Zero Client Devices for VDI?
There is a lot of talk about zero clients and thin clients, especially to support VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure). Zero client aka. Ultra-thin client is a hardware device, like a PC, but it has no operating system, no hard-drive, and no memory. It is basically a dumb terminal, taking us back to the days of mainframes. The usual benefits touted about these devices are that they are inexpensive (perhaps $400 or less) and they are secure (you can lose these devices but all the data is in the data center).
This is true, but you still have to buy these zero client or thin client devices. If you already have old hardware, it can still serve as a connection to a virtual desktop residing in a data center. And this is at no-cost for new hardware.
Thin client devices give a little more inside the device, such as an operating system or ability to run a local browser. These can range from $300-$800, and as you can see, there is not a cost savings and there is minimal distinction between a thin client and a regular PC.
What Device to Use for VDI
If you aren’t able to use existing hardware (old desktops or old notebooks), you can still look at lower cost hardware that supports a rich VDI (virtual desktop) experience. Many hardware manufacturers make small form factor (SFF) PC’s. These devices have a small footprint but have the power needed within the device to deliver a rich experience for the end user. As a fall-back option, since these are full PC’s, they can be used as local PC’s should you need that ability.
How a Virtual Desktop and Device Work Together
Once you have a PC to access your virtual desktop, you have the local processing power, local graphics acceleration card, and memory to run applications and have the performance you need to have a good experience on a virtual desktop.
Contact us to discuss what device(s) will work best in your organization.