Zero client, full management power
The term "Zero Client Management" is misleading. Anyone who thinks that a zero client is called that because it produces zero management work is generally wrong. A zero client is operated statically only in very few cases.
Variable zero client settings
Even with a zero client, certain settings need to be changed from time to time. These include the screen and mouse settings or the address of the central server or cloud service which connects the zero client user to their personal virtual desktop or cloud service. In reality, no IT administrators want to make these settings manually in the zero client setup. Indeed, the zero client is supposed to relieve administrators of expensive "sneaker administration" which dates back to the PC era.
Several hundred or thousand clients
No company needs just one zero client – they need tens, hundreds or even thousands of devices. When the zero client environment reaches a certain size, IT managers will of course require a tool for managing the zero client pool. Which devices are online, which ones are not working or are obsolete? All of these questions can be answered with a reasonable amount of outlay with just a single remote management tool including a monitoring and asset management function.
A future-proof zero client can be updated
Another rumor regarding zero clients is that a zero client does not need to be updatable. But what happens if new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) functions require new access software? For Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View or Microsoft RDS? After all, these systems are being further developed all the time. Or what happens if there is to be a change of solution provider but the zero client does not support the new solution? In the first case, regular firmware updates – ideally carried out in a remote manner – must be possible. In the second, a completely new, multiprotocol-capable firmware version would need to be installed on the zero client.
Zero client management in practice
If the zero client is not remote administrable, updatable or future-proof in some other way, the operating costs will increase disproportionately as the size of the installation grows. Usability will be restricted to only a few devices and the lifespan will not usually exceed three years. A multiprotocol thin client or an updatable and expandable zero client, e.g. an IGEL IZ3, does not pose these investment risks. The IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) remote management solution which comes supplied and allows any degree of scaling also ensures that each zero client can be conveniently configured and updated via the network and, if necessary, upgraded to a multiprotocol thin client in the IGEL Universal Desktop series. For the benefit of its customers, IGEL offers a level of investment protection which is unique for a zero client.
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