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Brief Description Network Computer Or Thin Client Computer Science Essay

A thin client, sometimes called a lean client, is a low-cost, centrally-managed computer devoid of CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots. The term derives from the fact that small computers in networks tend to be clients and not servers.

A thin client is a computing device that's connected to a network. Unlike a typical PC or "fat client," that has the memory, storage and computing power to run applications and perform computing tasks on its own, a thin client functions as a virtual desktop, using the computing power residing on networked servers.

They typically have just enough processing power, information and parts to access and use the computing resources of a server. The thin client can't run applications or store data or documents on its own; it functions as an interface to convey your keystrokes and connect to the applications, documents, data and storage on networked servers, where the actual work is done.

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Most thin clients run Web browsers and/or remote desktop software, such as Microsoft Terminal Services or Citrix XenApp. Thin client is also used to describe software applications that use the client-server model where the server performs all the processing.

Thin clients can run the desktop environment on the server, and remotely display the desktop screens on the thin clients. You need to manage this on the server side with what's called a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) - software that creates the desktop images stores them on servers and sends them over the network to the thin clients.

Thin client is lack hard drives, CD-ROM drives, fans and other moving parts, thin clients are smaller, cheaper and simpler for manufacturers to build than traditional PCs or notebooks. Thin clients decrease client maintenance costs and hassles.

Example: HP Neoware c50 Thin Client (KF252AT#ABA )

Network support infrastructure required to utilize Network Computers

Terminal Server

Generally in information technology, a terminal server is a hardware device or server that provides terminals (PCs, printers, and other devices) with a common connection point to a local or wide area network. The terminals connect to the terminal server from their RS-232.C or RS-423 serial port. The other side of the terminal server connects through network interface cards (NIC) to a local area network (LAN) (usually an Ethernet or Token Ring LAN) through modems to the dial-in/out wide area network, or to an X.25 network or a 3270 gateway. (Different makes of terminal server offer different kinds of interconnection. Some can be ordered in different configurations based on customer need.) The use of a terminal server means that each terminal doesn't need its own network interface card or modem. The connection resources inside the terminal server are usually shared dynamically by all attached terminals.

Thin Client

A thin client, sometimes called a diskless workstation is centrally-managed computer devoid of CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots.

Processor with at least 300 MHz range

At least 64 MB for Memory (SDRAM)

Flash (ROM) 32 MB

Allow users to access a side panel for easy, end-user memory upgrades

USB port, Network LAN port, serial port and graphic port

Built-in RDP, ICA or other protocol for server-based computing

An Ethernet connection and optional support for wireless LANs.

I/O for keyboard and mouse, optional I/O for printers, USB and other peripherals.

A video processor for strong graphics and colors - a major upgrade from the dumb terminal.

Solid-state construction - no moving parts such as fans or disk drives results in longer life and higher reliability.

Centralized software management and deployment - means easier IT administration and greater security.

Firmware-based software and no disk drives making thin clients less vulnerable to viruses or malware.

For Networking

Network interface card (NIC)

Used to connect a computer or peripheral to a network, most modern computers have these built into the motherboards, so check before you buy, although they are inexpensive.

Router or Switch

A switch is a device used throughout a network that receives incoming data and determines the route for the date to travel in order to reach its intended destination. A router is a switch with built-in capabilities that enhance its functions and performance.

Network Cable, UTP cable

Used to connect a computer to a network via a network switch, hub or router. The connection is called RJ45, cat 5 or 5e. These cables can be 10BASE-T (10mbps), 100BASE-TX (100mbps) or 1000BASE-T4 (1000 mbps), they will connect at these speeds as long as the network card/router/switch/hub is/are compatible.

Operating System

Windows operating system for server such as Windows server 2003, Windows NT, Windows 2000… and some thin client have built in Windows OS such as Windows CE embedded and Windows XPe.

Linux operating system


All required software such as Microsoft office application, Microsoft.Net Framework and for PDF file need to install Adobe Reader are needed to install on terminal server. Client can run these applications via the terminal server.

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