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Home > Products > Thin Client Terminals > Learn about Thin Client Terminals

What is a Thin Client?

Explanations for the thin client beginner, expert and everyone in between.

Beginner's Definition of a Thin Client
In the Middle Definition of a Thin Client
Technical Thin Client Definition

"Enterprise users are unlikely to notice differences in comparing thin clients with a PC platform, but for system managers, those differences are dramatic. Most thin clients lack hard drives and fans, reducing repair costs. In addition, the lack of hard drives ensures that vital data resides on servers. Software upgrades and revisions are easier to deploy, since they can be done from the server, rather than rolled out across multiple PCs.
- excerpted from "Wyse Rides Thin-Client Wave With Two Models" by Ken Popovich 8/19/02

Beginner's Thin Client Definition:

A thin client is a low-cost, centrally-managed computer. IT people love Thin Clients for their simplicity and ease of management. As IT infrastructures become increasingly dense and complex, thin clients offer a simplified, straightforward, low maintenance alternative to PCs.

The idea behind Thin Clients is to be able to fit the capabilities of a computer to the essential applications per workstation. They tend to be purchased and remain "thin" in terms of the client applications they include. However, one workstation can be as "thin" as a dumb terminal/green screen supporting data entry only, while another on the same network can be as "fat" as a PC. These can include a browser, local & Microsoft Windows based applications and Unix based applications, like Word processors, Spreadsheets, Accounting programs, and more from any Web Browser over the Internet or a Corporate Intranet.

Thin Client terminals run a lightweight (but hardworking) operating system (OS) and execute applications delivered over the network. Thin Clients can have far fewer input devices (floppy drives, CD-ROMs, etc) since all data is kept on a central server, rather than on each individual desktop. As a result Thin Clients are much more secure, more flexible, cost much less and require fewer IT resources.

Call us with questions or for a quote. Together we'll decide if Thin Clients are your answer. Call us at 800-457-8499 or 440-953-1119 or email today.

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Still Learning Definition - Not a beginner, but not expert, either Thin Client is simply when you host your applications and data centrally on a server, like the old days of mainframes and text terminals. In fact, mainframe terminals are the original thin clients!

All the real applications of a Thin Client are in a shared server. Application servers are high-powered computers with enough processing power and memory to run applications for all concurrent users.

Today it is possible to run modern Web and Windows™ -based software, as well as Linux and .Net using this time-tested architecture. It is more secure, more manageable, more affordable and more reliable than a client-server architecture where data and applications reside on PCs spread throughout your organization. This is the simple beauty of server-centric computing, which is also referred to as server-based computing or simply SBC.

Client systems range from dumb terminals to mostly autonomous PCs. Thin clients fall in between. Let's compare thin clients to dumb terminals (green screens) and PCs.

Thin Clients

Fat Client

Dumb Terminals / green screens RDP or ICA Terminal Networked computer PC
wired to mainframe or computer Networked to a server Networked to a server Usually networked to a server
Programs originate & execute on one central computer Programs originate & execute on server; graphics execute on desktop Programs originate on server & execute on desktop or server Programs usually originate & execute on desktop, but can originate or execute on server

Cost, complexity & host independence increases => => => => => => =>

Call us with questions or for a quote.

Together we'll decide if Thin Clients are your answer. Call us at 800-457-8499 or 440-953-1119 or email today.

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Technical Definition

All application processing is performed on a shared server or group of servers, not the desktop system. This means that only the screen, keyboard and mouse information are passed to the client desktop system, as if you were remote controlling a Windows session on the Server.

An application server requires system software such as Citrix® MetaFrame™ or Microsoft® Windows 2000™ (or better) to enable processing on the server. These allow connected users to run applications in a shared environment - just as if each had its own "virtual PC" in the server, making the user device simply a keyboard-mouse-video device.

Thin Clients run on and support both RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol (Windows view)) and ICA (CITRIX).

Centralized applications and processing dramatically reduce the need for hands-on maintenance. Upgrades and profiles are set at the server and automatically deployed to every location with a client connection.

A thin-client device consists of a network card, processor, video card, and some local memory. Designed for information access devices, the small, single-chip solution features reduced power consumption, maximum Internet compatibility, and intelligent integration.

Thin Clients are right for you if any of the following are true:

  • you are using standard applications, especially Windows 2000 certified
  • you are not currently running a managed environment
  • our enterprise is very distributed, with many WAN links
  • your LAN requires upgrading
  • your client devices are nearing replacement date

Call us for a quote on the best Thin Client terminal for you.

Together we'll decide if Thin Clients are your answer.Call us at 800-457-8499 or 440-953-1119 or email today.

Choose Vecmar Computer Solutions to install, deploy and support your thin client networks.

Please contact one of our account executives to discuss your specific needs: call 800-457-8499 or 440-953-1119 or email us.

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