Interesting new hardware component for building a thin client PC. PCoIP PCI express card.

Posted: March 10, 2013. At: 10:36 PM. This was 4 years ago. Post ID: 5463

PCoIP PCIe card. This allows you to build a thin client PC.
PCoIP PCIe card. This allows you to build a thin client PC.

This is a PCI Express card that allows you to build a thin client PC. This hardware agnostic and would be very useful for re-purposing an old computer and using it to access computing resources on a home server. A thin client computer is one that does not run an operating system per se, only a basic firmware, i.e an embedded Linux or Windows operating system the Dell Wyse thin clients have. A typical desktop machine like a Pentium 4 or even an older machine may be used as a passable thin client PC. But a more modern computer with a PCIe slot can make use of this card to display the video output of a remote workstation on a thin client computer. This allows multiple users to access resources on a remote server machine using a VDI server. This allows the business to use relatively low powered machines to load their desktop environments from a powerful blade server machine that has much more storage space and processing power than a typical Dell or Lenovo desktop workstation. Therefore this type of desktop system makes a lot of sense. You are not going to be using 3D Studio Max on a thin client PC, but something like Microsoft Office or other simple workstation tasks are perfectly suited to the use of desktop thin client computers.

How PCoIP works. This infographic explains this very well.
How PCoIP works. This infographic explains this very well.

Thin client computers such as the Dell Wyse and the other small form factor thin client computers use less power than comparable desktop computers and they are a good choice when you are needing to save precious power in these days of rising power costs and the need to save on costs. A thin client PC would not break down as often as a typical desktop workstation with a Windows operating system that requires constant maintenance and virus updates. A Dell Wyse thin client machine can be updated from the server machine that can push out all of the updates to all client machines in one go. Not all offices can make use of thin client machines; but when there is chance to replace a power hungry desktop workstation with a thin client computer then this should be acted upon. This will save power and make the office more efficient. Security is enhanced as no data is stored on the thin clients, only on the server machine or blade that is storing the data that the thin client is accessing when it is used. A blade server rack is a large rack that contains a number of small computer servers named blades that are all connected together and can all serve out data over the network. They do not have VGA or USB connectors by default, instead they use a cable that plugs into a small socket on the front and this branches off into a VGA socket, USB ports and other required connectors to administer each blade.

This connector is enough to administer a whole server rack as they are usually administered remotely over the network. As this is more convenient than going into a cold server room and connecting the cable and then all of the sockets to get a video display to check the server. Blade servers are noisy beasts and this is why they are tucked away in a server room instead of out in the office. But all of the components are crammed into a relatively small space so they have small noisy fans. This Server fault posting has some more information about the various noise levels of blade servers versus typical Dell Poweredge servers. although they are noisy when you open the side up. They are fun beasts to use though. This might be the future of most offices, thin client machines either running an embedded Windows or Linux operating system and connecting to a powerful server rack in the back room to access resources and display a desktop environment and a users files. This would be more convenient than a whole office full of machines that require management by the IT staff and images deployed by imaging software such as Clonezilla. This will result in cost savings in the long run.

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