Green and sustainability initiatives might be interesting discussion points for some, but really only matter to most companies when they deliver tangible benefits to the business. Being green for green’s sake is unlikely to get sign-off at budget commitment time unless the organisation can see some form of material benefit, …
I never saw DVM as a way to get greener. The monitor needs to be just as big for the user either way, so all I'm saving virtualizing desktops is a few dozen watts on the front end on a machine off most hours of the day for a server farm running 24x7. At best I'd have called it a wash in terms of juice.
I saw desktop virtualization as a means to more effectively manage system images, patching, roll outs, crashed systems, diagnostics, security, simplifying centralized backups, and more. Going green? nope, wasn't on the radar.
How about carbon-neutral computing?
"Winterputing" is our method of continually shifting tasks to the world's coldest computers. Heat isn't always a waste product that needs removing at great cost. Sometimes (or somewhere), it's useful.
Wherever PCs are making the aircon go crazy, we hardly use them. Wherever PCs are simply making the central heating burn less gas, we give them the work instead.
Result: most eco-friendly method of computing on the planet.
But, in IT, we all have remote control of our PC's already. We've all reduced our IT staff already, we all distribute apps with Zenworks etc. Installing/reImaging dozens of PC's doesn't take long and can be scheduled for out-of hours anyway.
Power saving is a big win, but IT staff are going to have to now maintain a Fat and Thin user base. With all the problems that brings, (Licensing/Accounting/Printing?!) IT teams will be streched even more than they are already.
Thin Clients are Suitable for a Wide Range of Applications
TFA: "thin client solutions are not appropriate for a wide range of business activities"
Not so. Only full-screen video with its large bandwidth requirements is a no-no for thin clients. Even then for a few users of full-screen on a server it can be done. For most other uses, bandwidth actually is less for thin clients than traditional PCs with files on the server. It is much less effort to move a few text and pictures over the LAN than a bunch of data-files. Thin clients may increase the average or minimum load on a network but the peak loads will be much less.
We can also look at the functionality of the working parts of a PC to see the waste. Besides energy, look at the wasted expenditure on hard drives. If you have 100 PCs with 100 hard drives instead of 100 thin clients with far fewer drives on the server, the advantage is obvious. Same for CPUs. Why have 100 powerful CPUs idling on thick clients when you could have a low-powered CPU working reasonably hard on the thin client and a few powerful CPUs working hard on the server? Thick clients just make no sense. The presumption should be that all client machines will be thin unless there is a particular reason to go thick.
Moore's Law will allow us to push more processes into the server room but nothing will recover the waste of resources on the thick clients forever into the future. You can break even on the cost of a changeover to thin clients in a year or two in energy but there are immediate returns on investment in lower maintenance and longer life that are so solid this technology should be the norm.
Where I work, the cost of old PCs is so low that we do not buy new thin clients but the performance increase obtained by using old PCs as thin clients of fast new servers is all the justification I need. My users boot and login twice as fast as they used to do with thick clients and I have almost no work to do to keep them running. It is a clear win.
I really hope I am not being thick here...
...but I have a feeling I am.
Virtual Desktops...thin clients...isn't this the old Unix model of having a beast of a server and then a client creating a "window" on to the user session? Isn't this exactly what the X Server was meant to do?
I'm not knocking it, I am just wondering why people are running around and getting all excited about this "new" idea when...err...it isn't that new.
A plug-computer and a monitor with a couple of USB ports (simply for ease of access) is appealing. Although if the network goes down...one is well screwed. At least with all my VMs on the desktop, I can struggle along for a bit.
Your feeling is right. Read again.
Where in the article does it say it's new ? This is just about looking at it in a "go green/benefits to the business" point of view. As for being screwed when the network goes down, what company still keeps the data on local hard drives?
When I speak to VDI suppliers they tell me how much easier it would be to manage my PC estate if I used their product but they base this "fact" on the assumption that we don't already manage fat clients with imaging, ZENworks, AD etc. They assume that each PC we support has its OS and apps hand built each time.
There is a place for thin client but at the moment it is only an additional tool to deliver another type of desktop and not a full replacement.