Thin Client: even its name reminds us of something light, simple, but at the same time useful and alternative. The thin client, in certain contexts, turns out to be the right choice, the secure and economical alternative to a PC, but do we really know which one to choose? And do we know if its adoption in our company is the right choice?

In this article, we present and answer these and other questions that usually those who find themselves having to allocate budget ask themselves (or should ask!). We list the most common ones, those that certainly deserve to be considered before investing in an infrastructure change.

  • What’s the difference between a thin client and a PC?

We have already answered this question in this article, but, summing up, we can say that the differences lie in energy consumption, performance, durability. Where a thin client is adoptable, this device is capable of consuming five times less power than a PC and lasting up to five times longer. Having no moving parts (fans, discs, etc.) it also offers another advantage: that of not moving dust or creating heating in the environment where it is installed.

  • When is it possible to adopt Thin Clients instead of PCs?

Usually, the adoption of thin clients is subordinated to a virtualized infrastructure. This is because the thin client , not being equipped with a flash disk, doesn’t save anything on it. It’s therefore not possible to install applications and resources, which, in fact, remain virtual. The thin client can be seen as a mere access point to a Citrix or VMware environment, with its own operating system capable of blocking writing to the disk and thus making the device itself more secure.

  • How much does a thin client consume?

It depends a lot on the performance that is required, there are many types of thin clients, from the most basic to the most performing one, up to the All-in-One. If we take for example a mid-range thin client for office applications, the consumption during operation is around 5/6W; for an All-in-one it can reach 25/30W.

  • If I don’t have a virtualized infrastructure, can I still create thin client workstations?

Although the thin client is specifically designed to work with virtualized resources, there are possible stand-alone applications, such as, for example, kiosks or industrial applications; whether they use a connection to open a browser application or work in a terminal server. In these cases, however, the centralized and remote management of devices, another strong point of these technologies, is lacking.

  • How do I calculate the economic savings by adopting thin clients  instead of PCs?

In different ways. For example, think of having 200 workstations to cover. If you calculate the so-called TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), you must consider both the investment in hardware (let’s say that they are all office applications without particular performance requirements): an entry-level PC costs about one and a half times an entry-level thin client, so 200 thin clients would be the equivalent of 133 PCs.
Furthermore, the power consumption must be considered, remembering however that an entry-level thin client consumes about 5 times less than an entry-level PC (screens excluded). So 200 thin clients will consume like 40 PCs. At the end of the year, the savings will be truly substantial and the more the number of workstations increases, the greater the savings are.

  • Is a thin client a secure device?

One of the strengths of a thin client is precisely that of being able to actively contribute to the company’s IT security. This is because the thin client does not allow writing to disk, thus avoiding possible intentional or unintentional malicious actions and preserving the workstation, also thanks to security options and peripherals policies set on the operating system. Obviously, these precautions will never be sufficient to guarantee immunity from cyber attacks, the best solution is always to adopt a complete and well-designed cybersecurity strategy, also thanks to specific vendors in this area.

  • Is it possible to update the firmware of a thin client and how?

It’s always possible to update the firmware of a thin client and, basically, there are two ways to do it: directly on the device or through a centralized management console.
The first case, if you have large installations of thin clients, can undoubtedly become an expensive problem, also in terms of time and energy. The second case is the ideal one, with a few simple clicks you can update the firmware of all thin clients in a controlled and automated way and, above all, from the comfort of your office: Praim provides the ThinMan management console, the ideal ally for dedicating resources to the right and profitable activities!