Servers & Storage
NETprotocol has many year's experience in implementing thin-client solutions, using both Citrix Winframe // Metaframe // Presentation Server // XenApp // Microsoft Terminal Server and Terminal Services. Our implementations vary widely from small systems, used almost exclusively for high-performance mobile working and remote access, to roll-outs, for large organisations where all users work in a thin-client environment.
Thin-Client computing, also referred to as Thin Client Server based Computing (TCSC), works on a very similar operational model to that of much older computer systems. The basic concept of Thin-Client computing is similar to that of Mainframes and character based Unix computing, where all processing is carried out in a central server, and dumb-terminals were simply a method of input and output, with no local processing or storage ability. The key differences between this and Thin-Client computing are as follows:
- Thin-Client computing uses familiar Windows Interface rather than a character-based terminal
- Multi-Server implementations, using Citrix Presentation Server, can be built to make "Server Farms" where groups of servers are combined together for performance and redundancy
- The Thin-Client servers are not generally the source/store of the data being used; they are simply a method of connecting and running the required applications
- All server hardware, whether it be Thin-Client, Database or File server ,are in the same geographical location
Thin-Client computing works by connecting users, regardless of location, to the server where all the processing takes place, and utilising the device they are connecting from to display output and take input from the keyboard and mouse. In the traditional client-server, implementation data would be sent to each user's PC, where they would work with it and send it back to a server. Due to the centralised processing nature of Thin-Client computing, it has many benefits for organisations.
At present there are two major providers for Thin-Client technology, Microsoft, using the Terminal Services product and Citrix Systems, using the Metaframe product. NETprotocol normally recommends that implementations of Thin-Client technology include the implementation of Citrix Metaframe, as the extended functionality is in-valuable in most cases. There are however cost implications for Citrix Metaframe, and so Microsoft Terminal Services alone can be implemented where budgets are a major concern. NETprotocol at present has Thin-Client implementations, of both types, for organisations from 20 to 350 users.
In addition to the benefits delivered directly by Thin-Client computing, there are additional financial benefits, as Thin-Client devices can be utilised to connect to the servers. Thin-Client devices are cut down machines with very little local processing ability and no local storage. Due to the cut down nature of these devices the cost is significantly reduced when compared to a conventional PC. For more information regarding NETprotocol’s recommended Thin-Client device, visit www.wyse.com.