Virtual desktop infrastructures have their place within certain enterprise IT systems, and when one decides to get specific about what type of VDI to deploy, then there are two main choices: thin client or zero client.
Over the years, thin clients have taken most of the business, through vendors such as Dell Wyse, HP, Citrix , IGEL, Lenovo and Acer, but lately the zero client has been trending up in the VDI market.
The latest new product in this realm is the HP t310, HP’s next-generation zero client that was launched July 10. It features a new design and the company claims it provides high performance and tight security. It also includes a built-in VESA mounting pattern (a standard for screw alignment on televisions or computer monitors), which creates a more efficient workspace for end users.
HP claims that the t310 Zero Client is easy to deploy for VMware with Amazon Workspaces and said that Teradici management tools can be used for updates and device monitoring. The VMware, Amazon and Teradici software is not included with each unit, however.
Zero clients are devices that require no configuration, have nothing stored on them and require less time for setup than thin clients. However, they are not as flexible as thin clients and often require that admins choose one protocol or another for the device to use. While a user may only need to enter his/her credentials to access desktop sessions, the options for what users can do are more limited.
Instead of an operating system, zero clients have an onboard processor specifically designed for one of three VDI protocols: PCoIP, HDX or RemoteFX. Most of the decoding and display processes take place in dedicated hardware; as a result, they are more efficient than using a software client with a standard CPU and GPU setup.
Zero clients have boot-up speeds of only a few seconds and are immune to viruses, decreasing the overall downtime of the device. The zero client device requires very little maintenance and rarely needs an update-- unless there is a significant change/enhancement to the VDI protocol or the occasional BIOS related update.
New features in the HP t310 Zero Client include:
- built-in VESA mounting pattern
- upgraded graphics option with one DisplayPort and one DVI port
- six USB ports
- upgraded firmware from 4.8 to 5.5
The HP t310 is scheduled to be available in July 2017; pricing starts at $309.
Operating system: None
Core processor: TERA2321 PCoIP Zero Client
Graphics: Graphics integrated on processor
System memory: 512 MB DDR3-1333 SDRAM; (transfer rates up to 1333 MT/s)
Networking: 10/100/1000 GbE or 100 Mbps fiber NIC; Wake on LAN (WOL) using magic packet; TCP/IP with DNS and DHCP; UDP
Audio: Stereo audio output using 1/8-inch mini-jack. Stereo audio input using 1/8-inch microphone mini-jack
Display support: Supports up to 2 displays using 1 DVI-I and 1 DisplayPort™ connection at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 at 60 Hz or single digital display at resolutions up to 2560 x 1600.
Input devices: HP Wired USB Keyboard (standard); HP Wired USB Mouse (standard)
Power: 36 W, worldwide auto-sensing, 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz
Input/Output: Front: 4 USB 2.0; 1 headphone; 1 microphone. Back: 2 USB 2.0; 1 RJ-45 or 1 Fiber NIC; 1 DVI-I; 1 DisplayPort™; 1 power connector (two of 4 USB 2.0 ports used for keyboard and mouse)
Dimensions (W x D x H): 2.56 x 5.41 x 7.37 in
6.5 x 13.75 x 18.72 cm (With stand)
Weight: 1.32 lb / 0.6 kg
Protocols: VMware Horizon View through PCoIP; VMware Horizon DaaS through PCoIP; Amazon WorkSpaces through PCoIP2