ThinClient Concepts - An explanation on Thin Client technology

Q1. A1. What are Thin Clients? Typically, thin Clients are low powered computers that (strictly speaking) do not have a hard disk drive. Since there is no hard disk drive, there is also no operating system. And since these are low powered systems, all processing is done on the server instead of the thin client itself. Certain types of thin clients (running on embedded XP or embedded Linux) may have full fledged OS Knowledge Center - The and browsers such capabilities complete with installed applications such as Micorsoft or Open Office power of knowledge as Internet Explorer and/or Mozilla Firefox. All Thin Clients boot up directly from a server which is running the operating system (Windows

Do you have a technical query or are you facing any problems or issues relating to Terminal Services? Mail it us here and revert a few days for a solution. Q2. If to there is no hard disk drive and no operating system, in does it work? How does it boot up? how
A2. 2003 Server, Windows 2000 to a query? If or even mail Or do you HAVE the solution Advanced Server you do,Linux). it to us along with your name and address and if Thin Clients may boot either directly from the server viavoucher and chosen PXE boot then connect to it or boot up lucky found successful, await a gift by a draw.

from locally installed mini disk running Windows XP embedded (Win XPe), Windows CE embedded (Win CEe) or Linux embedded (Le) and then connect to the server. Once connected to the server, the ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------user gets the log in screen of the operating system running on the server. --- Please bear in mind that booting from a server and connecting to a server are two different processes, since you can have more than one server - one simply for booting up and the second Howor even a third or to for connectingdeploy the applications are installed and processing more to (where a Terminal Server: takes a Terminal Server typically requires installation of the Terminal in for a hybrid Deployingplace) depending upon architecture. If required, an enterprise can also go Server, License Server; activating architecture consisting of and purchase, installation and activation of CALs (Client Access Licenses). The Terminal Server Licensing both Windows and Linux Terminal servers. Q3. Where are the various applications installed and user data stored? Microsoft site at by A3. All applications are installed on the connecting server and every user has his own "My clicking Documents" folder created where his profile, documents, etc. are stored. Q4. ---

default mode is set to "Per Device" and the other type is the "Per User". For detailed procedure, please visit here. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If all files and documents of all users are stored on the same server on the same storage device, can one user not access or read the files of another user? A4. have created 4 every user has his own "My Documents" folder created. No2003. The problem is that when we We As stated above, users and 1 administrator on Windows Server user can access or even get into another user's "My Documents" folder unless specifically permitted to do so. This, login through the administrator, all sites are and not the but when we login as user, some sites are not opening FAT32. of course, will require an NTFS file storge system

is Q5. A5.

opening because we have to enable Java Option for other user also. But for these users, Java option disable. How to it? What kind of applications and software can one install and run in a Thin Client environment? do

All programs of everyday life can be used with Thin name a few MS Office; various various browsers for surfing; e-mail clients like Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, etc.; ERP G. Srikar Rao packages - including SAP; Coreldraw, Adobe Photoshop, Pagemaker, Tally, MS SQL based packages, Control Panel -> Add/remove and even open source and customized packages. Go to Start ->chatting (using keyboard) programs programs -> Add/remove Windows components. Uncheck the

"Internet software packages cannot Security Configuration" option. This will solve your Q6. Which Explorer Enhanced be used? A6. Heavy graphical games, animation packages like Maya and such others that require a very fast All rights reserved. Seal Technologies Co, Mumbai, India screen refresh cannot be used.
Q7. How many Thin Clients can be made to run on a single server? A7. This depends upon the server hardware configuration, the choice of operting system and the programs/applications that are installed on that particular server. Typically, a small office with 10 Thin Clients can be well served by a P-IV machine with 1GB of RAM with Windows Server 2003 Standard edition (that supports up to 4GB of RAM. Enterprise edition + SP2 supports upto 64GB. For increased RAM support, 64 bit versions are apt wherein the Standard edition + SP2 can support 32GB while Enterprise + SP2 can support 2TB ). Increase the RAM to 2GB and the users to 20 to 25 without any problem. For users on an enterprise level, a Xeon based server with dual or more processors, a minimum of 4GB RAM and redundancy on storage devices by way of RAID, network adaptors and power supply unit is recommended. Load balancing technology with additional servers prevents any single server from reaching critical levels. These are of course, broad guidelines. Actual server hardware and architecture will most


definitely vary from case to case. Q8. A8. Won't running so many Thin Clients on one server slow it down or kill it altogether? No. This will not happen since the server hardware is sized taking into account the number of Thin Clients that are to be run and the software/applications to be installed on it. Besides, all processing is taking place electronically without any moving parts except the hard disk drive. Load balancing technology is employed to prevent server crashes.

