Whether you use Microsoft’s Terminal Server, Citrix Xen, or solutions from VMware, thin client computing can save a lot of money for many organizations. Even if you initially invest a little more, the technology often pays you back fast.
In case you are not aware, the concept of thin client computing is that the terminal in front of your users is not necessarily a huge robust machine constantly loaded with all the software a specific user needs to do their work. The idea is to have a main server, or farm of servers, that serve the programs out to the remote thin clients. Sound like the days of IBM AS-400, System 36, and VAX computers? It is. In addition, there are many benefits.
You can often save money on licensing fees, remote support becomes so much easier, deploying patches and controlling end users is much less labor intensive and is more effective, and there are great security benefits. Backups are a breeze since they are stored at the servers. Disaster Recovery Plans and Business Continuity Planning can be much easier when using thin client technology.
For that matter, your end users can use just about any device they want. I use Citrix from my PC’s using XP, Windows 7, my Macs, and even my iPhone. One of my clients is saving a ton of money – they have not had to replace a single thin client in more than 10 years – that is cost savings!
The one drawback is that you may need internet connectivity to work, but the internet is even available on many airplane flights these days.
Look into thin client computing. If it seems appealing, set up a trial run for a few users to see how well it works for you. Just be sure whoever sets up your environment is a qualified professional so they do it the right way!