ERA dig for thin client rewards

Energy Resources Australia has overcome initial installation difficulties to set up a thin-client networking environment to support 130 users.

Dara Conlan, IT and communications superintendent at ERA's Ranger mine in the Northern Territory, said it can be difficult to secure the expertise required to set up a thin client system.

"Lack of knowledge was to some degree a challenge," Conlan said.

The mining company recently completed the installation of Citrix's MetaFrame server-based software system with Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition.

According to Conlan, moving to MetaFrame was the next logical step after previously deploying WinFrame and moving to a mixture of new PCs and NCD thin client devices.

An additional incentive is ERA's use of Mincom's enterprise resource planning application MIMS, which supports the Citrix environment.

"It came back to ease of maintenance and cost effectiveness," he said.

"We felt that Citrix still had value added software such as MetaFrame and load balancing," he said.

ERA supports around 40 NCD thin-client users and 130 users in total on a mix of PCs and NCDs at three primary sites - the Ranger mine, Darwin and Sydney offices.

ERA uses Cisco routers and Jtec networking equipment to provide its networking connectivity, with leased ISDN lines providing vital links between the three sites.

Conlan said the company primarily used the consulting services of Territory Business Solutions.

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