A few years ago when thin clients first came out we looked into them, but at
the time, rejected them because:
- Required peripherals weren't available on thin clients for saving files,
- Too much of the software we had in the labs had to be licensed on the PCs
and couldn't be deployed from the servers,
- We run AutoCAD, which requires a robust client workstation, and we were
getting complaints about not having the same software config in all labs,
- Thin clients were too new and it gave us concerns about if they would
persist in the market.
Since then there's been changes - we use a SAN for student/faculty storage,
we're starting to look at deploying traditionally PC-installed software from
the servers wherever possible, thin clients have persisted, and it sounds
like there's common peripherals now available on at least some of these.
I've learned of other colleges who are now running AutoCAD with the same
licensing program we have, but serving it up from the network at logon. But
I am still not sure it would work for us though due to the fat client
The other option we're looking at is getting involved in student laptop
ownership, and finding a way to make it affordable to our economically
challenged students. We'd control the software configs and use these in the
classrooms, and phase out most labs and PCs in classrooms. We'd still have
to have carts with laptops around for students that either have a broken
laptop or have forgotten theirs, and have classrooms laptop-ready with power
and data or wireless. Haven't done the analysis on this yet to see how it
compares in TCO. None of the reports I've seen on this model address
whether it's cheaper or just more convenient for students at the same or
higher cost to students and college. Student computer ownership appears
inevitable, and we have to deal with them connecting to our network, so if
we can take advantage of it and achieve cost savings, it may make sense.
However, the thin client option is intriguing. I am anxious to hear others'
It also makes me wonder if we could get our value-added reseller to set up a
test bed for us at their facility and try it out with our software configs,
rather than buying the equipment ourselves at risk for the test run.
Chief Information Officer
34 Cornell Dr.
Canton, NY 13617
[log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "John R. Davis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 1:41 PM
Subject: [CIO] Thin clients
> ANyone know of good inexpensive Thin Client PC's?
> Any word on cost savings using Thin Client in a lab vs. fully
> stocked lab?
> Any words of wisdom or grief will be appreciated.
> John R. Davis, CIO E-mail: [log in to unmask]
> Information Technology http://www.marietta.edu/~davisj
> Marietta College Voice: (740) 376-4390
> 215 5th St Cell: (740) 350-5306
> Marietta, OH 45750 Fax: (740) 376-4896
> My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind Providence,
> who ordereth all things for our good. - Robert E. Lee
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