Q9. Can one install a printer on a Thin Client node? A9. Yes. Most printers can be installed on a Thin Client node either on a parallel port or USB port. The printer is physically installed on the Thin Client node but in configured on the server as a local printer printing to a TCP/IP port. In case of embedded systems, the printer in configured locally on the Thin Client itself. Q10. What devices can a Thin Client access locally? A10. Most devices like local hard disk drives, pen drives, floppy disk drives and optical drives can be accessed by the Thin Client without any problem. For other devices like scanners, multi function devices and CD/DVD writer, if required on a Thin Client, our embedded systems are recommended, one that is running Win XPe. Q11. Will 'Touch Screens' work with Thin Clients? A11. Yes, very much with our Win XPe range. Q12. What about Thin Clients and Citrix? A12. Citrix metaframe server installed on the Remote Server will enable the Thin Clients to work across a relatively slow WAN link also by using the ICA protocol instead of Remote Desktop (RDP). Q13. What about DOS? Can I run DOS progams on my Thin Clients? A13. Most definitely, yes!! You can run DOS programs in FULL SCREEN. Q14. Can I have a hard disk on my Thin Client? A14. Of course!!! Though not required, but if you do have or want a hard disk, you have a dual boot system, whereby you can work either on the server or on the local hard disk.

ThinClient Benefits - Why Thin Clients are better than normal desktop PCs (Fat Clients)?
Lower blocking of working capital in fixed assets: Since Thin Clients are units with lower processing capabilities, their cost is much lower than the cost of a regular desktop at any point of time. A typical desktop with a Core 2 Duo processor could cost as much as Rs. 25,000/whereas a Thin Client would cost about Rs. 14,000/-. Thats translates to about 44% lower than a desktop. Instant savings due to lower expenditure on the base operating system: A Windows XPP license costs about Rs. 7,500/- whereas a Windows 2003 server costs Rs. 30,000/-. 4 licenses of Windows XPP equal one license of Windows 2003 Server. Thereafter, Windows XPP still costs Rs. 7,500/-, while Thin Clients only require CALs and TS-CALs which amount to Rs. 4,200/- approximately per user/device, not considering that along with Windows 2003 Server, 5 copies of CALs are free. Savings in time and resources: All applications, programs and software including anti virus need to be installed only once i.e. on the server (instead of so many PCs individually) and all user access the same. An organization can have hundreds of Thin Clients up and running in a matter of few hours (assuming the networking is in place). This results in substantial time savings of the I.T. personnel which can be put to more productive purposes. Low downtime and high productivity:

A frequent complaint of computer users is that their hard disk drive has crashed or the operating system has corrupted files an consequently is not booting up. With Thin Clients users cannot install, uninstall or delete any system, software or files other than those in their own "My Documents" folder. Only the Administrator can do so. As a result, there is near zero down time and high levels of productivity. Increased profits through cash savings: Since there is no hard disk drive and operating system on the Thin Clients, there is nothing to maintain. At an average of Rs. 2,000/- per PC towards Annual Maintenance Contract, for a medium sized organization with an installation of 50 units, the resultant savings are Rs. 100,000/- per year. More cash savings - low cost of hardware: -There is no need to upgrade old PC systems to the currently available high configuration systems. Either simply convert these old PCs to Thin Clients at a maximum cost of Rs. 2,000/- or go for new Thin Clients that cost less than of half of a normal desktop PC. - No need to install UPS on all client machines. Simply install one on the server. Still more savings (in future also): In future there is no need to install or even upgrade to new PCs...simply upgrade the server and all client machines get upgraded automatically. This results in substantial cost savings to an organization as replacing old PCs with new ones or even upgrading to new ones can be a costly exercise amounting to more than Rs. 20,000/- per unit. Incidental savings in unnoticed areas: A normal desktop PC consumes 250-400 watts of energy while a new thin client node, only 40 watts. Substantial savings in electricity bills. Close to Rs. 600/- per month per unit. It pays for itself in under a year, thereafter actually saving money to the organization and increasing the profits. Tight security: Until the server is switched on, no user can access any files, even from his own "My documents" folder. It will be trying to access information from a PC that is off. Even a pen drive will not work, which otherwise renders a desktop PC extremely vulnerable to data theft. Mobility: With a normal desktop PC, a user cannot access it if he is away from his workstation. In case of Thin Clients a user is not restricted to being at his designated workstation. He can make any workstation his own. For instance, if a user's workstation is on floor 1 and he has to go to floor 3, all he needs to do is imply sit down at any workstation there and log in using his user name and password and his entire session and screen gets logged out from the workstation on floor 1 and transferred to that particular workstation on floor 3 with the cursor and mouse exactly where he left it. No loss of data: In case of power failure, all desktop PCs lose data (unless expenditure has been incurred for a UPS on each PC individually). In case of thin clients, if the client machines switch off, there is no such problem. The server switches over to the single UPS and the data can be safely backed up or saved. When power is restored, the user returns to the same spot he was working on without any loss of data. Other benefits: - Centralized operations and controls. - No need to take up backup from many different PCs. Simply take backup from one place i.e. the server.

