What are thin client OS and what can they do for your company?

2019-07-23T11:39:31+02:00July 22nd, 2019|

A great deal of the functionality and features afforded by today’s virtual desktop infrastructure is a result of the thin client OS running on the VDI thin clients. The end point operating system drives the features and functionality for the VDI platform that allows your end users to consume their virtual desktop workloads. Having a fully featured and capable thin client OS gives you as a business various options for end user client connectivity and the devices and operating systems they are connecting from.

Let’s take a look at what is a thin client OS and see an example of a powerful thin client OS with Praim’s ThinOX products.

What are thin clients?

Before delving further into what is a thin client OS, let’s take a step back and discuss what a thin client is in general.

A thin client is the end user device that allows connectivity to a backend virtual desktop infrastructure system such as VMware’s Horizon VDI where the processing tasks are mainly taken care of in the backend VDI server. The thin client serves as a virtual desktop for accessing the VDI infrastructure. This is different from a “fat client” since the processing with a fat client takes place all in the client hardware.

It does this by using very efficient and lean connectivity protocols that allow very lean network communication from the end user virtual desktop client back to the VDI infrastructure server(s) hosting the resources that are performing the compute and processing for the end user virtual desktop client.

VDI infrastructure provides many benefits that can be extremely appealing to your business such as enhanced security benefits for both internal and remote employees as well as centralized management over end user computing. Taking it a step further, the underlying software that allows thin clients to operate with expected features and functionality is the thin client OS.

What is a thin client OS?

The thin client OS is the underlying thin client operating system that allows the thin client to connect to and provide the underlying features to the end user accessing the virtual desktop infrastructure. This is an important component of the overall VDI infrastructure. 

Today, the thin client OS is becoming more capable and flexible than ever before. Thin client OS’es allow you to “decouple” the thin client OS software from the underlying hardware.  In essence with the thin client OS can be loaded on relatively any device to provide the functionality to allow an end user client to access a VDI environment for business productivity.

What functionality should your organization look for in a modern thin client OS that provides the functionality needed for today’s business needs. What might this include?

  • Ability to convert multiple devices into thin clients even if the devises are “fat clients” with their own OS
  • Able to support secure authentication mechanisms such as touch cards and multi-factor
  • Centralized management
  • Support for multiple virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technologies.
  • Enterprise grade security

Praim ThinOX4PC – Powerful thin client OS

A great example of a modern thin client OS is Praim ThinOX4PC. It effectively turns your compatible devices, regardless of age, into powerful thin client devices. It includes features that allow you to have the tools and capabilities needed for all your VDI thin clients accessing the backend VDI environment.

A few examples of the features you gain by using Praim’s ThinOX4PC as a thin client OS include:

  • Turn PCs/workstations or third-party thin clients into secure thin clients
  • Allows extending the life of older desktop hardware
  • Compatibility with Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, and many other cloud environments
  • Thin Linux-based installation
  • Blocks disk writing for immunity to viruses and other malware
  • Centralized management using ThinMan management console
  • Monitoring and updating of thin clients from ThinMan
  • Wake on LAN
  • Schedule tasks and other activities

Praim ThinOX4PC thin client OS Installation Options

The great thing about the Praim ThinOX4PC solution is that it allows you to either install the solution on disk for a persistent installation of the thin client OS or you can write ThinOX4PC to a Live USB boot disk.

Booting ThinOX4PC from a Live USB key

 

The USB key method will allow effectively having any PC that you want to temporarily transform into a thin client device running the ThinOX4PC thin OS solution, easily configured.

Older devices that would simply be recycled can potentially be turned into thin client devices which helps to greatly extend the value of hardware that can still provide purpose and utility value to your organization.

Thin client OS Centralized Management with Praim ThinMan

Adding in ThinMan Server on top of the ThinOX4PC solution greatly extends the power of the ThinOX4PC thin client OS. With ThinMan you can control, remotely manage and automate any operation on ThinOX4PC devices. This includes everything from powering on endpoints, software recovery, monitoring, updating, and logging in for remote tech support.

As already mentioned, the Praim ThinOX4PC solution prevents writes to the local hard disk to eliminate the possibility of malware on in your thin client OS. In addition to those features, in conjunction with Agile4PC which is a component of the Praim solution that helps to unify the UI of your thin client devices, you can enable ThinMan Smart Identity, the multi-factor authentication to authenticate users to the Praim ThinOX4PC thin client OS device.

Praim Smart Identity Smart Token and Multi-factor authentication

Wrapping Up

What is a thin client OS? In today’s complex VDI environments, thin client OS enabled devices are abstracted from the hardware in the sense that the software isn’t tied to a particular model or type of device. It allows transforming various devices into powerful VDI thin clients.

A great example of this is the Praim ThinOX4PC solution. With ThinOX4PC, you can unlock powerful thin client OS features on a number of different kinds of devices including native thin clients, PCs/workstations, and even Raspberry Pi devices. ThinOX4PC allows greatly extending the value of older hardware by allowing transforming older devices into thin clients. With ThinMan Server you can centrally manage any and all ThinOX4PC devices.

Check out Praim’s ThinOX4PC solution and download a free trial.