zero client

Zero client, also known as ultrathin client, is a server-based computing model in which the end user's computing device has no local storage. A zero client can be contrasted with a thin client, which retains the operating system and each device's specific configuration settings in flash memory. 

A typical zero client product is a small box that serves to connect a keyboard, mouse, monitor and Ethernet connection to a remote server.  The server, which hosts the client's operating system (OS) and software applications, can be accessed wirelessly or with cable.  Zero clients are often used in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment.

Content Continues Below

Benefits of zero client computing:

  • Power usage can be as low as 1/50th of fat client requirements.
  • Devices are much less expensive than PCs or thin clients.
  • Efficient and secure means of delivering applications to end users.
  • No software at the client means that there is no vulnerability to malware.
  • Easy administration.
  • In a VDI environment, administrators can reduce the number of physical PCs or blades and run multiple virtual PCs on server class hardware.

Vendors of zero client products include Digi International, Pano Logic Inc., Teradici, Via Labs and Wyse Technology.

See also: dumb terminal, thin client, client/server, virtual machine (VM), virtualization, cloud computing

This was last updated in February 2011

Continue Reading About zero client

Dig Deeper on Virtual desktop management

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

One of large market share leader in this space is "NComputing". refer They have over 3M users in 100 countries especially K-12 US schools, India, Brazil...
No mention of Sun Rays? I've been happily using these for over a decade (and the oldest ones still work with the newest server software), and post-Sun, Oracle are still making them...

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by: