The Raspberry Pi (RBPi) has no hard disk, is stateless, and can work as a desktop terminal, which makes it an ideal candidate for use as a thin client. It connects to the data center for all its applications, sensitive data, memory, and runs a Remote Desktop Protocol such as the Windows Terminal Services.
That makes the RBPi a virtual desktop computing model, as it runs virtualization software, and accesses hard drives in the data center. Thin client computing has thin clients, software services, and backend hardware as its components.
Users can use thin clients as a replacement for a PC to access any virtual desktop or virtualized application. This is a cost-effective way to create a virtual desktop infrastructure. NComputing is using the RBPi as a thin client, named as RX300, to access the Windows 10 desktop.
A central machine runs the NComputing vSpace Pro 10 desktop virtualization software, and streams several Windows desktops, including Windows 10. The virtualization software allows the centrally managed Windows desktop to be run on hundreds of RX300 clients.
According to NComputing, the vCAST streaming technology it uses for full-screen playback can do full HD as local or web video on the RX300s. This precludes the central server from needing a dedicated GPU. Once you buy the RX300, an automatic free subscription to the vSpace Pro 10 technology automatically kicks in, but only for twelve months.
Each RX300 is an RBPi 3 model B with four USB 2 ports. They have full USB redirection and server-side device drivers that offer support for a complete range of peripherals. While running the official Linux-based Raspbian Operating System, each RBPi RX300 runs as a thin client and accesses a virtual Windows 10 desktop.
According to NComputing, the RX300 thin clients are simple to configure and receive updates from the vSpace Pro 10 servers. The CEO of NComputing, Young Song says they selected the RBPi 3 as the base for its thin clients as the board is affordable and portable.
From its vSapce Pro 10, NComputing streams a Windows desktop to a single client. For streaming desktops to several clients simultaneously, vSpace Pro 10 must be running on the Windows Server 2016 or similar. Therefore, the user will also need to purchase appropriate licenses to access the Microsoft clients.
The price per seat of a thin client deployment has now dropped and they are more cost-effective as compared to regular PCs. By using RBPis as thin clients, this claim is a definite reality.
Several industries and enterprises are now switching over to thin clients. They may have different requirements, but all share a few common goals. IT personnel exploring such goals are equivocal about the benefits of thin clients—cost, security, manageability, and scalability.
The term thin client is derived from small computers in networks being clients and not servers. The goal is to limit the capabilities of thin clients to only essential applications. That makes them centrally managed, while not being vulnerable to malware attacks. They also have a longer life cycle, use less power, and are less expensive to purchase.