The term thin client originated in the 90's to describe a new category of diskless client devices such as Network Computers, X Terminals and Windows-based Terminals rather than the traditional "fat" PC’s. Today, the term thin client computing defines a network-based approach to information processing that is comprised of both hardware and software elements. Together, thin client hardware and software translates to simpler, more cost effective access to information and produces the following key benefits.
As the all the application software is stored on and delivered from the server, thin clients are much easier to deploy and configure. Backups and updates are much easier to carry out, creating a much reduced workload for I.T. managers.
Unlike PCs, thin clients have no local storage devices; therefore thin clients are not vulnerable to viruses and other malware as long as the servers are adequately protected. Security software is also easier to maintain, update, and upgrade on a few servers rather than every desktop.
Thin clients are nine times more reliable than PCs because there are no mechanical parts, such as fans or disk drives, to break down. Because the critical applications and data are stored on the server, thin computing dramatically increases the reliability of the entire infrastructure.
One of the greatest challenges for any organizations is to ensure that sufficient I.T. resources are available to meet the needs of the business. Thin client computing is easily scalable due to simple desktop deployment. The vast majority of any change occurs at the data centre, giving the organisation great flexibility in response to changing demands.
Total Cost of Ownership
The average annual running costs for a PC are estimated to be about five times the purchase price. Because of the factors outlined above, thin client computing can reduce the total I.T. spend by up to 40%. Additional savings will be made through reduced power consumption and longer product lifecycles which in turn will improve the organisations environmental profile.
A fuller picture on the benefits of thin client computing can be obtained by downloading the white paper.