What is a Thin Client

Distributed computing where multiple users are connected to a single server is a important component of any of the organization. Basically in a client server architecture there is one server and there a number of clients attached to that server. Now it is the duty of the server to allocate the resources to the clients and fulfill their request. The clients contact server for communicating with each other and to use the resources required. The clients sometimes do not even have their own hard disks for the storage, so they share the storage system on the server and it seems to each client that they are having the dedicated resources allocated to it. One of the most popular examples that we had is of the grid computing.

Mainframes makes uses of this technology with the help of UNIX, earlier the interface was not well designed and only the CLI(Command Line Interface) was available but with the advancement a well established GUI(Graphical User Interface) was made available. In windows also this was introduce in the NT system with the introduction of the Citrix System.

Talking about the history of the thin client, the term thin client was formed in the year 1993 by Tim Negris, who was the VP of Server Marketing at Oracle Corp., while he was working with company founder Larry Ellison on the launch of Oracle 7. This was done by him to differentiate their server-oriented software from Microsoft’s desktop-oriented products.

Advancement in the field of seriously high end application and resources for them, and checking for the trustworthiness of the clients for security, other reason acted as the development in the web world and the introduction of the highly sophisticated applications alike AJAX and Flash, and the introduction of the Virtual servers running under different environments lead to the development of this thin client architecture.

Some of the main features associated with this architecture are

Single point of failure:- this technique has both advantage and disadvantages as for advantage it can be said that the resources are confined to a single system i.e. the server any restriction for security reason is not to be applied on individual client but instead it should be applied o the application directly which helps in managing, talking about the disadvantage if the server by chance goes down then the complete architecture will fail.

Cheap client Hardware:- as only the system is required not the hard drives or disk drives so this architecture is cheap.

Operation Simplicity:- As only a few components are available so the operating complexity also decreases to a great extent.

All these features make the thin client architecture a best suited and possible choice in industry.

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