Testimonials - What our customers say about us
We have installed the Thin Clients in November 2006 and now more that one year has

passed and we have not faced any problems so far. We have rather saved money on the following fronts: 1. Purchase of new systems (reduced to half the cost) 2. AMC contract (reduced by 60%) 3. Software licenses (saved almost 40%) 4. System up gradation as per the industry norms (no nodes up gradation required, only the server to be upgraded, that too if required) Other benefits which we got are as follows: 1. Monitoring of users' work 2. Centralize storage of data 3. Easy and cheap back up solution from 3rd party owing to centralized data 4. User wise restrictions for application and data access 5. Same system speed for all the users We strongly recommend the network user to go for "Thin PC" if you are interested to save the fixed and recurring cost of your organization.

Knowledge Center - The power of knowledge Do you have a technical query or are you facing any problems or issues relating to Terminal Services? Mail it to us here and revert in a few days for a solution. Or do you HAVE the solution to a query? If you do, mail it to us along with your name and address and if found successful, await a gift voucher chosen by a lucky draw. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------How to deploy a Terminal Server: Deploying a Terminal Server typically requires installation of the Terminal Server, License Server; activating Terminal Server Licensing and purchase, installation and activation of CALs (Client Access Licenses). The default mode is set to "Per Device" and the other type is the "Per User". For detailed procedure, please visit Microsoft site at by clicking here. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We have created 4 users and 1 administrator on Windows Server 2003. The problem is that when we login through the administrator, all sites are opening but when we login as user, some sites are not opening because we have to enable Java Option for other user also. But for these users, Java option is disable. How to do it? G. Srikar Rao Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Add/remove programs -> Add/remove Windows components. Uncheck the "Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration" option. This will solve your problem.

Free Thin Client Server and Operating System

Main window screenshot Lan Core was originally designed in order to provide a complete thin client solution based on the Windows operating system, i.e. it was designed to use a workstation (or server, see Frequently Asked Questions) with a pre-installed Windows system. To do this Lan Core includes everything needed to start up a thin client network: (1) a server application to boot the clients (also called thin clients or terminals), (2) the client operating system (thin client OS, an embedded version based on Linux), and (3) an interface application for managing the server and terminals. The thin clients' boot is done through the network and it is based on the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) protocol, to do it Lan Core also provides two additional services: a DHCP and a Trivial FTP server for Windows. Windows XP Professional is the version of the operating system most commonly used to build a thin client network with Lan Core (note that Windows XP Home does not provide natively services for remote desktop). However the Lan Core's server application works without any problem in other Windows versions, such as Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 Server among others. Clients work connected to those Windows systems using the native remote desktop protocol (RDP). Other protocols are also available. We are currently working on building the necessary installation packages to install automatically a Thin Client solution on a Linux-based operating system. Any help is greatly appreciated! Please let us give you three reasons to use Lan Core:  You do not have to pay for it, because it is free.  You can modify it as you wish, because it is open.  And you can use it for ever without limits, because it is a complete solution.

Now, Lan Core in Africa! Members of the university cooperation for development group TEDECO (Technology for Development and Cooperation) have installed several computer classrooms and a cyber based on thin client technology in the University of Ngozi (in Burundi) using Lan Core. Do you know other University or institution that may be interested in Lan Core? Please tell us, we are expecting for new initiatives to further improve this implementation.

Thin Client Suggestions
A short collection of articles and reports related to the thin client technology, including its application in education, their interest from the ecological point of view, etc.

Microsoft Windows SteadyState

The Windows SteadyState configuration tool has options for changing disk protection and user accounts. Whether you manage computers in a school computer lab or an Internet cafe, a library, or even in your home, Windows SteadyState helps make it easy for you to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them (see more). SteadyState includes the ability to revert a computer to a previously stored state every time it reboots, or when an administrator sets it to. Windows Disk Protection offers three modes of protection:  Remove all changes at restart.  Retain changes temporarily.  Retain all changes permanently.

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