Thin client computing might seem like a relic of the past decade, eclipsed by a new wave of mobile devices. But Tom Flynn, chief technologist for thin computing at HP, begs to differ.
In this week's New Tech Forum, Flynn debunks five common myths about thin client computing today and touts the improved capabilities of modern thin client systems. If you haven't considered thin client computing recently, Flynn thinks it might be time for another look. -- Paul Venezia
5 misconceptions about thin clients
Contrary to popular belief, the thin client market is growing. With companies like HP selling more than 1 million thin client devices each year to hospitals, libraries, government agencies, and retail stores, you have to wonder why misconceptions linger about these devices.
Thin clients have been around for decades. In the past, the thin client itself had practically no computational power. Yet in recent years, thin clients have become fully functional terminals, nearly indistinguishable from a standard PC in terms of performance. And the growth of thin client solutions has exploded across companies with BYOD programs, enhanced security, and alternative computing options.
Although we're in an era of thin client innovation, concerns continue to surface regarding their reliability, power consumption, and ease-of-use. I still hear questions about their relevance for business. It's time to dispel the myths about their performance, total cost of ownership, and security once and for all.
1. Thin clients are the dinosaurs of client computing and suffer a slow adoption rate
Thin clients have evolved and adapted to the changing market landscape. According to IDC, more than 5 million thin client units are expected to ship in 2013.
Prior to the creation of VDI technology, thin clients were isolated to specific markets such as call centers and task workers. But over the past five years, VDI has accelerated the adoption of thin clients by changing the core problem: user experience. Based on the most advanced technology, thin client solutions can now access a device and server infrastructure that provides a seamless desktop experience. On the back end, storage vendors provide a dramatic increase in IOPS, while virtualization technologies from Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware provide the means to deliver the desktop to the client. These are enhanced protocols, including Microsoft RFX, Citrix HDX suite, and VMware PCoIP.