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"Thin Clients" to replace the "PC" ?

By ggwbm ·
We all know that the "Thin Client" and Citrix" technology certainly offers many benefits to an enterprise in terms of TCO from initial cash outlay to support. However, can that technology fully support the enterprise today? While it is true that those costs are reduced, what happens to that cost when you factor in server outages, carrier problems, etc. You are pretty much dead in the water. What do you think?

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PC's are sticking around.

by DukeBytes In reply to "Thin Clients" to replace ...

Thin clients are GREAT - for a very specific application that makes good sense to set it up that way. Other wise they are just not good enough for the average user.

Just take a look at the market. How many companies have you been into that have Ipaqs running Citrix and nothing else. Very very few. In fact the only ones that I have seen are telemarketing places - and its a good fit for those guys....

I don't think that TCO has much to do with it at all. In fact I think that TCO is just another market buzz word - but that?s just IMHO. If TCO was so great with Thin Clients - we would all be using them.

You have to think that the backend of this is one BIG A$$ server. You need a very powerful machine to run even 50 people from it. This box would cost $30k +, I know because I've built them :). Then add the cost of Citrix (so you can print!?!) which would be like another $8 to $10k. So if you take the cost of the server/software and split it up 50 ways then add that tothe cost of the machine that the users need to have to connect anyways - you have a pretty good/usable PC. Things are not always as they seem.

Besides the costs - the usability of a thin client falls by a factor of 10 when compared to a normal PC. Unless it is a very good fit ? people will use PC?s over thin clients any day.

The only cost savings that I can see is the upgrading of the application software - only having to do it once on one box.

Don't get me wrong - I love terminal/citrix servers - but they are not right for the job - most of the time.

Duke

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Nice thought

by ggwbm In reply to PC's are sticking around.

You bring good points to the table. But on the flip side, there was a 48% surge in web devices alone for home use last year. Those are based on national sales results. Moreover, the trend seems to be continuing. I see large corporations like IBM andother big players evolving to such a market. Imagine if you will with Microsoft or the AOL's of the world offering a web based desktop that is lower in cost per year than actually owning the software. In addition you would not have to pay for that software to be upgraded. Don't get me wrong, I am a Die Hard PC fanatic. I agree with much of what you have said and see the advantages to both points of view. Thanks!

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Nice thought

by ggwbm In reply to PC's are sticking around.

You bring good points to the table. But on the flip side, there was a 48% surge in web devices alone for home use last year. Those are based on national sales results. Moreover, the trend seems to be continuing. I see large corporations like IBM andother big players evolving to such a market. Imagine if you will with Microsoft or the AOL's of the world offering a web based desktop that is lower in cost per year than actually owning the software. In addition you would not have to pay for that software to be upgraded. Don't get me wrong, I am a Die Hard PC fanatic. I agree with much of what you have said and see the advantages to both points of view. Thanks!

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PC's are here to stay.

by Scorpio256 In reply to "Thin Clients" to replace ...

PC's are here to stay, just in different configurations. Most of the work done in business requires a full PC. Thin clients seek to limit the hardware that workers have access to and make space on the "desk" because of their small footprint. Checkout www.clearcube.com for some new and radicle technology that give you the "feel" of a thin client but the power of a full PC. This should satisfy even those of you concerned with TCO.

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not all are on the same 'upgrade' path!

by shiny_topadm In reply to "Thin Clients" to replace ...

Don't forget that 'thin client' (and expensive server) may be an upgrade path for central mini-computers and dumb terminals. There are still many companies with "order-entry" type apps that really don't need to put a 'full' PC in front of every user. IF correctly matched to the task, a thin client (or even a terminal) might be the fastest, easiest to support, best tool for the job.

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Very good point.

by DukeBytes In reply to not all are on the same ' ...

But I think that you might find that the people who use Mini's and Mainframes are either going to go with terminal emulators on a PC - so that they can have the best of both worlds. Or they will stay with a dumb terminal if nothing else is needed.This is big in a lot of banks - and at the teller line you don't really need outlook, excel or word when your depositing a customers check into an account on the mainframe somewhere and a DT will do just fine - and is faster than most PC apps doing the same thing.

Duke

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Similar costs

by sbowen In reply to "Thin Clients" to replace ...

I did a price comparison and TCO for a client
on just this issue once and found both
solutions to cost about the same.

The reason being, for your users not to take
a performance hit you must have adequate
power at the server level which requires you
to purchase a high dollar server(s) depending
on the amount of users you intend to support.
With regards to support, you still need
desktop technicians for hardware support,
plus you need additional experise on the
server side to administer whichever product
you plan on using.

In my opinion, it is a flip of a coin, but I
would lean toward staying away from thin
client solutions and taking advantage of the
flexability of the PC.

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TCO

by DukeBytes In reply to Similar costs

Very very true. They will always need us geeks around to fix the stuff - even if they don't want us

Like I said b4 - TCO is just a buzz word for PHB's to use in meetings to make them seem like they know what they are talking about. I'm not sure if many companies understands the true cost of the people and eq that they have - **** I'm not sure if I understand all of it - but I bet that I have a better handle on it then they do.

It is actually a BIG oversite of mgmt when it comes to man hours. Most of us are salary so they could care - but it still cost them more in the long run. I have worked on several project here and for the hours that I put it on some of then - I could have bought new hardware and fixed it right away. But they just ignore you and let you work 50+ hours a week and don't worry about it....

Duke

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They have their place, or not

by eBob In reply to "Thin Clients" to replace ...

Every time I hear this discussion, it seems to always take an either/or slant. I think otherwise.

For some situations, thin client is appropriate. For others - not. Each opportunity has to be evaluated on its own merits. Heck, in some cases, I think we ought to put the thinnest client possible out there (i.e., "dumb" terminal).

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