The balance needs to be established on a case by case basis. One enterprise may find it useful to have a thin client infrastructure if they are running a high volume of highly repetitive tasks that rely on the same application or database to function as for example a call center.
The thin client is a good security tool as it would lock a client to have only the software that was necessary to access the server and would not allow users to change settings or adjust features that may open security gaps. Productivity may be increased if workers are thus forced to work within a single application.
The scalability of a thin client environment is also much improved in an environment where the server would not need to handle too many different applications and everyone is using the same portal to access the host. Yet you could add many clients to the server without much cost. The cost of upgrading the host may be larger, but the trade off in the greater agility would offset this cost.
A more decentralized architecture allows for a more robust development environment where each client has the applications and the data storage that the particular employee needs. If the client is working remotely, it may not be advantageous to transfer large volumes of data that can be stored on the client and use the server for smaller messaging needs, while leaving the heavy processing on the client machine. Backups are also important while it may not be efficient to store everyone’s work on a central server as opposed to individual desktops. Redundant backups between the client and the server ensure that the loss of one system will not halt the business process.
Thin – client architectures may be reminiscent of the old mainframe, but it seems they play a more fragmented role even in a highly centralized environment. Instead of having one mainframe do all the lifting, there are several servers that are working with clients, delivering data that the particular group of clients needs, rather then having every computation performed by the same machines.
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