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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Aqua Connect Terminal Server

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Josh Trenor

Member Since: Sep 15, 2008
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Business Week had a great article in May about the growing demand for Macs in the office from employees. The article attributes the success of the iPod and iPhone for increasing demand by employees to adopt Macs in the work place as well. The argument is that if employees are going to use Apple products at home, they will also want to use Apple products at work.

A resistance to Macs is still evident in many enterprises. The cost of completely changing from PCs to Macs along with the tendency for businesses to resist change in favor of "doing business as usual" will keep many companies from switching across the board. So how can our demands be met? We want the Mac OS X and Apple experience at work, but many of our companies are unwilling to provide it. I've done some research and have found a solution that works well for business, is economical, and also will deliver the Mac OS X experience to employees- the Aqua Connect Terminal Server.

I stumbled upon this company through an Ars Technica article that allows PCs to run as Macs through a terminal sever. The company- called Aqua Connect- has developed terminal server technology for the Mac OS X Server allowing thin clients, smart phones, Macs, and PCs to connect to the server and run Mac OS applications remotely. Any device that is VNC or X11 compatible can connect to Aqua Connect. The new version of Aqua Connect will also have RFB and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support- RDP is built into most Windows systems. Multiple users can remotely connect from anywhere to the centralized Mac OS X Server running Aqua Connect. Users can now access the Mac Desktop and applications and run them from a variety of different hardware. Exciting stuff!

The way I see it, this is very practical technology for many reasons. First, for the users it allows them to achieve the Mac OS X Desktop experience from various devices- I personally love this feature! Secondly, businesses can better centralize their application administration and maintenance. For example, once an application is updated on the server, that update will take effect on all users who run the Aqua Connect Terminal Server. This allows updating and patching of software to be centralized to the server alone. Therefore the IT guy in your office won’t have to come to every cubicle twice a day to fix individual problems- most problems can be fixed right at the server. And thirdly, in a world that is constantly more concerned about going “green”, Aqua Connect lowers IT costs and allows for the Mac OS X Desktop to be deployed to a variety of hardware without completely scrapping it. This is exciting stuff in the enterprise world and has many applications beyond that. I think businesses can greatly benefit from this technology and I can’t wait to see what Aqua Connect comes up with next. A version that supports Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) is coming out shortly and shows a lot of promise. The Mac OS X experience from a multitude of devices and from remote locations- sounds great!
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Member Since: Jan 30, 2009
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We are operating a win2k3 TS system for 20 terminals in 4 locations. Our operations are low-margin, so we try to save money whereever we can. Terminal services cut down the cost on datalines, we are talking about highly symmetrical DSL with 2 Mbit in each direction - this is ok for s o m e terminals in every site, since TS just transfers a screen image, not the app data. The downside is the small capability for a/v data, games and all that. In a professional world most company can work without it.

We hope, that aqua connect or even the cheap coderebel stuff might provide a solution while merging to an xserve and osx server.

License fees for MS and Citrix boost up IT Costs, on the other side its OSX Server, Aqua connect or even better Code rebel plus one or two xserves. That is cost efficient computing in our times, plus low data transfer costs. Apple, wake up! There´s a world out there to be conquered!
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I checked out code rebel because it seems to be a cheap solution, but there are a few things that concern me:

- The last version was released in Feb 2008 so the software has not been updated for about a year
- You need to load their client software so it cant be used with thin clients
- the PC client has been in beta for about a year
-I heard the founders once started a company called CerryOS which ran into legal issues for supposedly "copying" a open source product called PearPC
-They don't offer features that Aqua Connect claims to have in the pipeline like sound

If anyone has tried code rebel or has any feedback, please let me know
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