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June 7, 2010

Thin clients can offer 50% savings for SMBs: study

SMBs can halve the cost of their IT infrastructure by switching to a thin client model, according to research carried out by Lancaster University and Thinspace.The TCO study reveals that any company with more than six employees can reduce

By Cbr Rolling Blog

SMBs can halve the cost of their IT infrastructure by switching to a thin client model, according to research carried out by Lancaster University and Thinspace.

The TCO study reveals that any company with more than six employees can reduce maintenance costs by 71%, hardware and capex by 61% and energy by 51% when compared to traditional PCs.

The study, involving students at Lancaster University, compared five typical IT scenarios, based on a company with 25 employees, one server, their own PCs and third-party support. A pure thin client model came in at 45% of base TCO, followed by a thin client with ‘back-up server’ at 58%, leased PCs with third-party support at 96% and owned PCs with in house IT person, which came it at 195% of base TCO.

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The switch to thin clients and cloud computing cuts costs primarily through reduced maintenance fees, reduced power consumption and the longer hardware lifecycle of a thin client, according to Liza Layzell, CEO at Thinspace. This should particularly appeal to SMBs, who have traditionally been slow at adopting desktop virtualisation, she added.

“Our TCO model focused on small business because they often think they wouldn’t benefit because of needing additional servers and other infrastructure,” she told CBR. “You save on several fronts: maintenance and management are the main benefits and our products can last between seven and nine years, so you save on hardware costs as well.”

To help SMBs establish whether a desktop virtualisation project would be a cost effective venture, Thinspace has released a TCO Calculator. The web-based tool, produced using figures from the Lancaster University study, offers businesses the opportunity to work out any potential savings from switching from a traditional PC-based infrastructure to a thin client model.

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