Thin Clients For Small And Medium Businesses

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2007
 
Thin Clients For Small And Medium Businesses

Is it a feasible option-and for whom does it work best?

The data is centralised, so management has become easier.

Narang Medical Limited is a leading manufacturer and exporter of medical supplies, surgical instruments, hospital equipment, laboratory products, and diagnostics. Located in New Delhi, the firm's office has about 25 thin clients.


Parveen Narang, Director, Narang Medical Ltd
"There has been a great investment utilisation. Expensive peripherals like printers and scanners have also been centralised, cutting down on costs".

"We have been using thin clients for the past one year and I must say I am happy with the way things have turned out. My employees, too, seem quite satisfied because as far as they are concerned, nothing has really changed except for the better. They still use all the applications they used to, and it's faster, too. For the kind of applications we use-Tally, MS Office, IE, and IIS, I think thin clients are most appropriate. There have been no complaints of different performance on different systems-all the clients run at the same high speed. We have a server with two dual-core processors, 4 GB of RAM, and RAID 0 1 protection.

"Look at what we have gained. The data is centralised, so management has become easier. Software updates take place only on the server. The administrative staff no longer run about fixing a system or an application every now and then. Virus protection has also gotten a lot better. Moreover, we now have only the server to back up. Due to better organisation, maintenance costs have been brought down, and is under better control.

"The workstations themselves are scaled down, and so are far cheaper. No hard disk, no CD, no DVD on the clients. Expensive peripherals like printers and scanners have also been centralised, cutting down on costs. We now have a UPS connected only to the server. I do not need to buy expensive workstations for each additional staff-I can use old, outdated systems as thin clients. The old 10 Mbps hub is usable again. There has been a great investment utilisation.

"Things have been pretty stable, except during the installation and testing. It's been smooth since. A setup without thin clients is simply unthinkable for us. For similar setups, I believe thin clients are the way to go."  

It's not for applications that deal with a huge database. 
Hallmark Honda is a Honda dealer located in Navi Mumbai. They have a setup of about 50 computers.


A B Bhupesh ,Manager-IT,Hallmark Honda
"I would like the server to remain what its name suggests-a file server, and leave the actual computing to the clients"


"We use Windows NT on the server and XP Professional on the clients. We have an in-house development team. Our primary application is the Dealer Management System. We use Access, VB, and SQL Server. Response time is very important, as we are directly dealing with customers all the time. I am not convinced that thin clients would give me the same response time as my current setup. That's the whole idea of client/server technology-distribute computing to enhance speed.

"Our DMS system incorporates a lot of features like generation of ad-hoc reports by the users themselves. This can be practically possible only with a fat client with enough computing power of its own, else you would simply end up taxing the server, resulting in a breakdown. I would like the server to remain what its name suggests-a file server, and leave the actual computing to the clients.

"A lot of our code has been specially written to work on the client. Some of the code is even stored and can be executed by only specific clients. Some of our workstations are dedicated to users of huge Excel sheets throughout the day. We have quite a few users who have their own Excel sheets at their workstations, which are updated to the server only at the end of the day. I shudder to think of the state of the server with such user demands. I guess we would be constantly reconfiguring and upgrading our server-probably every three months-with thin client technology. It's not for applications that deal with a huge database.

"We would definitely not be using thin clients-on the contrary, we are constantly looking to free our server of as much work as possible."



Arvind SubramanianArvind Subramanian