Thin clients are computing devices that function as an access device on a network. These solid-state devices connect over a network to a server where the bulk of the processing takes place. Thin clients have no hard drive, allowing for more secure storage of data and applications on the server. In fact, keystrokes, mouse events and screen images are all that is sent between the client and server. This makes the device much more secure than a standard desktop or notebook computer.
With no hard drive, fan or other moving parts, thin clients have a much longer lifespan than standard computers and use significantly less power. Lower maintenance costs are another benefit as software application updates, virus scanning and patches can be executed on the server. Deployment costs are also reduced as thin clients can be remotely configured and do not need to be set up individually. Break-fix simply requires replacing the thin client.
Why should I consider a thin client solution? Here are some reasons why your business should consider a thin client solution:
* Desktop replacement costs
* Enhanced security
* Data access to mobile or remote workers
* Centralized management for supporting application software on diverse hardware
* Ensuring your data remains accessible and secure
Thin is Green Increased Energy Efficiency & Lower Cost of Ownership
Thin clients offer significant savings in power usage over traditional desktops. This is realized not only in energy costs but reduced air-conditioning costs in some cases. With their long lifecycle thin clients allow companies to achieve energy savings targets and reduce the need for replacement equipment.
The increased security, reliability and ease of management contribute to a lower total cost of ownership for your client computing devices. With a longer useful lifespan, thin clients contribute to cost savings. According to a study by Gartner (TCO Comparison of PCs with Server-Based Computing, June 2009) thin client TCO annual savings have been measured as high as:
* 79% less downtime cost per user
* 16% capital cost savings
* 34% less in maintenance
* 19% less to operate
* 48% overall lower total cost
Thin clients are managed at the server, located within the data center. The client hardware has fewer points of failure and lacks a hard drive for storage providing protection from viruses and malware. They can also connect to servers via web browsers or remote desktop software. Depending on the functionality the user needs, client desktops can be very simple single-application kiosks or a flexible and familiar Windows environment. Thin clients can be set up out of the box in less than 10 minutes allowing easy deployment to new users or remote locations and can be remotely configured and managed via management software included at no extra charge. Because they are closed with few moving parts, they are ideal for environments unsuited for traditional desktop computers like dusty, remote or space-constrained environments. They can easily be mounted invisibly behind a flat panel monitor or under the desk.
Thin clients are also particularly well suited for certain industries and professions including healthcare, small manufacturing, financial services and education. They offer an ideal solution for businesses that are facing increased regulatory compliance laws such as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley. Unlike a traditional desktop or notebook computer, no applications or data are stored locally on the thin client. This makes them easy to replace if lost, stolen or damaged. While not idea for every business computing need, they should be considered with your next technology solution or upgrade.
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