Thin Client Technology
A thin client can refer to either a software program or to an actual computer that relies heavily on another computer to do most of its work. A thin client is part of a network, and the client software or computer acts as an interface, while the network server computer does all the real work. In the case of a computer, a thin client is unable to perform many functions on its own. A thin client computer may be a machine designed only for online use, sending and receiving email, and surfing the net. A thin client computer may also be part of a larger network, at a company or school for example.
The thin client computer contains enough information to start up and connect to a more powerful network server, and the server computer provides the rest of the computing horsepower. The thin server may not even have a hard drive. If the thin client computer needs to use a program or save a file, it will connect to the network server computer to do so.
In software terms, a thin client is a program which is mostly interface. The user of the thin client software sees all the data, tools, and features they would on a normal piece of software, but another program running on a remote server does all the work. The reasons someone might use a thin client, both hardware and software versions, include reduced cost, ease of maintenance, ease of use, and security.
Advantages of Thin Client
Here are five reasons why you should think about thin client technology:
Make changes once – and in one place
Software installation, updating and removal is kept easier because its in one place. Keeping an eye on disk space, memory and processor usages is a lot easier on one machine than keeping an eye on 50 or more. Backing up is also a lot quicker and all important recovery is faster. Changes can be made quickly and rolled out across a wide distributed user base with no intervention from end users.
Take advantage of the unused load on your server
Many servers and client PC’s are often highly under-loaded. Virtual computing technology is taking huge advantage of this and thin clients can too. Take advantage of that unused load and save money from unnecessary equipment and make the most of the money you have spent. Savings can always be put back into the network by securing and enhancing the infrastructure making it even more reliable.
Make support and management easier
See at a glance what user processes are running. There are tools out there that will do this across a traditional distributed network of workstations but it is much easier to see what’s installed on just one machine making it easier to protect against software that shouldn’t be installed. There are also a lot less machines to keep up to date which means that patch management is improved making the job quicker (lets you go home earlier which is always a plus point). Configuring a thin client terminal is often a simple and painless process – just point the device to your chosen server and off you go. Thin clients can often be locked down too keeping them safe from experimental fingers.
Bring down the costs
Bring down the cost of the equipment, the cost of repairs and the cost of support and other ongoing costs. New users can be quickly and easily added – even if they are remotely based. PC’s tend to need regular upgrades, especially driven by user ‘desire’. Thin clients can be installed and left often for many years which lets you maximize your return on your investment. Solving a problem for one user can often have a knock on effect of solving the problem for many users – even when they didn’t know they had a problem thus reducing the load on the help-desk. The number of desk visits to deal with hardware problems can also be reduced.
There isn’t much that can be changed on a thin client and they aren’t as appetising to thieves as desktop PC’s. Network bandwidth is reduced often to a more manageable (and budgetable) level. Also, important data can be kept away from the main network and kept in the computer room – only screen and keyboard data needs to be sent over the cable. Keeps data where it should be – in a central location instead of it being dispersed around the network on different computers. Remote works can also benefit from rapid deployment of remote thin clients and the IT team can be safe in the knowledge that very little can happen to the home based workers.
Reduced Power Consumption
A network that uses thin clients not only uses less power for the clients because they have fewer peripherals, but it gets more out of the power that it does use. Many computers are idle much of the time or run at less than their full capacity. As thin clients rely on the network for software and applications, the network servers themselves do more work and have less idle time.
As a balance, there are a few downsides and these have to be weighed up against the advantages.
If the server goes down – everyone goes down BUT this can be eased to some degree by using a farm approach.
Contact us or call us at 02-883-7900 and let us show you how Bigmastech can reduce the desktop cost for your business.