Hardware virtualization is an increasingly popular trend in the workplace, and it’s easy to see why. However, another viable option to save on electricity and operation costs presents itself with thin clients. With the advent of virtual desktops, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of thin clients in the office, but are they right for your business?
For those unfamiliar with thin clients, they are basically desktop terminals without the hard drive. The first thing you might say is that these sound pretty useless, but in terms of saving on electricity and office space, they are preferable to your bulky desktops and workstations. Thin clients don’t have any data stored locally on them; instead, anything they need can be called directly from the server which the thin client is connected to. This can include accessing mission-critical applications and company data necessary for a productive workday.
These devices are particularly useful around college campuses and public places like libraries, but recently, they’ve made their way into the private sector. Most thin clients you encounter will only be using a graphics interface. Everything else is called directly from the server itself. Businesses that take advantage of cloud solutions find thin clients particularly useful, since all they need to function properly is their preferred web browser.
Thin clients are an appealing choice for small and medium-sized businesses, and here are three reasons why.
Fewer Operating Costs for Thin Clients
The full-fledged workstation is well-known for how much electricity it consumes, and thin clients are able to lessen this expense. Thanks to the thin client deriving all of its computing power from the server, the strain is taken off of the machine itself, and it doesn’t require nearly as much energy to operate.
Of course, this can put a ton of strain on the server, and they’re known to use up a significant amount of energy. Servers produce an excessive amount of heat, so much that businesses often integrate a controlled, air-conditioned environment for their server rooms to ensure the machines don’t overheat. This can contribute to higher energy costs, and moving these servers to the cloud can result in much lower energy expenses. XFER would be happy to assist you with the server virtualization process.
Single Point of Failure
While this is certainly a benefit of thin clients, it can also work against it in the event of a disaster. Since the server is the primary means for a thin client to access applications and other information, an issue with the server could lead to extended downtime for your entire data infrastructure. On the other hand, the thin client doesn’t need the heavy-duty security features that a workstation would require. In other words, the server is the only thing which needs software-level protection, since everything is stored on the server.
Security of your IT infrastructure is one of XFER’s specialties. With our Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution, you can keep threats out of your network and neutralize those that do appear. Our Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution is a spectacular way to prevent server downtime caused by the unexpected hardware failure or natural disaster. In fact, our BDR can take the place of your server in case it goes down, giving you ample time to resolve the issue while maintaining operations.
Flexibility and Scalability
One of the best parts of using a thin client is that they are exceptionally easy to integrate into a growing IT infrastructure. If you find your business is experiencing a ton of growth, you will need more workstations for your expanding workforce. Fully integrating a workstation takes a lot more effort than plugging in a new thin client. Workstations require you to set up all of the software required for an employee to perform their everyday tasks, but a thin client simply calls all of this information from the server, making it a much simpler process.
Thin clients are also much cheaper than the average workstation, and can be replaced in a pinch if the hardware is inoperable. The risks associated with breaking your budget are lessened, making malware and theft not as big of a concern. Of course, it’s still important to take preventative action against the slightest IT issue, but thin clients offer you some breathing room for error.
XFER understands how to determine the costs and the benefits of your technology needs, and we understand the risks involved with purchasing new technology. If you’re going to make a big change in your IT infrastructure, we can provide you with a free consultation to help you get started the right way. For more information about managed IT services from XFER, give us a call at 734-927-6666 / 800-438-9337.