Small Business IT Decision: Zero Versus Thin Client


Your choice in network infrastructure comes down to one question: do you need to take advantage of numerous protocols (ie. ICA, RDP, PCoIP, Web, etc.)?

If the answer is either “No,” or “I don’t know,” then a Zero Client is probably for you. Here is why:

Need-to-Know Definitions of Zero and Thin Clients

A client is simply a workstation that is connected to your network server, which receives and sends information to the server. Through their workstations, employees access files and applications, look at data and make changes to that data. Then they close everything at the end of the day and go home.

Thin clients are essentially computers without hard drives. The server sends the thin client the data your employee needs. The thin client processes that data and then sends it back to the server. To process, thin clients use an embedded Operating System (like Windows 7 or other User Interfaces), but the data is stored securely in the server.

Zero clients do not bring anything to the table at all, not even the user interface. They are essentially touchpoints. Employees access everything directly from the server, itself, from data to applications and processing power.

VMWare and Teradici have harnessed the potential of this setup for a few years. Their innovations have gained a substantial edge over thin clients in key areas.

Easier to Maintain, More Powerful, Convenient and Secure

Small and mid-sized businesses often prefer zero clients for their easy maintenance and lower energy consumption, but the advantages delve far deeper. Zero clients are compatible with all plug-in USB devices. Because everything occurs in the server itself – from processing to data storage – zero client environments are more secure, and CPU resources can be sent where they are needed most. This results in an effective increase in computing power.

VMWare and Teradici are the gold standard for Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI), and their price points are now within reach of small and mid-sized businesses. To see how we can integrate VDI with your current infrastructure, give us a call or come back next week for our article, “Why VMWare Is the Best Choice for Virtualization.” We will describe in more detail some of the advantages described above.