When you learn about different thin clients and zero clients, you'll see that some of them support one or more protocols :
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol created by Microsoft that is used in many Microsoft programs.
ICA (Independent Computing Architecture) is a protocol created by Citrix and is used for their Citrix XenApp (formerly Citrix MetaFrame and Citrix Presentation Server) and Citrix XenDesktop virtualization solutions :
PCoIP is a new display protocol providing very good performance thanks to the compression of data sent over the network, but also a security of data exchanged over the network through encryption (AES 256 and NSA Suite B cyphers) of the data at your datacenter.
Then, PCoIP can be used on a local area network (LAN), but also over the Internet (WAN).
For more information about this protocol, see the official Teradici website and VMware View with PCoIP pages of VMware.
One of the questions that can be asked is : how many clients can I use with a single server ?
The limit of clients supported per server will depend on 2 factors :
For example :
- Microsoft limits the number of stations connected consecutively to 20 for the Premium edition of Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 and 10 for the Standard edition of this same OS.
- NComputing limits the number of users to 11 for these X-Series thin clients and 100 for the L-series thin clients.
If your users will primarily use a word processor, a web browser, etc., any thin client should do the trick. If it's compatible with the solution you are using (Windows MultiPoint Server, Citrix XenDesktop, ...).
If you want to play high definition (HD) videos on your thin clients, you will need to use clients that support HDX, RemoteFX, or a similar technology. It all depends on the virtualization solution you want to use.
Indeed, each provider of virtualization solutions has its own technology.
Different manufacturers provide thin clients for Windows MultiPoint Server :
Then, Microsoft provides a small list of Windows MultiPoint Server compatible clients, as well as information about chip manufacturers used in various zero clients : Zero Clients for Windows MultiPoint Server 2012.
RemoteFX is a feature included in Windows Server (and thus also in Windows MultiPoint Server 2012) that enhances the user experience for RDP (Remote Desktop).
With RemoteFX, your users can enjoy multimedia content in HD without any latency.
To choose the right thin client for your Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, ... environment know that Citrix has created a site called Citrix Ready Marketplace that references everything that is compatible with their virtualization solutions :
To help you to find the right thin clients for your needs, Citrix has created a PDF named : Find Your Thin Client
Citrix also offers a technology called Citrix HDX that provides an HD experience for virtual desktops and applications delivered to your users through Citrix XenApp or Citrix XenDesktop.
For that to be possible, the HDX MediaStream component of Citrix HDX uses the power of the thin client to deliver a high-definition experience to the user.
If the thin client is not compatible with Citrix HDX, this will not be possible.
To quickly find thin clients that are compatible with the Citrix HDX technology, visit the Citrix Ready Maketplace by using this link : Citrix Ready Maketplace - Thin Clients - HDX
For more information on how Citrix HDX works, refer to the official Citrix video available below :
VMware provides a search engine to list all thin clients that are compatible with their virtualization solutions.
In addition, it's possible to filter the list according to the desired manufacturers, virtualization solutions from VMware (Horizon, View, ...), the protocol used, ...
This search engine is available on the official VMware website and is called : VMware Compatibility Guide
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