Having spent most of 2000 – 2010 using Sun Ray machines for everyday working, you can forgive me if I’m not a little sad that these great tech machines have been EOL’d and are no longer available for purchase.
The Sun Ray was a networked display device, with applications running on the server – which meant you could go from machine to machine with just a smart card and your session would pop up. It was the ultimate portable computer, as long as you had a networked machine to plug into.
With Secure Global Desktop, Virtualbox and Oracle Virtualization technologies, it was always a crowded space within Oracle and with the switch to tablets, mobile and cloud computing it makes sense to let software connect to virtual sessions, rather than tie to a physical box on a desk you had to plug into.
Now you can use laptops, phones and tablets to seamlessly connect to any session, whether you’re at your desk or on the move.
Last year I participated in an Oracle internal project to look at the future of computing in 2020 now it seems that has taken a step forward with the Sun Labs demo of a virtual client running on an iPad.
Although this is not an actual product today, nor does it mean there will be one according to the disclaimer, it does show how devices can connect to a users desktop remotely. This is an extension of the current SunRay software, which allows virtual user desktops which are centrally managed and served to clients.
Not really sure why they show all those pinches and zooms in the demo, seems rather distracting to me 😉
I don’t normally repost someone else’s blog, but this is a good occasion. Think Thin (no relation) shows the quickness and speed of the latest Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in a 5 minute demo.
He demonstrates how easy it is to login and run different clients using Oracle VDI 3.2 from his mac using the same software that I use to connect to internal Sun Ray servers for work. Scott was right, the network is the computer these days.
There was also a very interesting webcast by John Fowler and Edward Screven recently, you can catch the replay here: (registration required) and also catch up all the Virtualization news at the main Oracle site.
Happy viewing 😉
It also adds support for upstream audio, smart card support for Oracle Virtual Desktop Clients and allows Sun Ray Clients to be used as a client with the VMware View 4 virtual desktop infrastructure product.
The new Oracle Virtual Desktop Client software now has a Mac version and has been updated to support hotdesking and enhanced Windows multimedia applications.
Launching the client is easy, just enter the server name and away you go. Note, if you’re on a slow connection you may need to enable compression (under the network tab).
More info is available on the Think Thin blog.
So if you’re interested in saving energy (at 4 to 15 watts depending on model) and never having to worry about the PC refresh and upgrade cycles then check out Sun Ray technology today.
If this gets you excited then mark your calendars for the following event: on August 19th from 9 AM until 3 PM, Oracle will be hosting an Online Virtualization Forum that covers our v12n technology from the Desktop to the Datacenter. The panel consists of former Sun hardware guru and now Oracle’s Executive Vice President of Systems John Fowler and Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven.
This is my last Sun post, as the Sun Oracle integration takes another step forward tomorrow with the Legal Entity Combination of the UK entities. In the coming weeks there’s new systems to learn and integrate with as well as finding out what the longer term goals are and how I fit in.
This road has been long, with the initial Sun-IBM rumours breaking a year ago and the eventual Oracle offer in April. Having seen other Oracle acquisitions I know that it takes 12 to 18 months for real change and development to occur, so expect that to be the same in this case – although I hope that the last 9 months of planning were used very productively 😉
I’m excited that Oracle has a large marketing presence and hope that the Sun technology, innovation and engineers get more than their fair share of deserved exposure.
I also hope that Sun Ray technology is shown to more users and business buyers. Others think so too. Just image what Oracle could do with this internally for the 85,000 employees (pre Sun) in terms of power savings – as units use just 5% of what a normal desktop computer uses.
Although you don’t have to run just Oracle Solaris on them, as these success stories from ResMed, Screwfix and Microsoft demonstrate. In the ResMed example, they had a return on investment within 12 months and saved an estimated $270,000 all while providing a variety of users with a highly flexible, highly secure virtual desktop environment. There are many more Sun Ray stories here.
Even better still if the Oracle users were migrated off Windows imagine the savings in licence fees!
I’m proud to have been part of the blogs.sun.com community and grow what has undoubtedly been one of the foremost blogging sites. I’m also both excited and a little nervous about the future. Not sure if I’ll continue to blog here or move elsewhere as others have done.
To misquote The Bard: “Alas poor Sun Microsystems! I knew him “.
For those not in the know, Sun Ray is a thin client technology provided by Sun, with no local disk storage and they are totally stateless.
These very smart, very low power consuming machines (4 watts!) or integrated monitors allow you to keep a session (Solaris, Windows, Linux) running on the server and access at each machine you insert your java card.
This allows you to do some work, pull out your card, walk over to a colleagues desk or meeting room and insert your card and pull up the same session.
Now that the intro is done . . . Microsoft have embraced this technology at their Enterprise Engineering Center (EEC). More info here.
Now the other piece of cool news: Sun Ray Soft Client is now available as part of the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access program:
The Sun Ray Soft Client is a software
application that easily installs on common client operating systems and
provides the ability to connect to a Sun Ray server and initiate a Sun
Ray desktop session from a Windows laptop or desktop computer. The Sun Ray Soft Client also provides the flexibility to
‘hotdesk’ to and from your Sun Ray thin client and any supported Sun
Ray Soft Client enabled PC. Currently available for Windows only.