The idea of a thin client is that the computing power for the programmes used is done on a terminal server and the client computer is only responsible for the visualisation. This allows a thin client to be reduced to the bare essentials. It only functions as an interface to the server. Consequently, a thin client is equipped with considerably less RAM and smaller SSDs than one is used to from full-fledged PCs. Terminal software, e.g. from Microsoft or Citrix, is installed on the server. In this way, the operating system of a thin client can also be significantly slimmed down.
The Benefits of Thin Clients
Although a thin client only functions as an interface to the terminal server, the peripheral devices connected in the network, such as printers, can be controlled from each thin client. A first benefit compared to installing full PCs at each workstation is the lower price of thin clients. Less RAM, smaller SSDs and less powerful processors mean lower hardware costs. Thin clients also consume less energy and are usually in use much longer than conventional PCs. This saves on electricity and replacement costs.
The maintenance requirement is lower with a terminal server thin client system. Software updates or new programmes can be installed centrally and are then immediately available to all clients. The entire system can be scaled very well. New workplaces can be created and set up much more quickly.
Where exactly a thin client ends and a fat client or full-fledged computer begins is not precisely defined. Especially when the applications are mixed with the requirements of a (thick) edge client. In many edge client use cases, it is necessary for the computer to be able to perform calculations independently and store data at least temporarily on its own SSD. For example, in applications where a constant network connection is not possible or calculations must be performed at the point of measurement with minimal latency.
High-performance Thin Clients
That is why there are high-performance thin clients, although, at first glance, this seems to be a contradiction. These devices are used in typical thin or edge client use cases but require significantly more computing power and sometimes more storage space.
On 25 August 2021, Prime Computer will present a new mini PC that can be used as a high-performance thin client. The computing power is at an office PC level. The smallest standard configuration is equipped with a thin client typical 4GB RAM and an 8GB SSD. An economical thin client for applications with high computing power requirements. The largest standard configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage can function as a performance edge client. Both computing power and a sufficiently large temporary storage are available. More information about our latest product will be available on the Prime Computer website from 25.08.2021.