Unlike a typical computer Thin clients have very little inner workings because the heart of the computer is running on a centralised server. The heart of the computer is typically Windows running things like Microsoft Office and your business applications. All the compact little box is really providing is a way for the keyboard, mouse and monitor to communicate back to the server. In your typical PC setup your applications run on the local computer sometimes referred to as a Thick clients.
Typically a thin client setup suits businesses who wish to deploy 10 or more devices. There are a number of advantages of being a thin client:
Reduce energy usage – Thin clients consume a fraction of the energy an average modern computer uses.
Hardware expenditure – Purchasing Thin Clients is less expensive than a business PC.
Hardware life span – PC hardware typically lasts 3-4 business years where as Thin Client hardware can last 5-7 years, depending on the quality of the hardware.
Administration – Biggest benefit of Thin Clients is the management of the devices and the software they access. Typically software only has to be installed once and can then be accessed by many devices. This means only one installation of the software has to be supported.
Physical Security – As no information is actually stored on the devices themselves they are ideally suited to public or high risk areas.