Are managed computer dumb terminals?

By admin, August 30, 2008 10:29 am

I never really thought so, and from my own briefing with Persystent Technologies I didn't get the impression that was the solution they were peddling, but that seems to be what Sam Diaz takes away from their pitch.

Persystent is a relatively new player in the desktop management and imaging market, and they most decidedly aren't working with dumb terminals… their solution is for PCs (and possibly Mac's in the near future), not dumb terminals, which by their very nature don't need to be imaged. In fact, that can be seen as one of their advantages. But Sam isn't wrong; you can turn a PC into something approximating a dumb terminal with Persystent and other management systems if you are so inclined (at twice the up front costs not to mention ongoing licensing for the extra software to turn your smart PC into something dumb). The question is, if that's the appeal of imaging, why aren't you using dumb terminals in the first place and saving both time and money.

The whole concept seems a bit like buying a Hummer and then taking the time and money to turn it into a fuel-efficient hybrid. You could have just bought a Prius to start with, more cheaply and easily.

The answer (or part of the answer, at least) is that people aren't really interested in imaging and desktop management to create dumb terminals. They need smart clients, but they need to address the inevitable issues that come from such power and flexibility on the desktop. But the other part of the answer is that many IT managers and CIOs, like Sam, don't stop to consider that when you get to a point where buying software that locks your desktops down into something approximating a thin-client configuration, you maybe should start considering just buying thin clients in the first place. There are some things they can't do that smart clients can, and many organizations need such things, of course. But if you start looking at it from the other angle, and figuring out what it would cost to make a thin-client act like a thick one, you may find that's a cheaper solution than making all your thick clients look like thin ones.

3 Responses to “Are managed computer dumb terminals?”

  1. joegr says:

    dumb terminlals, NO, dumb technology!

  2. neon says:

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