The number of companies opting to centralize their ICT through server-based computing (SBC) is steadily increasing.
More than half of U.S. businesses are using various elements of SBC in their ICT environment, says Vincent de Lucia, product manager at independent ICT solutions provider, First Technology Pty. Ltd. He says that it's not surprising, as there are numerous benefits to server-based computing.
"Imagine replacing 1,000 networked PCs with 25 network servers and 1,000 server-based computers that never need to be individually upgraded and cost half the price of a standard PC," he says.
"The advantages of server-based computing include companies being more able to control their budgets through cost saving. The solution multiplies the life of old PCs, while enabling them to function on a par with the fastest and newest PCs at no additional cost, saving the company between 30% and 60% percent of its ICT budget." He adds that cost saving is due to reduced support and hardware upgrades, along with lower bandwidth use and employee downtime.
According to De Lucia, the solution also provides for better service and support. Upgrades and new applications can be deployed on centralized servers and made immediately available throughout the enterprise.
He points out that users have less access to information and data that may corrupt a workstation's operations. Administrators can also monitor and control user access to applications and information to prevent access to sensitive data or to limit access to only certain days of the week or times of the day.
De Lucia adds that less employee downtime increases productivity, as users are not tied to any one machine. "When a workstation fails or goes off-line, users can change workstations without losing any information."
In the event of planned or unplanned systems downtime, SBC can provide uninterrupted access to enterprise applications and data. In addition, there is better support for remote offices, De Lucia says. Administrators and support staff can view and monitor all of the users' actions. When a user calls for assistance, the engineer can see what activity is taking place on the user's workstation and even talk them through fixing the problem.
Another benefit is that users can view large files remotely that are too big or impossible to transfer over the network.