Let’s be clear here; a thin client is an endpoint, not a workstation. It’s a means to an end. In fact, the physical keyboard, mouse, and USB ports are what matters. It’s connecting you to something you need: that’s it. We’re talking Atom processor, 1 GB RAM, and minimal to zero storage.
Thousands of dollars were spent on cutting edge servers, 8 core Xeon, nearly 512 GB of RAM, all SSD storage (another post coming about that next), 10G SFP+ fiber, etc. so a thin client should be like, $50 or $100 right?
I won’t go into why VDI isn’t a “cost-saver”, either in CapEx or OpEx. That’s all covered by Brian Madden’s “The VDI Delusion” and is very well done. But let’s face it…even if cost savings isn’t your concern, why buy something this bad?
Enter Thin Kiosk, created by one guy who has cut the thin client crap and probably saved many VDI projects. Here’s an application that replaces the entire Windows shell environment, locks it down to just a simple browser. Because it’s an x86 application though, all other Windows programs can run. So, ThinKiosk locks the PC down and brings up the login screen and the standard Citrix Receiver does the rest of the work.
But here’s where it gets totally awesome. We’re talking full blown Windows x86 Citrix Receiver. USB keys work in a VDI session, local printers will show up, and the best feature: HD video is smooth with HDX Flash redirection. Users stream the latest TV episodes on these old boxes!
So how much is this awesome application that transforms your standard Windows PC into a thin client? Sorry did you say it was free? Yes, yes it is.
So here we are, 5 year old desktops that were going to be recycled are now streaming HD video as “thin clients” at no additional cost.
The choice is yours: $500 for a “HD” thin client or a 5 year old workstation with Flash redirection. There’s a lot of things you can do with that amount of $ per device!