What Is Thin Client Computing?

What Is Thin Client Computing?

The term thin client aka slim or lean client stands for a lightweight computer designed to establish a remote connection with server-based computers. It is a networked computer that contains some locally stored programs and depends heavily on network resources. Thin client computing systems are the components of a larger computing architecture. These computers possess very fewer resources of their own such as conducting operations without CD-DVD and auxiliary drives or software apps. The hardware of a such computers has low-cost and has very few moving parts. As compared to rich or fat client computers, thin client functions well in a hostile environment. However, in terms of extensibility, thin-client computers lag behind desktop PCs. 

Thin client image
Image credits : Wikimedia commons

What are the Characteristics of a Thin Client?

1. Simplicity

Simplicity is one of the important features of thin client computing. These computers reduce the footprint of client-side software thereby simplifying the desktop endpoints. Because of the lightweight feature, there is a reduction in the read-only operating system, administration, and client-side setup. Since cloud access is the main role of thin clients, there is the elimination of data storage and local user applications. 

2. Graphics

The latest thin client computing services are meeting the demands of today’s graphical computing requirements. The combination of low energy chipset and Central Processing Unit increases the graphical capabilities and processing power. 

3. Hardware

As compared to a traditional PC, the client hardware needs of a thin computing system are very less. Many thin clients are comprised of minimal or no moving parts, less memory, and low energy processors. Also, there is less risk of theft in these computers as they don’t store sensitive data locally.

What are the Uses of Thin Clients?

Thin clients are typically used in 3 ways:

  • Shared Terminal Services

Shared terminal services, the users at thin client stations that can share server-based apps and OS (operating system). The users via share terminal services have limited tasks such as, creating folders and running IT applications. 

  • Desktop Virtualization

Also known as UI processing, in desktop virtualization, each desktop lives in a virtual machine. Although the OS and apps are not shared resources, they are visibly present on a remote server. 

  • Using Browser-Based Approach

Using Browser-based approach with a thin client, when an ordinary device is connected to the internet, instead on a remote server, the device functions within a website browser.

Saurabh Kumar

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