V-Tech Informatics
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The fundamental approach behind thin-client computing is very simple. Instead of running applications locally on PCs with all of their associated challenges and costs, applications run centrally with only keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) updates transmitted across the network. Bandwidth usage is minimal compared to traditional PC/server environments, withwireless LAN being ideal for the clients. The server backbone linking the terminal servers,data servers, mail servers, and so on is the only LAN connection that needs high capacity.

Benefits of Thin-Client Computing

With more complex software being distributed, desktop hardware upgrades have been accepted as a necessary evil. The currently accepted useful life of a PC is 2 years, although often depreciated over 3 years. As a PC becomes under-powered for a particular need, it is reallocated, often requiring a different software build.

Centralised support
Significant benefits are obtained by centralising the support function, not only in savings, but also in the quality and consistency of the support function. The more diverse the geographical base, the more advantages can be gained.

The effect is that far less bandwidth is required for remote and local sites, further reducing costs in multi-site installations. If your business is in the process of converting older 10Mbs LAN to 100Mbs or even 1Gbs, stop and reconsider.

Power consumption of a thin-client device is 14% of a PC. To place this in perspective, this is 5%, per year, of the thin-client device purchase price. Since a thin-client device will be expected to have a useful life beyond 5 years, the power savings alone will offset 25% of the cost of those devices.

Licensing is a major component of IT expenditure. The difficulty of supplying software when needed has led businesses to adopt one of two approaches; deploy software to all PCs and lock users out of those applications that they are not licensed for or purchase licenses for every PC, regardless of whether the application will be used or not.

With thin-clients having no facility for local storage, this concern is all but eliminated in a thin-client computing environment. On the contrary, if setup correctly, the security of the network can actually be enhanced by adding levels of encryption to the network data.

With its centralised approach, all data in a thin-client computing environment is stored in one place, so removing many of these costs. It is important to note that this does have an element of 'all eggs in one basket', so data backup and off-site archiving becomes more crucial. However, economies of scale generally result in more-efficient backup mediums
becoming cost-effective.

By not having the ability to introduce data locally, the scope for introducing viruses is greatly reduced. There have been many high profile cases recently where the costs incurred, directly and indirectly, by viruses have been highlighted. Why take the risk?

PCs are attractive and a prime target for theft. We've all had it happen to us, even if only on a small scale. Until connected to the correct environment, thin-client devices are worthless and so less attractive. Your insurance company should be able to provide you with reduced premium benefits.

Speed of deployment, repair and replacement
Thin-client computing environments typically enjoy faster deployment times for new software and upgrades. Fewer IT staff are required to track and ensure successful distribution. In a thin-client computing environment, the application is again tested in a lab. It is then installed on the terminal server and immediately all authorised clients have access to it. Normally nothing more is required from a client than to logoff and log back on.


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