What Is a Zero Client And What Are Its Benefits?

Zero Client Definition

In a world full of endpoint device selection for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), Zero Clients are certainly not taking a back seat to laptops, tablets, mobile phones, or even Thin Clients, for that matter. What is a Zero Client? What a strange name – “Zero Client.” A Zero Client endpoint device is a small, powerful, piece of hardware that helps to cut down spending, power consumption, space, noise, lack of security, along with more benefits… when used within a VDI environment. (sample pictured below) A Zero Client has super-fast boot-up time, requires very little IT maintenance, and is a nearly completely OS-free (or, “Zero” OS) VDI experience.

In its purest definition, a Zero Client has no operating system (OS) and no local storage as an endpoint device. This is much different from a traditional computing desktop environment, where for example, PCs have everything directly on the individual local desktop. It is even different from a Thin Client device, which has some degree of an internal operating system and some local storage for customization of end-user applications. With Zero Clients, all desktop applications are provisioned and centrally managed from a remote server. An on-board processor is designed to handle solely one specific protocol like VMware PCoIP or Blast Extreme, Teradici PCoIP, Citrix HDX, Microsoft RDP, Parallels RAS, etc.

Zero Client Hardware

As mentioned, a Zero Client is a relatively small piece of hardware – lightweight, quiet, and efficient – which does not take up that much space. The end user’s OS is hosted on a centralized server, along with applications, yet the user experience is still nearly exactly the same with the exception of a few minor steps (usually) when logging in. Note: it is important to realize that Zero Client set-ups are more often than not customized with a very minimal degree of OS and storage-nonetheless, still providing end users with the truest, “nearest to zero” experience possible.

The makeup of a Zero Client’s hardware tends to be this – a typical Zero Client is roughly under two pounds and on average, is around seven to eight inches tall, and under two inches wide. Typically, they feature a dual or quad core processor, DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI ports, a range of USB ports, optional wireless, and optional VESA mounting. They usually will also include Line Out, Mic In, and will support multiple monitor set-ups. Zero Clients are optimized for a either a Citrix, VMware, Parallels RAS or RDP environment – and have the ability to transform between any solution with just a simple firmware upgrade.

Sample Zero Client Product Specifications

Zero Client Benefits

As described above, Zero Clients have next to no internal storage or processing capability for the end user – everything is stored away on a remote server and managed centrally by IT staff. Fast boot-up times, little to no maintenance or involvement from IT, and high graphic capabilities are just some Zero Client benefits. You also get the very highest level of security with the very lowest level of power-consumption. Endpoints are secure from potentially spread viruses from bad downloads, and all access, files, and programs can be put on “lock-down,” so to speak.

A Zero Client device will usually boot quickly (under 20 seconds) into a specific VDI sign-on screen in a completely locked-down environment. It also tends to be more flexible if the VDI technology being used during the lifecycle of the device changes. And, cost implications tend to be less with Zero Clients. The Zero Client end user also gets that extremely quick boot-up time and starts the end user at the VDI sign-on screen when logging in. Finally, high-resolution graphics are some of the best displayed on Zero Clients.

Zero Client VDI Environment

Zero Clients make virtual desktop infrastructure easy. In a VDI environment, a Zero Client offers an out-of-the-box, locked-down environment, support for a specific protocol, no distracting applications running in the background, no virus exposure, a quick installation and deployment with no additional configuration, quick boot-up times, and little-to-no maintenance requirements – all of which all leads to improved productivity of resources.

From the end user side of things in terms of VDI, if someone is having a Zero Client endpoint issue – like a virus, or a suddenly needs an upgrade, or say there was a system failure – he/she is not waiting around with nothing to do until IT physically shows up at their workstation. Instead, they are able to get back to work nearly ASAP. From the IT side of things, with Zero Clients & VDI, admin professionals can focus on other initiatives because the management and maintenance of all of their end users is centralized, and changes and upgrades are done in group updates. The fact that the admins don’t have to physically touch the Zero Client hardware for device set-up or troubleshooting offers them time to work on other projects.

Other than a few login differentiations, front end (what the end user sees) desktop virtualization with Zero Client endpoints looks and feels just like a traditional desktop experience. When logging in, each user sees their personal desktop just as they normally would, up to and including preferred settings. And, the end user can now obtain this same desktop anywhere – regardless of hardware device.

Zero Clients With 10ZiG

10ZiG Zero Clients deliver a powerful, secure, and easy-to-manage endpoint device. Our Zero Clients harness the power of VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft, supporting all their latest protocols including Blast Extreme, PCoIP, HDX, and RDP, to deliver a seamless desktop virtualization experience. With 10ZiG NOS™ Zero Clients, you will experience lightning-fast boot-up times of seconds, simple and intuitive configuration locally or automated via our centralized management tool (The 10ZiG Manager™), and the absolute lowest usage of power consumption – as low as 5 watts.

10ZiG Redefined Zero Clients

The 10ZiG Zero Client lineup below provides a solution for all user types, from task workers up through the most demanding power users.

About 10ZiG Technology

10ZiG Technology has the perfect Zero Client endpoint devices, plus endpoint management software, as part of your VDI virtual desktop solution. A world-market leader in Zero Client & Tin Client endpoint hardware, 10ZiG provides leading VDI benefits with Intel and AMD based Dual and Quad Core Zero Clients & Thin Clients for VMware Blast Extreme & PCoIP, Citrix HDX and Microsoft environments – in addition to the widest range of Teradici PCoIP Zero Clients on the market. 10ZiG offers FREE, no-obligation demo devices, local Technical Support teams based in the U.S. and Europe, and provides endpoint management software (The 10ZiG Manager™) with Cloud capabilities completely FREE with UNLIMITED licenses supported.