Quite simply it is cost.
Way back in the days of Mainframes companies spent a lot of money and that was measured in the 10 of Millions on the Mainframe and thousands of $ on the Terminals.
Compare that to a PC say a 286 which cost the company 10K about the same as an older Terminal and could do it on the Desktop not on a 2.5 Acre Server Farm which had the power of a Commodore Vic 20 of 15 or so years previously.
Back in the Bad Old Days of 1969 the Mainframe which took man to the moon had about as much processing power as a VIC 20. The difference in cost was fantastic and the possibilities of moving powerful PC's onto the Desktop and doing all your processing there was too good to be true.
Then came Microsoft which was not the best platform to do this with but because IBM supplied Microsoft DOS which was a Throw Together to get a OS which previously Microsoft never had or even planned on having.
The IBM PC started the PC Revolution for better or worse but today we are slowly seeing the return to Powerful Servers which we now call Blades and the new version of Dumb Terminals which we call Thin Clients. There are disadvantages just like there where back in the Bad Old Days but with Gigabite Networks and High Speed Broadband they are easier to overcome than they where previously, though cost is still an issue.
Recently I looked at a Real Estate Office here with a HP Blade a very small 10 CPU Unit with 35 Thin Clients in the entire office and it was marginal as to which was cheaper the Blade Setup or PC's on the Desk with a Terminal Server in the closet. What sold that place on the Blade was the cost of maintenance but that was all Fuzzy and Warm to the Owner with Estimates on the savings which have as yet not been realized.
The Initial Upfront costs where far less as they Hire the Blade and everything in the place now but the Monthly Running Costs and Hire Fees are far more than the PC's that this replaced. Over a 5 year period the costs will work out about the same with the advantage/disadvantage of not actually owning any hardware which needs to be disposed of safely. Depends on which side of the fence you sit on with that one if it is an Advantage or Disadvantage.
Though as the Hire Company owns the setup I'm not sure what actually happens to the HDD's in the Blade as they need to be returned with a working OS Installed so I'm guessing that the Hire Company will end up with all of the data as well as the hardware.
Not something that was originally discussed at the time of the Original Hire Contract being sold and here it all depends on how Ethical the Hire Company actually is I suppose.
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