Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: ManageEngine IT Matters, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Open Source Cloud, Agile Computing, Log Management, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Containers Expo Blog: Article

The Rise of the Thin Client

Thin clients are basic computer systems that work with a server to process applications and store data through virtualization

Imagine there was a technology that could solve some of the top issues for IT managers of large companies: managing a large fleet of users' devices, with all the associated maintenance tasks, and maintaining the security and integrity of devices by preventing malicious software installation. Now imagine this solution also provided unparalleled energy efficiency. Thin computing is the answer.

Thin clients are basic computer systems that work with a server to process applications and store data through virtualization - almost all of the actual computing occurs on the server, and most of the software is installed and managed virtually by an IT manager. Many clients can run the same applications on a shared sever, which finds its best usage among workers in massive buildings, with a lot of turnover, where many employees will use the same fundamental programs repeatedly.

In large employee environments, where workers use a limited variety of programs, a client virtualization model makes sense as IT managers are more able to ensure security, manageability and energy efficiency.

Security
A thin computing model is ideal for when data must be kept in secure, remote locations, and provides peace of mind for businesses that need help complying with laws like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley. If you have ever been caught in an airport or hotel and realized you left your laptop behind, you understand how easy it is for company data to be stolen or abused. While hard drives are a way of life for most workers and students, they cause unnecessary headaches in environments such as manufacturing, elementary education, data entry, retail chains and call center, which are environments better suited for client virtualization. When there is no need for each person's computer to be a complex machine and many upgrades can be made via the server, rather than on each individual PC, IT teams experience fewer bottlenecks, and entire departments can experience overall cost benefits. It's virtually impossible for a thief to steal data, since applications and programs are only controlled and located on the server. Plus, those in charge never have to worry that a user is installing unauthorized programs the way they could on PCs.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings
Typical thin client devices consume anywhere from 2-10 watts of power, while typical PC systems consume anywhere from 20 to 60 watts. This dramatic reduction in power consumption translates to real cost savings, even with the back-end infrastructure considered. In fact, a recent Gartner study* measured thin client TCO annual savings as high as 79% downtime cost-per-user; 16% capital cost savings; 34% less in maintenance, 19% less to operate, and 48% overall lower total cost of ownership.

Manageability and Usability
IT managers must be able to control what different users can access, and thin clients are easy to deploy - out-of-the-box in less than 10 minutes - with just a web browser or remote desktop software to connect thin clients to your server. Whether one prefers simple, single-application kiosks or a familiar Windows environment, it's easy to customize client desktops for your users. One of the major questions that arise with those new to client virtualization is what can I use in my data center to provide a secure and reliable connection point for my devices. Citrix, VMware and Microsoft provide the software solution for your servers and can assist in the setup to ensure the technology works for each unique environment.

Unlike the thin clients of yesterday, the desktop hardware has many forms and users might not even realize they are working on a thin client. For example, HP's innovative t410, the all-in-one device where the screen is the thin client (just add mouse and keyboard of your choice), runs on Power over Ethernet and needs only 13 watts of power. In addition, there are thin clients that run up to six displays, like the t610; thin clients that allow touch, via Microsoft Windows Embedded 7 software, and thin clients that can run full-fledged VoIP calling when paired with Avaya or other Unifed Communication solutions.

Next time you find yourself frustrated by the myriad problems and costs that arise from dozens of workers using expensive machines, or find yourself navigating a new security issue, consider the benefits of client virtualization and HP Thin Clients.

* Source: Gartner August 2008 http://web.citrix.com/go/m2l/hi/pdf/GartnerReport.pdf

More Stories By Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn is Chief Technologist of Thin Client Computing at Hewlett-Packard.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
wassem 05/27/13 08:08:00 AM EDT

Hi Tom I liked your article, you covered all the benefits of the thin client computing. In the article you mentioned the low power benefit, and mentioned the HP computer, as low cost solution, but I think that our product the Cubox that Costs 120$ and needs only 3 Watt of power could be another excellent solution.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...