurations for application software that?ll be easy to set-up, use, and maintain for the typical home user. I?m sure there are many technically-savvy folks who may already be doing this, but we need the required software to become simplified, refined, and fool-proof enough to make it work for the average home user without having to get an IT degree.

I?ve read many good things about Windows Home Server (WHS). I tend to think that the refinements and simplicity of WHS have made it the ideal solution for the network storage needs of the typical home user. Similarly, I think we need the same type of effort to be devoted to client/server set-ups for application software in our homes.

In my own case, I?m rapidly growing tired of having to maintain separate workstations, which unfortunately is a tremendously boring necessity. If each workstation was a dumb client, wouldn?t things be much, much simpler and better?

Sure ... In addition to making this simple to use, the pricing for application software licenses will need to be adjusted to take the lower value of home usage (vice commercial usage) into consideration.

Microsoft seems to have accomplished this with WHS for home storage needs. Can we hope the same can/will happen for our applications too?

Does this capability already exist in a manner that?s simple enough for less-savvy home users? Perhaps I?m missing something.

Thanks, all.

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Application servers
by Porch-a-Geese / May 26, 2008 6:33 AM PDT

Have you tried setting up an application server with a set of thin clients?
An example setup would be:
Have a main computer with a Linux distro installed. Set up ssh login, bind, dns, dhcpd, xserver, printer,file, and other hardware sharing.
Set up user accounts.
On each workstation: set up the same user account, a basic desktop, ssh, remote desktop, file sharing, hardware sharing.
Add a multiple NIC for the number of clients or asecond NIC and a router between the server and the clients.
For the clients: Installa simple system that would be easy on system resources. E.g. Debian or gentoo with Xfce as a desktop. Use the minimum recommended plus 50% for memory. 32bit 192M. 64bit 384M. Set up a small harddrive or use an external one. Go for 25G or less.

Server: get a good system susch as Redhot SOHO or SuSE Professional. Put in the maximum amount of memory allowed for the board. Adda graphics card that has 512M or more of memory dedicated to it. Add a newcpu of the same socket that is a higher rating and has more cores. You may want to look ata board with dual processor support.

There. And no software license had to be obtained.

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I'll write no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2008 9:22 AM PDT

Why? I thought about this many years ago but with each new generation my old hardware while it could pull duty as some client or server was still some 200 Watt power draw. So my new rig is a dual core CPU with under 100 Watt power and some 10 times the oomph of my older machines.

It's far easier to gift the old rig out and move what I need to do onto one box or laptop.

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