We have a particular interest in thin clients as we've been using and advocating them since the mid 1990s. Despite what you may have been told it is not necessary for everyone to have a workstation on their desk. They can have a thin client instead.
Thin clients have been receiving a lot of press of late. We think this is great.
For various reasons many users are skeptical of the claims made about thin clients. We know thin clients really work. We use them to get real work done and we have deployed them in work places for others to get real work done.
We're not going to say thin clients are the solution to every problem but we believe they are the best solution to a good many problems relating to the desktop environment.
The definition is not clear cut but generally it is accepted that thin clients do little other than display graphical information with most or all processing happening on a central server.
Advantages of Thin Clients
Lower hardware costs
Frequently Asked Questions
Thin clients consume a huge amount of bandwidth don't they?
Surprisingly no. Even we have been surprised at how little bandwidth thin clients use.
An assessment of thin client usage at OpenTrend Solutions was conducted during February and March 2005. Over a period of approximately 49 days the average bandwidth utilisation for each thin client was:
Data Received: 82.16MB/day
This is for typical business use with the thin clients in use 10-16 hours per day. Users streaming video would have much higher bandwidth utilisation but this is still often lower than many users expect. Here we are only talking about this data going across local networks. External bandwidth utilisation for a thin client is indistinguishable from workstations. (ie, the nature of the computer used on the desktop is immaterial to how much external bandwidth is consumed by a user).
Can thin clients fully replace workstations in my organisation?
The short answer is yes.
The long answer actually depends on what the organisation does and the applications that are used. Normally the only difficulty we find is when an organisation is tied to a particular application for which no alternative is available. This is most often the case with custom built applications. Even in these cases there are usually options. Ask for a free assessment to find out if thin clients will work for you.
Is it viable to stream video and audio data to thin clients?
We do. Tests carried out by OpenTrend Solutions even show that streaming output from a tv tuner card to a thin client works well.
What about games?
We've been known to play gltron (a 3D OpenGL based game) on thin clients and find them faster than using the same machines as workstations.
What does OpenTrend Solutions use on the desktop?
We use thin clients running Linux or FreeBSD.
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