How to use thin clients in your business

Security is often a concern when businesses look at thin clients for the first time. Attaching a number of terminals that are office based and perhaps also mobile to their network and servers can seem like a security nightmare.

The reality is that each thin client can be made highly secure. Users can simply use passwords to access their terminals, but more secure systems can be used including smart cards, which can either be inserted into the thin client before a password is entered or give a unique one-off code that needs to be typed in to access the device. This two-factor authentication gives an extra layer of security ensures that only authorised users can access a thin client and your servers.

Performance counts

Of course the performance of your business' PCs is of paramount importance. The technology used in your company should be efficient and allow your employees to carry out their day-to-day duties with ease. Thin clients will connect to what are called 'virtual desktops' which are really just a space reserved for them on your business' servers.

The user of the thin client sees their own particular desktop environment just as if this was stored on a hard drive in their computer. The beauty of virtualisation is that the user can use any thin client at your business' premises, or even via a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet (which could even be their own device making Bring Your Own Device BYOD possible rather than a pipedream), and regardless of the device they will always see their personal desktop. Additionally they have access to the full power of their applications, no matter what the screen size or the processing power of the device they're working on.

One of the fundamental components of a good thin client installation is to ensure that the network these PCs will connect to is fast enough, and the servers that will power the desktops can handle the load. Consider your business' existing set up and if this will need upgrading to ensure that the thin clients you move to perform efficiently.

A thin client set up for your business is ideal if:

  • You use standard office applications on your existing desktops.
  • Your business already has a high-speed network.
  • Employees are highly mobile and often work outside of your offices.
  • Your business is approaching the time to replace existing desktop PCs.
  • Your business wants to reduce costs by moving to cloud-based services.

The need for expensive traditional desktop PCs has been reducing rapidly over the last few years. As more business is conducted on the move, workers are spending less time at their desks. And when they are at their desks, they want to use more cloud and network based applications with colleagues, as collaboration is now a watchword in today's successful businesses. Thin clients can remove much of the cost associated with traditional desktops – something that's highly attractive to any business.