Ed Tech Magazine: Improving the Virtual Desktop Experience with Zero Clients

(May 16/2012) The popularity of virtual desktops has been slowly rising over the past few years. IT departments are interested in centralized desktop management, but they are leery of issues such as application performance degradation or incompatibilities and less-than-rich computing experiences.

Technology company Teradici started one major innovation when it created its PC-over-IP protocol. PCoIP’s broadcasting of only encrypted pixels (not data) across any standard IP network lets IT departments deploy zero clients free of standard CPUs, RAM, disks, fans and application operating systems. No client computing has to occur on the device; it just receives and decodes host-rendered pixels. The zero client approach offers many benefits to the IT department, including reduced desktop maintenance, better security and power savings.

Some of the more recent zero client products consolidate the display and PCoIP chip into one device, such as Samsung’s 23.6-inch NC240 and 19-inch NC190-1 PCoIP monitors, as well as LG’s 19-inch and 22-inch Zero Clientmonitors. Several months ago, Samsung added the NS190 and NS220 Thin Client monitors and the NS240 Cloud Display monitor to its zero client lineup. One issue for PCoIP has been bandwidth utilization. “The user experience was good, but it was a bandwidth hog,” says Laura Hansen-Kohls, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group.  

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