Welcome to the third lesson of #Praim4Beginners, the series of articles which returns to some of the fundamentals of Thin Client computing.

In the first lesson we talked about Thin Clients and in the second one about Zero Clients. This article will explain the options from Praim for integrating existing hardware into a managed VDI endpoint installation.

The benefits for deploying server-based desktops as either shared desktop or as a VDI is well known and understood. Using dedicated Thin Clients to connect to these environments also is well established and the benefits are well documented. When migrating from a traditional PC desktop infrastructure, the additional cost of replacing the existing hardware with Thin Clients can make for difficult justification. This is why repurposing is proving a popular choice as it combined the benefits of using Thin Client firmware with existing hardware and also extending the life of the existing devices by using a “lightweight” operating system.

Praim provide 2 different repurposing methods: complete operating system replacement with ThinOX4PC or retaining Windows but adding a management, security and lockdown layer through Agile4PC. Both solutions work with ThinMan for complete centralised management and are based on existing Praim technologies. ThinOX4PC is a development from ThinOX which is used on Praim Thin Clients and Zero Clients, while Agile4PC is the management layer which is part of the Praim Windows Embedded Thin Client solution.

When repurposing with ThinOX4PC, the original endpoint has all existing software, operating system and partitions erased and the new firmware is installed complete with the required client connection software. This can be deployed through a USB drive or by using PXE, and providing the ThinMan server has an already prepared policy and profile to be deployed, it will finish installing as a ready to use “Thin Client”

With Agile4PC, how much of the original PCs operating system is retained is optional. Agile4PC will install over an existing desktop, or as part of a desktop refresh. Agile4PC will also require the server connection software to be installed if connecting to Citrix or VMware. If an existing configuration for Agile4PC exists, then the device will automatically configure itself on its initial boot. Furthermore, this configuration can be shared with Agile configured Windows Embedded Thin Clients.

Which solution is used is a matter of preference as these are amongst the products that Praim can provide to ensure a perfect endpoint solution, including Thin Clients, Zero Clients, Management and security additions.