Keep it simple

Thin-client systems differ from regular PCs, or "fat clients," in that they do not run programs locally at the desktop. They can be self-contained, sealed units; older workstations; or PCs with ports for a keyboard and a mouse. However, they have no hard disk, RAM or modem. In some cases, at the information technology manager's discretion, an external drive or printer can be connected. Thin-client machines have enough ROM to hold the kernel of the operating system, a graphical user interface and, increasingly these days, a Web browser.

A Network Interface Card provides the server with each thin client's Media Access Control address so it knows where to send information. During computing sessions, the only data that passes through the network between the thin client and server are screen updates. All application processing is done on the server.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.