Thin Clients Yield Large Returns

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-05-08 Email Print this article Print

The long-term care of PCs, just like people, can be expensive.

The long-term care of PCs, just like people, can be expensive.

For New London Hospital, which needed to replace several hundred aging desktop PCs recently, thin clients were the answer. The hospital now has nearly 300 ClearCube blade PCs.

The machines, which are located in the data center and accessible only via a desktop port that connects a display, keyboard and mouse, offered to lower management costs—promising a return on investment in as little as one and a half years, while lasting some five years and better protecting patient information, said Dave Foss, CIO of New London Hospital, in New London, N.H.

"There's a lot of research that I did that supports the fact that the purchase of the hardware—the desktop itself—represents between 5 and 10 percent of the total cost of ownership of that workstation throughout its life," said Foss, who wouldn't detail dollar figures. "You start looking at what the other costs are."

Indeed, even though the ClearCube blades, which the hospital began rolling out in 2004, cost the hospital roughly 1.5 times more than a standard desktop, Foss said that other factors weighed in. Each blade can support up to five users while "cutting down on the mileage on [IT] people's shoes," he said.

Now "we don't have hard drives under people's desks or in public access points where they can get to it," Foss said. "We can also disable the ability to plug in memory sticks."

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John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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