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Repurposing Thin Clients

Repurposing Thin Clients

Whether you’re just beginning to delve into the world of virtual desktops and digital workspaces or are evaluating alternatives or enhancements for your organization’s current end-user computing (EUC) architecture, investment and operational costs will be primary factors in determining the type of solution your organization ultimately deploys.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is widely used as a method to securely deliver virtual desktops and apps. However, many organizations still struggle to overcome the high entry bar needed to deploy an effective VDI. Large investments in staff/time and hardware and technical expertise stand in the way of most organizations trying to take advantage of the security, management, and end-user experience benefits VDI can offer.

Additionally, organizations normally have to maintain Windows on all their physical endpoint devices. This calls for further ongoing investment in both money and time. However, there is a workaround for companies eager to get the numerous benefits of VDI: repurposing thin clients and other computing hardware.

How do you repurpose a thin client?

Repurposing is the process of converting something to be used for something more than it was manufactured for. When it comes to thin clients, repurposing allows you to use them for a vast range of business workloads. Essentially, the process allows you to convert existing PCs and thin clients into more powerful and efficient endpoint devices while adding years of continued productive operation.

A traditional thin client is a watered-down version of a computer. It comes with limited CPU and memory resources. Additionally, it lacks plenty of local storage, with much of what is available being taken up by the device’s operating system. However, the device does have networking and graphics. Thin clients are mostly used to connect to remote servers, which host virtual apps and desktops within a datacenter or cloud.

The concept behind thin clients is to provide businesses with “terminals” from where they can run all of their applications on a centralized server group or from the cloud. Users can access their data and applications by remotely logging onto desktop sessions on the provided servers. The major advantages with a setup of this kind include greater security, stronger management and control at less cost, and reduced endpoint hardware costs. While some investment is required in the data center or cloud to house the virtual apps and desktops, the initial cost of investing in fully functional desktop computers is eliminated, since users only need small, inexpensive client devices.

Why repurpose thin clients with IGEL OS

Any given repurposing solution cannot possibly be enough. Modern enterprises require a secure, flexible solution that prevents vendor lock-in and lowers the IT cost overhead associated with patching and maintaining endpoints running on Windows. You need a comprehensive solution that encompasses both endpoint management and repurposing. IGEL OS offers exactly that.

IGEL OS ensures effective thin client repurposing and endpoint management and control by deploying a lean, modular Linux-based OS. This brings about the following benefits:

  • Minimal hardware costs. You will eliminate the need to make a heavy capital investment in computing hardware since old PCs and thin clients are sold at a throwaway price. IGEL OS is hardware agnostic and runs on 99% of all devices currently available.
  • Enhanced security. With IGEL OS, there is rarely a need to invest in antivirus or malware on the physical endpoint. As a secure OS, IGEL helps protect your company’s end-users and their devices from malware.
  • High scalability. Over 100,000 IGEL OS-powered endpoints can be easily managed from a single management console. Added reliability is available in the form of high availability (HA) of the management console, if desired.
  • Streamlined endpoint management. An easy-to-use and intuitive management interface make it incredibly easy to manage all of your IGEL OS-powered thin clients. This saves the IT team enormous time, especially when it comes to updating and patching hundreds or thousands of endpoints, along with the expenses associated with hiring extra managerial staff.
  • Zero maintenance. With IGEL OS installed on your repurposed thin clients, you do not have to worry about frequent maintenance on the endpoints. You can instantly perform all essential updates from a single management console in a centralized location.

Repurposing aging but still useful computing hardware is one of the ways to mitigate the current chip shortage dilemma and to curb IT spending without compromising your company’s productivity. Thin clients, being some of the most basic and economical computer forms, are some of the most practical devices you can repurpose. However, repurposing thin clients should be paired with effective endpoint management that is easy and highly scalable. IGEL OS supports a wide range of devices and peripherals and enables you to transform any existing compatible x86-64 PC or thin client into a robust endpoint device.

Get in touch with us for a free trial and consultation on IGEL’s VDI solutions.

Andriy Pozharuk

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