Comparing Thin Client OS Options from a Cost Standpoint

Linux OS (LeTOS) vs. Windows OS (WES7)| Available on Lenovo Thin Clients

Thin clients and thin client software is not a one size fits all scenario. Almost every customer and every use case will need different capabilities of the operating system. There are many variables in the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each thin client OS solution stack that should be considered. Our goal is to take a look at a basic deployment of both LeTOS and WES7 and examine the costs associated with the thin client operating systems. When evaluating cost of software; the administration of the software, support and maintenance costs associated, and possible variables that can lead to higher costs in the software all need to be taken into consideration.

Looking at LeTOS – Linux Based OS

Lenovo Terminal Operating System (LeTOS) is the Linux based operating system that runs on the Lenovo Thin Client hardware product line up. LeTOS is the Lenovo variant of DeTOS (Devon Terminal Operating System) that Devon IT has been developing since late 2004. The design of LeTOS as a thin client operating system is to be an interface for connection brokers that have very little overhead.

The cost of LeTOS is very much an upfront cost. It is included in the price of the thin client hardware. There are no additional licensing fees associated with the software. Also included in the cost of hardware is the LTM (Lenovo Thin Client Manager) tool.

LeTOS Operating System

This design of LeTOS was to make the local thin client OS require as little maintenance as possible.  The goal being that you set up a single LeTOS machine with your connection and system settings, clone those configurations with LTM. Then you can push out those configurations using our profile based management in LTM to all of the devices connecting on the network. These profiles provide the measures to keep LeTOS functional for the end-user. Once a profile is provided for LeTOS, the only maintenance for the devices would be when a major release for LeTOS is provided.

Once or twice a year it is suggested that you update to the newest provided version of LeTOS. Besides the updates, it is not uncommon that you would not have to make any configuration or spend time managing the endpoint devices.

Weighing in on WES7 – Window Embedded OS

A Windows Embedded Standard 7 operating system (WES7) has a slightly higher cost association than LeTOS. Again the cost is a bundled upfront cost that is included in the purchase price of the thin client hardware. The LTM management appliance is also provided with the WES7 thin clients. Three years of support and maintenance of the OS is provided. Again there is no additional licensing cost required.

Lenovo WES7

WES7 does require a bit more maintenance of the local OS. The OS is very often customized by the customer to fit their particular use case. So while this may be seen as additional time spent managing the device, it also allows for a little bit more flexibility with customizations to the local OS.

Associated Costs: Software Maintenance & Support | LeTOS & WES7

The out of the box software warranty for both LeTOS and WES7 is 3 years. Customers are entitled to full software support which also includes access to any updates for LeTOS and WES7. LTM (Lenovo Thin Client Manager) is also included in this support package with either OS. There is no extra licensing or maintenance costs for any of the Lenovo/Devon IT software for 3 years. After those three years are up additional support can be provided for approximately $29.99 on an annual basis.

Variables in the TCO of both LeTOS & WES7

The cost association when choosing a thin client OS is very simple when you look at the basic deployment solution stacks.  However depending on various variables there could potentially be added costs to the ownership of the software either upon deployment or further down the landscape when adding to the deployment.

  • Cost of third party management for Windows environment (SCCM, KACE , etc)
  • Administrators that are better versed in Linux OS for customization of LeTOS software.
  • Additional time spent patching applications in WES7 (Java, local apps, security patches, etc)
  • Additional time spent on customizing use case images in WES7. (Different use cases may require different apps/drivers).
  • LeTOS has less flexibility built into the software and may not work for every use case in the future.

Actual TCO in Thin Client OS Comparison | LeTOS vs. WES7

There is very little difference in the TCO between the two operating systems. They are both covered under the same support agreement, come with the same access to LTM software, and both thin client OS’s require very little day to day maintenance.

The main cost difference comes in the upfront cost of WES7, which is about $80 – $100 per device (extra over a LeTOS device). Also WES7 may require more time in performing updates then LeTOS. LeTOS provides a simple and locked down access point to you virtual environment that requires very little upkeep. WES7 allows for the same simple connection to the virtual environment with the addition of having a little bit more flexibility for installing local apps or drivers.

Looking for a full Thin Client Assessment with a customized TCO Analysis to determine how much you could save by switching to thin clients? Learn how to get your customized report!

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