I read a decent article about adoption of thin clients in education and in the middle of it all, I read, “At best, the upfront capital cost [of thin clients] is 5 percent cheaper, and at worst, it’s a wash,” Sloan says.” Of course this follows a report that a school spent $15000 for a thin clients solution equivalent to $25000 worth of thick clients. I guess analysts have to make a living, but you would think they would reflect reality. The only way thin clients are going to break even with thick clients in capital costs is if you use that other OS and HP clients and servers. If you use $100 thin clients and good used or purpose-built equipment, you are laughing. At least Slone recognizes that thin pays in the long run through lower maintenance.
Look at some software costs:
A server for AD/file/print with 2 gB RAM can handle 20 users with GNU/Linux, so the “extra” cost of using GNU/Linux terminal services is -$1800 . Seems like a good deal to me. Sizing the server reasonably scales out a long way. I budget about $25 per user on the server as I save more than $100 on the client hardware because of smaller case, CPU, memory, power-supply and no drives. I can run gigabit/s on CAT-5 if needed so the cost of network upgrading is minimal on any system wired in the last ten years. Take that, Sloan.
The analysts can say what they want. We can figure it out.
“Worldwide thin-client sales grew from 2.9 million in 2008 to 3.4 million in 2009, a 17 percent increase.”
Although only 1% of PCs shipped are thin clients, a lot of thick clients are being re-purposed and new thin clients last a long time because of no moving parts. 17% growth in a down economy must mean something, eh?