Server-Based Computing (SBC) has the potential to reduce IT setup and running costs drastically-down to about 50 per cent! You will see a radical reduction in the hardware estimate. The technology also permits tremendous flexibility in the arrangement of the office interior.
The entire architecture is centralised, so anybody can sit and work from any terminal; employees' work downtime can be reduced considerably. As data is stored in a centralised location along with a backup, if one terminal goes out of order, urgent jobs can be taken up from any other terminal. It also saves time as transferring data from one PC to another is very quick-practically instant.
The movement of employees inside the office, that is, traffic on office aisles can be reduced through the adoption of this system. Hardware security management costs come down, since the client computers are not high-end-sometimes dumb PCs can be used. It is always easier to take care of valuable data when it is at one place. Remote data access facility through the Internet is another exciting feature.
As the feeding of new software or uploading a new version of an existing software is done at the server level, individual clients are not stressed or halted; moreover, this reduces the chance of their sudden failure.
Obviously, the misuse of office PCs can also be controlled.
Making An Informed Decision
You have to assess what the requirement of your workplace is. How many terminals do you need right now, and what may be the requirements of the near future? Find out whether the vendor has an offer that suits your requirements. Assuming you're opting for a completely new set of products and architecture, find out from him:
What is the server cost, and how many terminals can be connected without an upgrade?
What is the operating platform?
How much power can you save by installing thin terminals?
What software will they supply for the proposed architecture, and what is its reliability and future upgrade terms and conditions?
What are the warranty, Annual Maintenance Contract offers, etc.?
The Server-Based Computing market is growing together with the need of companies and end-users for individualised, benefit-oriented and low-cost IT solutions. Terminal server / thin client solutions have been successfully established, and they fulfil their task at a much lower Total Cost of Ownership. They also offer ecological, ergonomic, and security-relevant advantages.
To be more specific, in this architecture, the terminal does not require a CPU, hard-drive, or a CD-ROM, unlike in regular PCs. This is what brings down the terminal PC cost significantly. However, each terminal can also be operated-if one wishes to do so-as an individual desktop, so as to maintain users' privacy. Server-based architecture gives you an opportunity to modernise your office without scrapping your old PCs-which tend to be just given away at throwaway prices.
Right now, if you depend on a number of individual, outdated PCs that may be connected to the Internet, you need to modernise your architecture. Running full-fledged PCs increase your power, hardware, maintenance, and backup costs. Also, you are vulnerable to security threats, time loss, and data loss, as explained above. A paradigm shift to server-based technology is needed.
How It Affects You Today
Power: India is a power starved country, and the power situation is worsening day by day. The terminal PC models and the server software form the right combination to provide you the right solution at the right time, as most modern terminal PCs run at low voltages and wattages.
Safety: Growth in attrition rate is a common feature in most developing countries. If no centralised data backup (inaccessible to the client PC operators) is maintained, you are always at risk of losing valuable data: ill-intentioned employees may destroy or delete their work before leaving your organisation. Thus, the SBC architecture acts as a stitch in time that will save nine in the coming days.
Costs: As a businessman, you must know that it is not only the PC hardware maintenance cost; other accessories like UPS and its storage cell maintenance costs amount to a big sum at the end of each financial year. Adoption of server-based technology will bring relief.