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Thin Client Noob

By Laban M ·
I am an IT Administrator at a small company of less than 50 employees. We are getting to the point where we need to upgrade our desktops. I was thinking about doing thin clients instead of a PC at every desk. We have 2 branch locations in addition to our HQ. I have no experience with thin clients at all. Does anyone have any good info that I could look at to learn more about a thin client solution? What sort of network bandwidth would be needed between the branch locations and the HQ. There are no servers at the branches.

Any help at all would be great!!


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Thin Clients

by robo_dev In reply to Thin Client Noob

HP also is a big maker of these. >search on thin clients

In general, the issue you face with thin clients is that you are now 100% dependent on the network.

If the branch locations are connected via a very fast, low latency private network circuit, then thin clients will be fine.

If the branches depend upon a site-to-site VPN, or some other connection, then a remote thin client user would not be happy. Just like with VOIP, variations in latency will be be a big deal to the remote users, and of course if the WAN connection drops, your branch users are all staring at blank screens.

Back when a PC cost $1500, thin clients were all the rage. But now when a cheap PC costs $400 and a thin client costs $400, the economics of thin clients do not make as much sense.

For point-of-sale installs, hospitality check-in, or hospital check-in terminals, thin clients work well. HOWEVER, in most of the installs I've seen, there is a server of some sort on the LAN.

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All of the installs that I've been involved with

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Thin Clients

In any manner at all, all utilize a truly powerful Blade Server ranging up to a 2K CPU Blade for a smallish Real Estate Office.

Anything saved on the Thin Clients is more than sucked up with the Huge Servers involved.


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If you're already in the cloud

by NickNielsen In reply to Thin Client Noob

Thin clients are a consideration. All you need locally are the OS and browser. Otherwise, stick with low-cost desktops.

Thin clients rely on the server and network for both application provision and data access/storage. You may find yourself spending any money saved on the TC hardware itself on the support hardware and infrastructure.

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Branch office networks

by Laban M In reply to If you're already in the ...

I have 1 branch on a T1 with about 8 PCs and the other is on a 8Mb business class cable connection with 4 PCs. Would this be suitable for thin clients?

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My first inclination is to say no

by NickNielsen In reply to Branch office networks

At least not in-house. I don't think you'll be able to do it economically with that small a system. If you are bound and determined to go with thin clients, research external server providers.

If you haven't followed the links provided by RoboDev, I'd suggest doing that first to research the requirements for an effective thin client system. Then discuss your needs with somebody from both HP and Wyse. You may find that your requirements will limit the number of thin clients you can install; you may also find that HP's $199 bottom-line model is all you need.

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