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Thin Client Add-In Card Prolongs PC Life

Booting from an add-in card slims a PC down and gives it a new lease of life, says IGEL

German thin client maker IGEL is hoping the economic downturn could fuel interest in its technology that allows companies to prolong the life of existing PCs.

In a statement released this week, IGEL said that businesses that are looking to migrate to a virtual desktops can convert their existing PCs for around £89 using the thin client specialist’s PC conversion card.

According to IGEL, the thin client card has “full Citrix and VMWare virtualisation support” which should help companies to configure existing PCs to work in a virtual desktop environment.

“In these tough economic times, IGEL’s PC to thin client conversion card is the perfect route for businesses looking to change to a more cost effective computing environment without the capital cost of having to buy new desktop hardware,” said Simon Richards, IGEL’s UK general manager.

According to IGEL, converted PCs can be managed and supported using its Universal Management Suite (UMS) which allows for remote management of the thin clients so that support costs are kept to a minimum.

According to IGEL’s website, converting existing PCs to thin clients using the conversion card is relatively straightforward. “Simply disconnect the computer’s IDE cable from the hard disk and attach it to the card so the computer boots from the IGEL firmware held on the Compact Flash card,” the company states.

Proponents of thin client technology usually argue that it is more sustainable than traditional client server computing because the devices have greatly reduced power consumption – often doing away with the need to have cooling fans for example. However some of the gains made at the client end of the network are erased by the need for greater server infrastructure to host the apps and data which would normally reside on a traditional PC.

For its part, IGEL claims that by extending the life of existing PCs, companies would avoid sending the machines into the waste system and avoid the resulting environmental impacts. Also companies would also avoid the carbon and financial costs of acquiring new machines.

A recent study conducted by Fraunhofer Institute in Germany for IGEL claimed that a medium-sized enterprise with 300 workstations could save more than 148 t CO2 emissions over a five-year period if 75 percent of the workstations in the company were changed to thin clients. However it is not clear from the report if these are traditional thin clients or converted PCs.