December 10, 2013

Analysis of Key Benefits for VDI Zero Clients

The key benefits for companies adopting Thin Clients and Zero Clients for desktop virtualization infrastructure (VDI) are substantially reducing device management issues, cutting down on operating costs and increasing end user productivity through decreased downtime. VDI will radically lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase return on investment (ROI), while still delivering a complete user friendly, desktop computing environment. However, one decision that will greatly influence the success of delivering these kinds of savings is your choice of endpoint device.


One of the first considerations for IT administrators when selecting a desktop virtualization solution is how to achieve the best end user experience available, all while keeping time and management costs to a minimum. To do this, many organizations are choosing to use VDI Zero Clients not only because of their small form factor but because they are extremely easy to configure, have some of the most robust support for video in the market, and most importantly no resident OS to update and support, significantly reducing the management overhead of the device.

There are two types of Zero Clients on the market today, software based and hardware based. Software based Zero Clients are Linux based and they are optimized for one specific protocol. However, hardware based Zero Clients are the truest version of a Zero Client because they are optimized at the processor level for one specific protocol and because they do not have an operating system at all. There are no endpoint-resident drivers and no additional software is required. All information is streamed from and stored on the host server making the true Zero Client the most secure virtualized desktop endpoint device on the market.

Along with being secure, Zero Clients also have the ability to process graphical information quickly and cost effectively. It is common to have the option of dual or quad monitor support and rich multimedia playback on Zero Client devices. For example, one product on the market, the V1200-QP PCoIP Zero Client has quad monitor support as standard. They remove deployment complexity, hardware/software redundancy, minimize licensing and maintenance costs that have often led to failed VDI pilots and using USB redirection there is no reason for device drivers to be stored on the endpoint device. Also, lack of moving parts improves life spans in harsh environments like public spaces, warehousing and manufacturing.

Managing and updating operating systems, applications and firmware changes at the desktop is a fulltime job for most IT administrators, and according to VMware, in an environment that relies on full laptop and desktop support, organizations can spend $2,000 or more per year on maintaining each device. With a Zero Client, there is no endpoint management or configuration, obviously saving IT staff time while improving system resilience and reliability.


Not unlike Thin Clients, Zero Client’s centralized management utility minimizes IT overhead. Many Zero Clients only consume between 6 and 12 watts of power, significantly lowering operational costs. Cooling and space consumption are also greatly reduced. With no resident operating system, Zero Clients for VDI will have a prolonged life span due to the lack of future OS compatibility issues, further reducing costs.

The inefficiencies and rising costs of managing PCs at the endpoint are very well documented. According to a report by VMware (Top Five Considerations for Choosing a Zero Client Environment), Aledo Independent School District (ISD) of Texas, Technology Help Desk Manager Brooks Moore said, “There are so many single points of failure with traditional desktop PCs, such as fans, hard drives, RAM, system board and processors, but in contrast, there’s hardly a single point of failure with the Zero Clients; they are solid state pieces of equipment. We won’t have to devote IT staff time to running around troubleshooting device failures and the more Zero Clients we have out there, the more we can manage devices centrally from the Technology office.” According to a report by Gartner, most CIOs agree that zero management at the client is the most efficient, easiest, lowest cost and most secure implementation for virtual desktops. VDI Zero Clients require minimal ongoing support and over time organizations will reap many benefits. They require very little continued maintenance and provide the highest security. Realizing the full benefits of a Zero Client environment require a VDI solution that has excellent host rendering capabilities and can provide a consistent end user experience even over high latency networks. Thinking about implementing a VDI device for your organization? Try a FREE 30-day trial unit for any Thin or Zero Client from 10ZiG Technology. We offer Zero Clients certified for VMware or Citrix. Free Demo Offer