Go Green with Thin Client Computing

By Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director, Arrow PC Network

Today a number of organizations are exploring virtual desktops and migrating to thin clients on a faster rate as thin client computing has advanced to the point where users can’t tell the difference between a thin device and a “fat” PC. While advancement in server-based computing (SBC) has significantly enhanced user experience, it has also improved the other key advantages that thin clients offer – savings on hardware costs, lower power consumption and more manageable IT infrastructure.

The tough economic scenario has led organizations to look even harder for ways to reduce costs and inevitably this includes IT systems. As the costs and security challenges associated with maintaining traditional PC based networks continue to escalate, more and more enterprises are now seeking mechanisms to optimize their resources while simultaneously improving the manageability and security of their IT infrastructure. Increasingly, enterprises, public sector bodies, and institutions in health care and education are looking at adopting thin clients and server-based computing for maximizing their return on capital.

By centralizing OS and applications, thin client technology enables an organization to drastically reduce the money spent on buying traditional desktop computers or laptops. This also cuts down energy consumption and carbon emissions related to production, packaging, shipment and disposal of desktop computers, thus making it a more eco-friendly approach.

The green benefits of thin client computing make it a compelling case for enterprises:

· Thin clients last at least 4-6 years longer than their PC counterparts meaning far less obsolete hardware and lesser burden on the environment.

· Their innovative design and technology produces less heat and can help reduce power usage by as much as 70-80%.

· They enable centralized management of servers and on-demand IT services, which are much faster to deploy.

· Built-in DR (disaster recovery) features improve reliability and decrease downtime.

· Thin clients reduce the burden on the environment because they last longer and can be recycled. Besides reduction in servers also means a reduction in electronic waste.

· Reduced hardware requirements mean lower noise levels and decreased weight, which further contribute to the green benefits of thin clients.

· The technology is better equipped to handle the work load as it only uses the amount of resources needed for a particular task.

· They adhere to RoHS regulations regarding the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, making them more environment-friendly.

IT managers have started realizing the fact that they do not need higher configurations and high energy consuming powerful systems to run many of the routine office applications like document management, browsing or email. Therefore they are looking for innovative ways to balance their work loads and optimize electricity usage.

Thin clients are proven to be more reliable in managing compared to PCs (fat clients) as we can put all our applications, data and computing power in one location, hand it over to a trusted business partner to manage and get on with the core business. It allows employees to telework/roam more easily.

The increase in focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has prompted organizations to opt for greener, more energy efficient technologies. For organizations that are more oriented to promoting Green IT and sustainability, thin client computing is an emerging as a preferred option. Various enterprises which have made the switch are reaping the benefits, reporting huge cost savings, as well increases in reliability and productivity.

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