White Paper: Thin Client computing via a PDA

Feature

White Paper: Thin Client computing via a PDA

Thin client computing is not only being extended to low spec PCs but also PDAs. One example is Hewlett-Packard and Citrix’s collaboration

This paper describes how HP palmtop PCs can be used to deliver thin-client functionality when used with the Citrix ICA client and corresponding Citrix server products like WinFrame and MetaFrame.

Introduction

Today's enterprises are growing at a rapid rate and in many different directions. Employees are spread around the world in branch offices, working from home, hotels, customer locations and other remote locations. Unfortunately, the diverse modes of access and the demands from differing computing platforms present great challenges to Corporate MIS organisations. Thin-client/server technology is a cost-effective solution to this problem.

Thin-client/server computing is a scheme by which applications are deployed, managed, supported and executed 100 per cent on a server. Using this mode, HP Palmtop and Handheld PC users have access to standard corporate-based applications with little need for change to the corporate computing infrastructure. This delivers to the corporate, the benefits of better access, manageability, performance and security, resulting in the reduction of total cost of ownership of corporate computing assets.

What is thin-client/server computing?

Thin-client/server computing is a model by which applications are deployed, managed, supported and executed 100 per cent on a server. Using this model, different clients - both remote and local - are given access to standard corporate-based applications with little need for change to the corporate computing infrastructure. For the corporate user, this delivers the benefits of better access, manageability, performance and security, resulting in the reduction of total cost of ownership of corporate computing assets.

It's important to note that a thin-client/server architecture and network computing architecture aren't the same thing. In the network computing architecture, as defined by Sun, Oracle, Netscape, IBM and Apple, components are dynamically downloaded from the network into the client for execution by the client. Thin-client/server computing is a different approach that enables access to applications without requiring applications to be downloaded to the client. And the thin-client/server approach also ensures that users can access 16- and 32-bit Windows-based and Java applications.

Being mobile with HP palmtop PCs

As an example, imagine you are in your hotel room in New York City and you need to access some critical information in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, located on your company's server in California.

In this case, we assume that your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is located on your corporate LAN on a HP Netserver with the Citrix WinFrame or MetaFrame Server installed. Your MIS department has provided you with a direct access to your corporate LAN through a dial up connection and you have the HP provided Citrix ICA client on your HP palmtop PC.

After starting the Citrix ICA client, all you need to do is to connect your HP Palmtop PC to your corporate network (using a dial up connection). From this link, you simply launch the Microsoft Excel application and work on your document as if you were working at your desktop PC in your office.

Compiled by Paul Phillips

( Hewlett-Packard Company


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This was first published in July 1999

 

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