September 26th, 2016
The market for thin clients is becoming even thinner. While thin and zero clients were once coveted by workplace managers due to their cost efficiency and little need for IT staff, PC desktops have been adopted due to their ability to be built-on, to increase performance.
Thin clients contain very little sensitive information on them, physically, while zero clients do not store any information on them at all. Off-site IT specialists manage all activity, creating less work for the company that uses them, and keeps all secure information in one place. This is what makes these devices so safe and respected.
Companies like Dell and HP offer suitable thin clients for basic business that doesn't require media-intensive applications, but for other companies, a basic server system does not provide enough storage or a strong enough operating system to conduct daily tasks.
Meanwhile, desktop PCs are able to be reconstructed to add hardware needed for high-powered applications, while also allowing the consumer to offload infrastructure to cloud hosted servers, decreasing cost. Utilizing the cloud to hold certain applications saves money on IT, as well as increases workplace efficiency, according to Forbes.
Thin clients were forced to adapt, and have since updated their operating systems to become compatible with cloud hosted servers. But due to their limited capabilities (a thin client's OS does not contain the entire Windows subsystem), additional features compromise some things that were once their biggest strengths, like performance and security.
When thin and zero clients attempt to host applications meant for PCs, users encounter more difficulties. The cloud supporters on thin client devices are not always compatible with certain applications, as they often only one remote display protocol, and most cloud services have limits on which protocols they support.
Blast Extreme remote display protocol is an open technology created by VMware, meaning that VMware can work with other companies to build on top of Blast and increase its capabilities. INGEL, another producer of thin clients, has added support for Blast in order to boost multimedia processing.
At VMWorld 2016 in Las Vegas, Dell announced that it would begin supporting Blast on its devices running specific OS. HP also added Blast support for some of its zero clients. These devices are now compatible with any protocol, expanding their capabilities immensely.