Zero Client and Cloud Computing – What are they?

The term Zero Client came about because the line between Thin Clients and PCs has become increasingly difficult to determine – and companies who produce the thinnest clients needed a way to differentiate themselves.

If you can install and run all your applications on a Windows Server (think ‘mainframe’) then to view them remotely you only need a basic CPU, VGA driver, network I/O, keyboard and mouse – a Windows Terminal.

However today you can find “Thin Clients” with local storage, XP operating systems, and a host of local applications.  In my opinion this has crossed the line and has become a PC. [...]

So What is a Thin Client?

As best I can tell, Tim Negris is the man who coined the term Thin Client when he was with Oracle. It originally described scaled down applications that ran in conjunction with a full version of an application that was loaded on a server.

When Windows OS versions that allowed multiple users came on the scene, one of the first hardware companies to start selling client hardware was Wyse with the introduction of their WinTerm in 1995. This made sense – Wyse was already a huge seller of “dumb” terminals for mainframes and providing a Windows Terminal was logical. [...]

ThinManager Version History

Since its introduction in 1999 ThinManager has undergone a number of improvements. But the most significant changes have come with the latest releases.

Here is a look at the most important features added and enhanced since ThinManager 2.3.

Introduced in ThinManager 2.4

  • Configuration Wizards – Perform most of the configuration through computer directed wizards and walk through any number of complex configuration tasks without the fear of missing an important step.
  • New Tree view of Terminal Servers and connected clients – See exactly which Windows Terminal Server is hosting each Thin Client. As clients log off one server and on to another, or in the event of a primary server failure and the automatic switching of all its connected clients to a backup server, the new tree will enable identification of all the server to client relationships.
  • Multiple monitoring connections to redundant ThinManager Servers – Provided the ability to run the ThinManager software on multiple machines. Load and start ThinManager wherever you need to be able to keep up with the system status.
  • Support for new Hardware – Added a number of new industrial ThinManager Ready Thin Clients.
  • ThinManager Configuration Import and Export – Multiple ThinManager Servers can work together by allowing for the export and import of the configuration of all managed Thin Clients. Along with this comes the ability to backup and restore ThinManager configurations.
  • Assign names to Servers – Even users who are not using a network with DNS can assign names to the ThinManager Servers and Terminal Servers on the network.
  • Create lists of available ThinManager Servers and Terminal Servers – Easy and automatic creation of server lists to cut down on confusion during initial system configuration and updates.
  • [...]

    Security Concerns Boost Thin Client Sales

    A few days ago a company called Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN) announced the results of the company’s seventh annual IT Decision-Maker Web@Work study.

    Some of the threats they explored:

    Spyware – Hacker software that runs undetected on a PC and is usually designed to monitor and report back any data the criminal thinks will be to his advantage.

    Keyloggers – Spyware that has the ability to record keystrokes and screen shots.

    Bots – (short for robot) – Software unknowingly installed on an end-user’s PC and can communicate with other computers on the outside of the company. [...]

    What Does ACP Do?

    Here is the Elevator Pitch – the 15 second version of our product that you could lay out during an elevator ride:

    ACP provides management tools and software for Thin Clients and Terminal Servers. Thin Clients allow you to run standard Windows applications like a mainframe, with multiple users running at the same time on a single server, dramatically reducing costs.

    If the person is interested, I normally hear a number of follow-up questions. Here are some of the most common ones with my answers: [...]