Technical Analysis Of Thin Clients – Light And Flexible Data Sets

Thinclient is a small commercial PC that uses a professional embedded processor, and a simplified OS based on PC industry-standard design.
How a Thin Client works

Table of Contents

Thin client is a small-sized commercial PC that uses a professional embedded processor, small local flash memory, and a simplified operating system based on PC industry-standard design.

The configuration contains professional low power and high computing capabilities of the embedded processor. Non-removable standard input/output options for local flash memory, local system memory, network adapters, graphics cards, and other peripherals used to store the operating system. Thin clients have no removable components, providing a more secure and reliable operating environment, lower power consumption, and higher security than ordinary PCS.

Thin clients use the Linux Compact Wince operating system or the Microsoft Windows Embedded family of operating systems, including Linux Embedded, Microsoft Windows CE.NET and Microsoft Windows XP Embedded Operating systems.

Thin client solutions with high security, high manageability, and low TCO total cost of ownership for industry users; Praim has tailored its server Computing Model (TCSC) computing architecture for large industrial users. Combined with Praim’s thin client, we provide safe, easy-to-use, and low-cost professional solutions for energy, manufacturing, logistics, steel, healthcare, education, and entertainment industries.

1. What makes a thin client “thin”

The concept of “thin client” needs to be understood from two levels: first, the concept of “client” is derived from the early computer applications that comply with the host-to-terminal (C/S) mode, the terminal is only access and input and output device, all the computing needs, and data storage needs need to be met by the host. The concept of “client” illustrates that a thin client follows such a computing application pattern.

The second is “Thin”. Thin-client is the general name of Thin Client. “Thin” refers to the Thin and Thin image of the body. Comparative complete PC system, the thin client usually USES is no need to heat the low-frequency energy consumption of processors, and although some types of thin client the opportunity to have a local store, the hard disk is not used, and in such aspects, as display only meet the basic requirements, a high degree of integration, the ability to scale is little or no.

Thin client is a dedicated server-based computing device, compared with the traditional PC, they are not having hard drives and other storage components, which means that more secure, more stable and longer service life, and lower total cost of ownership, especially suitable for the need to perform a large number of standardized enterprise computing tasks, such as Banks, hospitals, hotels, insurance agents, etc.

2. The Advantages of Thin Client

As a PC with powerful processing functions, the terminal in independent use, whether performance or availability is not worth comparing, but when it is put into the network, can play a role and bring convenience if the PC can not match. Table 1 shows the advantages and disadvantages of these two products in their application schemes.

Application SchemePCThin Client
ManageabilityManageability is strong, the end-user can use all the resources, but also can be strictly managed to use only one or several programs, network management is greatly strengthenedUsers have a large degree of freedom, and user management is mainly through administrative means. Zero management of desktop devices cannot be achieved
Network RequirementsOnly screen changes and mouse and keyboard information are transmitted, so network bandwidth requirements are lowThe network bandwidth is unstable and requires high bandwidth for data exchange
Client Hardware RequirementsIt has low requirements for local hardware and requires good server configurationHigh requirements for hardware, need a powerful processor and memory and hard disk support
Security1. Data does not flow in the network, there is no danger of interception, and the transmitted screen information is highly encrypted;  
2, because there is no internal floppy drive, cd-rom, etc., to prevent the virus from internal damage to the system
1. Data flows in the network and is likely to be intercepted;  
2, the machine has great mobility, the use of malicious machines to provide a better tool for users;  
3, the virus is easy to transmit, the monitoring of the virus is not easy
Upgrade PressureTerminal devices do not suffer from insufficient performance and have low upgrade requirements. Only servers on the entire network need to be upgraded, and the life cycle is 5-10 years, so the upgrade pressure is smallHardware upgrade or obsolescence due to insufficient hardware performance of the machine, the life cycle is 2-3 years, equipment upgrade pressure, network bandwidth upgrade requirements
Rang of ApplicationBusiness application in the network environmentNetwork and non-network environments can be used
Table 1

1) Centralized management, business targeted

In many industry business systems and enterprise management and office systems, users use computers mainly for business-related calculations. The application that the thin client can execute completely depends on the centralized setting of the server. The system administrator can customize the refined and efficient application for the client according to the business needs. Users can only do things related to the business, thus improving work efficiency and strengthening the management of the enterprise.

2) Low cost of management and maintenance, easy system installation, debugging, and upgrade

Thin client is working under the network environment, the running program, the data are concentrated on the server-side, work in this mode, the installation and debugging of the whole system, management, maintenance, upgrade by the system administrator on the server-side implementation, the client only need to do a few management, maintenance, application system upgrade has nothing to do with the client, The system administrator can control the entire network system at any point. This helps system administrators quickly complete the installation, debugging, upgrade, and maintenance of information systems, greatly saving the deployment time of information systems, reducing human resource costs and management costs, and improving management efficiency.

3) Break the hardware and software cycle

Because thin-client computing is largely supported by later powerful servers, businesses don’t have to constantly buy or upgrade users’ hardware to run new software.

