A thin client device relies on a network connection to accomplish tasks. On the other hand, a fat or "thick" computer has its own memory and storage, so it can run applications by itself and perform computing tasks without needing help from another system such as central servers located in privately company-owned government agencies may own, etc. A typical laptop/desktop PC enables users to input data into programs while asking questions all at once, but this takes longer than necessary.
Thin client computing is all about simplicity. As such, thin clients typically have just enough processing power and information to access remote servers for their needs without storing any data onsite or running applications locally.
Thin clients operate as virtual desktops to connect the applications, documents, and data on networked servers. Thin client computers typically run web browsers or remote desktop software like Citrix XenApp for accessing centralized resources of information stored in databases across various networks within an organization.
With thin client architecture, you run the desktop environment on your central server and remotely display it to local devices. To manage this from afar is easy with VDI software which creates images for each individual machine in order to store them onto their respective servers so that they can be sent over network connections one screen at a time. Though desktop virtualization is often a technology reserved for larger enterprises, thin clients make it more accessible for small businesses.
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