Thin Client Technology
Zalongwa Technologies Limited Installs and Manages Thin Client Solutions to organisations. We deliver both hardware and software thin client. A thin client is a computer (client) in client-server architecture network computing which has little or no application logic, so it has to depend primarily on the central server for processing activities.
A thin-client PC is a PC coupled with software to make it look and function like a standard thin client. Thin client PCs provide all the advantages of thin clients such as ease-of-management, reliability and increased control while avoiding the known limitations associated with typical thin-client devices. The thin cliet PC solution is secure by definition and can support environments that need the locked-down desktop control while still maintaining the flexibility of a PC for local application and I/O support.
The thin client PC solution is perfect for all organizations that require a full-function local Internet browser, local applications and want to access the proven benefits of server-based computing such as greater control, scalability and cost containment. IT teams also find this solution ideal for terminal replacement or kiosks projects, which can be implemented prior to investing in Microsoft Terminal Services or Citrix MetaFrame.
A thin client is a simple client program or hardware device which depends primarily on the central server for processing activities because it has little or no application logic. In contrast to a thick or fat client, which does as much processing as possible and passes only data required for communications and archival storage to the server, a thin client is a network computer without a hard disk drive, which, in client/server applications, is designed to be especially small so that the bulk of the data processing occurs on the server.The word "thin" refers to the small boot image which such clients typically require
When designing a client-server application, the decision as to which parts of the task should be done on the thin client, and which on the server can crucially affect the cost of thinclient and servers, the force and security of the application as a whole, and the flexibility of the design to later modification or porting.
How application-specific the client software should be is another question. Using standardized thinclient software such as a Web browser or X11 display can save on development costs, since one does not need to develop a custom client—but one must accept the limitations of the standard client.
Advantages of thin clients Solutions:
Obviously, boot image control is much simpler when only thin clients are used - typically a single boot image can accommodate a very wide range of user needs, and be managed centrally, resulting in:
Lower IT admin costs: thin clients are managed almost entirely at the server. The hardware has fewer points of failure and the local environment is highly restricted (and often stateless), providing protection from malware.
Easier to secure: thin client can be designed so that no application data ever resides on the client (it is entirely rendered), centralizing malware protection.
Lower hardware costs: thin client hardware is generally cheaper because it does not contain a disk, application memory, or a powerful processor. They also generally have a longer period before requiring an upgrade or becoming obsolete. The total hardware requirements for a thin client system (including both servers and clients) is usually much lower compared to a system with fat clients. One reason for this is that the hardware is better utilized. A CPU in a fat workstation is idle most of the time. With thin clients, memory can be shared. If several users are running the same application, it only needs to be loaded into RAM once with a central server. With fat clients, each workstation must have its own copy of the program in memory.
Lower Energy Consumption: Dedicated thin client hardware has much lower enery consumption than thick client PCs. This not only reduces energy costs but may mean that in some cases air-conditioning systems are not required or need not be upgraded which can be a significant cost saving and contribute to achieving energy saving targets.
Worthless to most thieves: thin client hardware, whether dedicated or simply older hardware that has been repurposed via cascading, is useless outside a client-server environment. Burglars interested in computer equipment have a much harder time fencing thin client hardware (and it is less valuable).
Hostile Environments: Most devices have no moving parts so can be used in dusty environments without the worry of PC fans clogging up and overheating and burning out the PC.
Less network bandwidth: Since terminal servers typically reside on the same high-speed network backbone as file servers, most network traffic is confined to the server room. In a fat client environment if you open a 10MB document that's 10MB transferred from the file server to your PC. When you save it that's another 10MB from your PC to the server. When you print it the same happens again - another 10MB over the network to your file server and another 10MB back to the printer. This is highly inefficient. In a thin clientenvironment only mouse movements, keystrokes and screen updates are transmitted from / to the end user. Over efficient protocols such as ICA this can consume as little as 5Kbps bandwidth.