In this post I will cover the user-facing hardware; the zero client. As I have said before, I recommend the network zero clients over USB zero clients, so that is what I’ll be showcasing.
Let’s start with some visuals:
These are network zero clients from Wyse. (Real pictures from a real environment). You’ll notice that they are very small, but have sufficient connectivity options for most uses. The device itself has a 100Mbps NIC, a VGA port, DC input, three USB 2.0 Ports, and two 3.5mm audio jacks. I didn’t show this in the picture, but they come with a bracket for VESA mounting to the back of a monitor.
This device is just an endpoint that allows the user to interact with the Multipoint server. I love this because I don’t have to worry about this device at all. This device has no attack surface for malware, no software to update, and no reason to walk off. In addition, the power usage is less than 5W and they are inexpensive to purchase.
Now that you are acquainted, let’s look at the setup process. I am assuming here that you already have a Windows Multipoint Server up and running. Remember you will need to install the driver for your zero client on the server as well. For the Wyse clients, once you install the driver on the server, you get a new “Network Stations” tab in the Multipoint manager that will be important during the setup process. I am also assuming you already have a network setup for your zero clients and Multipoint Server to communicate (they will need to be in the same subnet).
First, plug the zero client in to your monitor, peripherals, power, and network. Once you do that, you should see the following screen briefly:
This only displays until the zero client receives an IP address via DHCP. If you get stuck on this screen, double check you network cables, verify you have a DHCP server running, and power cycle the client.
Next, you should see a screen that informs you that the client hasn’t been assigned to a host. This means your network is connected and working, but the client hasn’t been assigned to a Multipoint Server yet. You will need to go into the Multipoint Manger on your Multipoint Server and you should see the new zero client under the network stations tab.
To assign the client to your Multipoint server, you just have to go into the Multipoint Manager, click the unassigned client, and on the right side, click assign to this server. Once that is complete, the client will move on to the next screen.
Once you get to this point, the zero client itself is all setup and working. The only time you should see this screen now is briefly after powering on the client or during a server reboot. If you get stuck here, reboot either the client or the server.
And finally, you have the screen saver! Just move the mouse for a Windows 8 style login!
Just to recap, the zero client goes through the following stages:
- Power, but no IP address
- IP address, but no server assignment
- Server assigned, but not available
- Connected and ready to login