IT budgets are continually tightening, and starting to install thin clients may seem a perfect solution for low-cost desktop systems for user with aging PCs, if you want to maximize ROI and reduce TCO, but there are some cons to thin client solutions, and they may not be ideal for every environment or enterprise.
Is a thin client environment correct for your enterprise? We can give your company the hones and unbiased answer and advice you need. It is likely that a combination of thin clients and PCs will be the best solution for you, but allow us to consult with you before you make any decisions. Contact Us
A top-of-the-line computer has become the new status symbol in today's business environment, so obviously users will be reluctant to switch to thin clients, where they will have less control. Access to CD and floppy drives are virtually nonexistent on thin clients, although there are ways around that. Things like personal software and screensavers may be great for employee relations, but they are a burden on productivity and a route for computer viruses and worms.
Users will definitely miss the familiarity and power that their PC provided. Some will claim they are power users and require a high-end PC to perform their job function. Commitment to a thin client environment requires support from the top management on down.
The thin client approach to computing, of course requires additional memory, I/O, and processing power on the server. You are shifting a great majority of the computing power from the users' PCs to your server. Your server must be tuned and optimized to achieve maximum benefit from this solution.
A thin client computing approach involves an almost complete change in thinking. The IT staff must be highly proficient in the Winterm software for your thin client environment to succeed and achieve ROI. Your staff should be qualified to react quickly to issues and problems that are occuring with your applications. Managing server resources correctly is necessary to prevent issues as well.
Not all environments will work well with thin clients. For example, many high-performance computing environments that are graphics-intensive, like CAD and DTP engineering, will stretch your network's resources with the continual screen refreshes they require. It is important to remember that in a thin client environment, all processing and KBM refreshes are done at the server and transferred across the network. If object linking and embedding are required by the user, it would be advisable to keep the user on a PC at all costs.
In almost every environment, there will inevitably be power users that require high computing power to perform their job functions. For example, engineers and graphic designers usually require a top-of-the-line PC to perform their jobs, and although a thin client solution for these users is possible with a limited number of sessions-per-user, it is not advisable.
Usually, thin client deployment starts by providing employees who perform data entry almost exclusively, with thin clients, and moving up the ladder in terms of computing needs. North American Systems can help you determine exactly which hybrid environment will work best for your company to reduce TCO and maximize ROI of your project.
Servers must be ready to provide a high level of availability for your users, because downtime is much more costly in a thin client environment. With a fat client environment, even though the network may be down and users may not have access to your company's applications, they are still able to perform some computing tasks, like composing Word documents and such.
In a thin client environment, when the central server goes down, so do the users with thin clients. There is no work, or such a limited amount of work you can perform on a thin client when the server is down, that keeping the server available is much more important than in a fat client environment. Your staff must be ready to react quickly to server issues and failures, or else unplanned downtime will eat up any savings you have gained from migration to a thin client environment.
Basically, legacy applications are not recommended for use in a thin client environment. They often need retooling to be functional with thin clients.