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Thin Clients - Overview

The concept behind Thin Client computing is simple: why put expensive, high-maintenance PCs on every employee’s desktop when they can have the same functionality via a cheaper and more reliable “thin” client?

Today’s powerful servers now allow the most commonly-used applications to run on a central server: only screen updates and keyboard/mouse input need to be transferred between the server and the end-user’s desktop. A single server can smoothly serves tens to hundreds thin clients at the same time.

The result: only a small “Thin Client” desktop device (about a fifth the size of a PC, and a fraction of its price) with no moving parts sits on the desktop.

A Thin Client desktop typically has connections for a monitor, mouse, keyboard, audio output, Ethernet and a few extra USB ports for other peripherals. All configuration and software maintenance is done centrally on the server, regardless of whether the end user is just down the hallway, or located at a branch office thousands of kilometers away.

The end user simply logs into the server, and the familiar Windows environment is visually replicated on the screen, with full access to the employee’s desktop, applications, network drives, Internet, email, printers, etc. In most cases the user is not even aware that he is working “Thin”. One of the primary benefits is once the Thin Client desktop is installed, IT Support never needs to visit the employee’s desk again.

 

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Thin Clients overview

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