What is thin client system ? As per definition from Wikipedia :
A thin client, sometimes also called a lean client, is a computer (client) in client-server architecture networks which depends primarily on the central server for processing activities. The word "thin" refers to the small boot image which such clients typically require - perhaps no more than required to connect to a network and start up a dedicated web browser or "Remote Desktop" connection such as X11, Citrix ICA, Microsoft RDP or Nomachine NX. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client)
Thin Client can be run through various way, such as :
- As an application/program. An application is running directly through thin client system. Maybe just a shortcut on user computer, and it runs directly program/application on the server.
- As a new Logon Session (Thin Client System). If you have operating system, this software connect to a server and it will show up a new login session as if you are logon directly. The difference with application above, you are interactively manage through the desktop, so you could open and runs any program permitted.
- Computer with thin client. Operating System usually installed in device/CPU. OS installed also has limited driver/application/services. Then the only program launched on the first time from booting is thin client system.
- Device running a thin client system. A device running only with thin client system, no OS loaded, thus minimized load and connecting time. In here, no OS term, is known as boot image.
What is the advantages for my network ?
- Managed centrally
- Lower IT admin costs.
- Easier to secure.
- Lower hardware costs.
- Lower Energy Consumption.
- Worthless to most thieves.
- Hostile Environments.
- Less network bandwidth.
- More efficient use of resources.
- Simple hardware upgrade path.
The requirement is simple. You need only human interface device (mouse-keyboard), and off course monitor. Thin client solution, will determined type of CPU/computer installed. Whether you need full capacity computer or you need only device with boot image, it all depend on your choice. The absolute factor in thin client is a very reliable infrastructure of networking. You will need 100 mbps speed but with no intermittent problem. But 10 mbps speed is already enough for standard office load.
Can I use it for my company ?
Sure, why not ? Thin client system, primarily designed for corporate environment. Take a look of advantages above, it surely give you a clue where this solution comes from. Also, I already test and run this system for about 10 client and it works great. No real problem on local network. Some of my friend still run about 30 user for his IT environment.
Could I run through my WAN / Internet ?
Why not. My thin application runs as far as US. Main application's server that I used daily is located in Singapore. It is proven to be able to work on enterprise scale.
Can I used it for my critical application ?
Hard to answer... It is used by many multi national company to runs their financial application, due to capability to save user session. User will be able to login again, and restore their last session after network failover (congestion, drop, etc). Also, thin client system usually used to establish connection to countries with limited network infrastructure, such as Indonesia. In this situation, all processing & data center located on regional office and data entry can be done through thin system.
Can I know the technology vendor of this system ?
Micrososft through RDP (remote desktop protocol) & Citrix technology are main provider of thin client software/application. Some device vendor can be searched through search engine.