What You Always Wanted to Know About Zero Clients – But Were Afraid to Ask

When it Comes to Zero Client Technology, There are Varying Definitions for What Exactly Constitutes a “Zero Client”

One common goal shared between these definitions, though, is to eliminate as much of the hassle involved in establishing a connection for the end user as possible.  While thin clients often require the user or administrator to create a connection, or multiple connections, to access their virtual desktops, zero technology aims to simplify the process so that the user simply turns on his device and is ready to go.

Devon Zero™, the zero configuration feature of the Devon Terminal Operating System (DeTOS) takes a novel approach to accomplish this goal.  Rather than creating hardware that has been stripped down and focused solely on making a connection, Devon IT has added a software alternative.  This provides some inherent benefits not found in other zero client options.

By removing or limiting the processor contained within their terminals, many zero clients place a higher burden on the server and network.  Instead of data being decompressed on the device, the server has to pick up the slack and transmit the uncompressed data, leading to decreased performance and greater lag time.  Devon Zero™, on the other hand, is capable of running on every DeTOS thin client that Devon IT produces, allowing users to choose the hardware options they want to support their zero configuration environment!

Some zero clients offer little in the way of options when it comes to connection types.  Devon Zero™ offers users the Microsoft RDP connection type, as well as the Citrix ICA connection type.  This gives administrators the ability to choose the connection type that best suits their users.  In fact, Devon Zero™ allows administrators to discriminate which connection types groups of users can use, so while one group might prefer RDP, the other can still use ICA!

Another key point of zero client computing is to require minimal management from system administrators.  Devon Zero™ requires a system administrator to establish a DNS environment to tell the terminals what sort of connections their user groups need.  After that, the user simply turns the terminal on, enters their credentials, and they’re connected!

At this point, the management for these terminals is completed.  Should the system administrator wants to apply further management, Devon IT terminals running Devon Zero™ are able to be sent commands via the Echo Management Software if desired.  It’s nice to have a system that requires no management: it’s even better if that system allows for some management to really give system administrators an extra bit of control.

The definitions for what constitutes true zero client computing will always be a matter of some debate.  In the end, though, a zero client solution is one that meets the key goals of simplicity and low management requirements.  If that solution also offers hardware versatility, connection type variety, and extra management options as well?  Well, that would be a pretty good zero client solution.  We call it Devon Zero™.

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