I wanted to find out the advantages of using a thin client device compared to using a laptop or desktop computer for my company, to see whether a thin client computer would be a good choice.
Advantages of a thin client? The main advantages of using a thin client computer are the cost savings possible, all round better security, centralized management, easier support, lower maintenance, coupled with higher reliability. These advantages can be broken down further, as shown below:
- Security from viruses
- Better Information and Data Security
- Enhanced Access Security
- Purchase cost savings
- Support & Maintenance cost savings
- Lower Energy costs
- Long term savings (return on investment)
- Physical space savings
- Cloud DaaS savings
In the following part of the article, I will take a detailed look at these advantages of using thin clients.
1. Security from viruses
Using a thin client gives you greater control and protection from the viruses and malware that may infect your systems. This is because with a thin client device you are protected against any outside software being downloaded onto your systems.
With a thin client device it’s difficult to download software directly, as they are designed to be dumb terminals with minimal software running on them.
2. Better Information and Data Security
Thin clients operate as dumb terminals and don’t actually store any information from the applications people use on them. As the information is stored on remote computers and stealing the thin client device, would be pointless as there would be no information stored on them.
3. Enhanced Access Security
Thin clients can increase overall security by using integrated smart cards and biometrics for authenticated users. Users can swipe their identity smart card on a slot on the thin client to verify their identity and their authorization to use the thin client.
Some thin clients have biometric readers allowing fingerprints to be used for authentication.
4. Purchase cost savings
Using thin clients as opposed to using traditional desktop computers and laptops brings significant cost savings in overall thin client procurement costs. If you are running a business or operating an agency with more than about 5 or 6 desktop computers or laptops then transferring to a thin client system to operate your enterprise will save you money.
The savings are significant but more importantly for you going forward is the fact that the savings are cumulative and as time goes on you will see the difference in your bottom line.
5. Support & Maintenance cost savings
Supporting and maintaining thin clients costs much less than looking after desktop computers and laptops. There’s less hardware parts to a thin client device and the software used by thin clients is less complicated.
Making thin client devices more reliable leading to lower maintenance costs. Less people are required to support thin client devices as they are reliable and a lot less complicated.
6. Lower Energy costs
Due to their size and minimal number of parts, thin client devices will save you money on your energy bills. With many devices incorporating energy saving features resulting in them emitting less heat, energy savings from reduced ventilation costs to dissipate office heat can also be achieved.
7. Long term savings (return on investment)
The long term savings also known as the return on investment (ROI) are much better with thin client devices compared to desktop computers and laptops. This is down to thin client devices having a longer useful life before becoming outdated.
8. Physical space savings
Thin client devices can you save space in your office environment as they are much smaller (also known as having a small footprint) compared to desktop computer and laptops.
This will allow you to work more efficiently within a smaller space. This is an unmissable opportunity to cut costs, particularly for businesses that operate within the high priced cities that sit at the hub of the cultural and financial markets.
9. Cloud DaaS savings
Thin clients are ideal choices for cloud based ‘Desktop as a Service’ (DaaS) operations. Running a virtual computer in the cloud like using Amazon Workspaces, Citrix Managed Desktops, Microsoft Azure Windows Virtual Desktop to VMware’s Horizon Cloud DaaS solution brings cost savings.
From not having to run your own datacenter and being able to pay for cloud services on a subscription basis instead of upfront costs.
Are thin clients worth it?
Yes, thin clients are worth it, as there are several ways that you can use a thin client to help improve your operational functionality.
- Thin clients can be used to access unique virtual desktops where each user’s applications and data are partitioned off from the others. This is a good way to manage and compartmentalize secure information and oversee the operations of employees.
- Thin clients can be used to access shared services, so instead of having a unique working area like a virtual desktop. Users access a shared area, used by multiple users such as a shared folder, or an application front-end for updating information like sales data. This is a cost effective way of using thin clients with minimal software overhead and cost.
- Thin clients can be used remotely by workers working from branch offices or even working from home without compromising their user experience. Thin client devices use less network bandwidth than desktop computers and laptops, allowing them to operate more efficiently across remote internet connections.
- Thin clients are great for cloud based desktops as they use minimal bandwidth, allowing faster connections. Even greater cost savings from the combined savings from using the cloud and thin clients are achievable.
What’s the advantage of using a Thin Client compared to a Thick Client?
A thin client, as opposed to a thick client (also known as a fat client), is an excellent choice for businesses and agencies in all fields of endeavor. A ‘thick client’ is what most people would consider to be a ‘regular’ computer, that processes all of the data and runs all of its applications within its own framework.
The thin client functions remotely, saving you space and processing power.
Problems with a Thick Client.
The obvious benefit of a thick client is that you can operate independently of a central server, however, if you are operating a multi-personnel business it makes more sense to transfer to a thin client setup. This will give you greater control of your operations and keep sensitive information safe.
Using a thick client system leaves you more open to hackers with multiple points of entry. It also limits your abilities to manage your employees and will cost you far more money to maintain.
If you use a thick client system you will end up wasting huge amounts of processing power, which can be better utilized in a more collective model, such as the thin client.
The Green Economy and the Wasted Power of a Thick Client.
A thick client is not always the best choice for businesses, particularly if they employ many people, because they use a great deal of power to run and are not always very efficient. Using a thick client system will leave you wasting huge amounts of energy which will cost you dearly on the bottom line.
Transferring to a thin client system will help your business to become more green and environmentally friendly. This will not only save you money but also boost your brand if you can show to customers or clients that you are doing everything you can to help in the battle against climate change.
What are its primary uses?
The thin client is a way that you can use applications, data and store memory on a remote server. This allows you to save on space and processing power in your own location and instead utilize a central server for the operational functionality that you need to thrive.
Who is it good for ?
A thin client setup is a fantastic option for businesses both small and large. It’s not an ideal or necessary option for individual users, although if you have sensitive data and want a higher level of protection you can make arrangements to operate using a thin client to help to secure your information, financial details and business operational planning.
The Thin Client is the way of the Future.
Whether you are setting up a new business operation or considering transferring your day to day functionality onto a thin client system, the benefits that you could utilize are enormous.
Not only will you save money from day one but the benefits are cumulative which will continue to stack up over time. You can better manage your security, protect your sensitive data and easily control the access of your employees and team members.
As the global economy becomes more green and there is more of an emphasis on the cost of energy, the thin client will help position you to thrive into the future.