4) Stable performance, the low failure rate

The thin client uses an integrated system structure design and generally does not configure FDD, CD-ROM, hard disk, and other fragile parts, so as to eliminate the source of viruses and improve the reliability and stability of the system. The local system software of the thin client is designed with embedded technology, so the thin client ensures the stable operation of the system from both hardware and software, and its failure rate is greatly reduced compared with PC.

5) Powerful Function

PC is generally in the local execution of the program, its computing capacity is limited by its own configuration, thin client is the use of the server’s CPU and resources, by the server to complete its computing tasks, so theoretically speaking, thin client computing can reach the server’s computing capacity.

6) High Security

Thin clients are not configured with FDD, CD/DVD-ROM drives, and hard disks. Therefore, users cannot copy or install software into the system, or copy or take away important software and confidential data from the enterprise, effectively protecting the internal system security and information security of the enterprise. In addition, different security levels can be set for different users, and data confidentiality is good, which is very important for information security and e-commerce applications.

7) Saving the software license cost

The vast majority of software running on computers is not legally copyrighted, which is extremely detrimental to the development of the software industry and the protection of intellectual property rights. The software on the thin client server is basically copyrighted and authorized to use, while the thin client as a client does not need to buy or install any software. This will save a considerable amount of money for computer users using legitimate software, and will also greatly promote the development of the entire industry.

8) Green and environmental protection

Thin client adopts fanless, low-power design (maximum operating power is only 23W), effectively reducing noise pollution and energy consumption

9) Effectively reduce the total cost of ownership TCO

Due to the optimization of system management, maintenance, upgrade, expansion, service, and a series of links, enterprises maximize the cost of investment in the system, although the initial investment in the hardware of the system is not significantly reduced, as time goes on, the reduction of system TCO will be more and more obvious.

3. Thin client vs. diskless workstation,

Diskless workstation, “disk” refers to the hard disk. The principle of the diskless workstation is to have a system server in the network, this system server in addition to its own operating system needed to run the operating system also needs to have a workstation to run the required operating system. There is no hard disk in the chassis of the diskless workstation, other hardware is available (such as motherboard, memory, etc.), and the memory of the diskless workstation must come with a bootable chip (generally the network card does not, bootable chips can be bought). The bootable chip on the card retrieves the required data from the system server for the user to use when the diskless workstation boots.

In a nutshell, a diskless workstation actually separates the hard disk from the host computer, and the diskless workstation only performs operations but not storage.

4. Who needs thin clients

With the advent of the era of the global economy, enterprise users increasingly demand information security, reducing the total cost of ownership and other kinds of demand, thin client in the world has emerged a huge market opportunity; In China, the pace of information construction has been accelerated in recent two years, and the security and stability of enterprise network have become the core problems, which also gives birth to the huge market prospect of the domestic thin client.

Thin client is designed for the work-intensive industry and is suitable for the front-end customer design of the industry with relatively simple and unified applications and a large group of users. Thin clients are not recommended for applications such as knowledge workers that require strong local processing and superior storage performance. These knowledge workers typically include engineers, graphic designers, multimedia developers, designers, and some marketing and sales professionals.

Businesses such as hospitals, insurance agencies, airline reservation centers, and hotels that need to connect high-availability computer networks to central servers running mission-critical applications will benefit greatly from the reliability of thin clients.

Businesses that need a network of highly available computers connected to a central server running mission-critical applications can benefit from the reliability of thin clients. Hospitals, insurance agents, air ticket reservation centers, and hotels are typical examples of such businesses.

Enterprises that perform a lot of standardized computing tasks, such as sales or service call centers, data entry departments, or technical support centers, can now significantly reduce costs by deploying thin clients instead of desktops. The computing performance and flexibility of a desktop are usually and will not be required in these environments, and users may load local applications or reconfigure, or even compromise the integrity of the desktop.

Educational institutions and similar organizations often need more computing resources on the basis of increasingly tight budgets. In addition to supporting multiple users on each device, IT departments at universities and schools have to ensure that hundreds of computers are up to date and capable of supporting the latest software. Thin clients can address these challenges in two ways: thin clients have rock-solid, stable structures with no moving parts to support heavy loads; Also, because applications and storage resources usually reside on servers, the latest version of the software is always available to every user.

IT managers at Fortune 1000 companies set tough cost-cutting targets and get a lot of work done each day with few resources. With thin clients, cost savings can be achieved by reducing the number of IT support staff required – they allow network administrators to perform remote software updates rather than deploying them repeatedly on each desktop. In addition, the new thin client is much easier to deploy – typically in less than 15 minutes.

Simple terminals used by enterprises can be upgraded to thin clients to provide a more stable platform for processing E-mail programs (such as Microsoft Outlook 2003) and plain office applications (such as Microsoft Word or Excel). The HP Compaq T5000 Thin Client family offers optional extension options including hard drives, disk drives, or CD-ROM drives, and external MultiBay. Using terminal emulation, thin clients can also access traditional database information.

DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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