The Zero Client Solution

Loraine Lawson

Occasionally, someone will suggest that one day, businesses will stop buying employees computers and instead, employees will cheerfully buy their own PCs or laptops and just use them to do their job. Thanks to virtualization, this topic is popular again. In fact, IT Business Edge bloggers Ken-Hardin and Rob Enderle have been debating this topic back and forth.

 

I'm with Ken: It won't happen. I'd go a step further: It shouldn't happen, and I have a very sophisticated reason why not - Because if it does, it will mean: A. We've all officially turned into a herd of schmucks or, B. Unions are about to experience a Renaissance.

 

Fortunately, thanks to virtualization, there's another option that allows companies to reduce security risks and cut employee computer costs without forcing employees to buy their own machines or use dumb terminals: the virtual desktop device.

 

This week, Pano Logic unveiled a new desktop device -a tiny cube that's a mere 3.5 square inches. It's specifically designed for server-based desktop virtualization. There's no OS, no CPU, no memory and no drivers in what it calls a zero client. According to the eCommerce Times article , the cube connects keyboard, mouse, screen, audio and USB peripherals over an existing IP to a copy of Windows XP or Vista, running on a virtualized server.

 

Pano Claims the device cuts the total cost of ownership for employee machines by 70 percent.


 

There's no software, so no need to worry about security on each desktop. IT obtains centralized control of all USB ports. And, according to the article, the Pano machine uses a mere 5 watts, or 3 percent of the power required by an average PC.

 

The device goes on sale in September for subscription prices beginning at $20 per month with another $60 per year for maintenance and support, according to InfoWorld.

 

Granted, it's not quite as flexible as having your own PC. But it keeps work at work, while still offering employees access to the PC tools they need to do their job ... or devolve into roving herds of schmucks.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 31, 2007 6:08 AM francis carden francis carden  says:
Virtualization = zero client (no install, easy configure, zero conflicts, 100% compatibilty, o/s versioning issues disappear).Zero clients = (no rich UI, limited integration, throw in some fat pieces but hide that fact, shake in some web 2.0 (= Ajax, Flash, Flex, DHTM, Jscript, Actionscript, ActiveX.....) )I read recently that "Desktop Virtualization" in fact = Fat clients are back.Now, it's the last one here I REALLY like... Bring back the "fat client" Portal, through a virtualized environment. Now ya talking :) Game Changing... Reply
Feb 4, 2009 1:54 AM Stuart Robinson Stuart Robinson  says: in response to francis carden

There is another Zero Client solution that provides and un-compromised user experience and that is PC-over-IP (PCoIP) technology.

To be truly cost effective a Zero client needs to handle any user - from terminal/task workers, mainstream office users and power users that may require full DVI resolutions and full frame rate 3D graphics. This is what PCoIP delivers. 

Check out this Zero Client that is an all-in-one display that Samsung just announced (SyncMaster 930ND) it supports VMware View (aka VDI) and PCoIP to be forward compatible when Vmware VIew integrates PCoIP technology (see vmware announcement with Teradici at the Sept08 Vmworld)

See this performance demo including HD video and 3D graphics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzGmwNIpFG4

Also, this flash overview from Samsung http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl5MolZgp4Y

For full disclosure, I am the Director of Business Development at Teradici. For more info go to www.teradici.com

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