Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zero-client computing is back in the rage

It has been over 10 years since I've last used a dumb terminal to access the mainframe functions. I've fond memories selecting diskettes belonging to the difference mainframes and inserting it before switching on the computer. I guess few people nowadays have ever encountered such dumb terminals.

It seems though that the trend is now back. Recently, Microsoft has actually launched the Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 that does what it is now termed as zero-client computing. The concept is very simple. You have essentially a group of users accessing a central server as if they have their own client machines. The main advantage is that you only need to manage the one server oppose to the many user client machines. However, people fail to mention that the disadvantage is that if the server goes down for any reason, that group of users allocated to that server will not be able to login, and can also potentially lose all the information they have on that server, depending on the severity of the problem.

I find it quite interesting that zero-client computing (what it's now known as) is back in the rage. However, looking at the technology involved, it does seem remarkably like the Windows Remote Desktop feature that has been around for quite some time. Oh well.

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