A client machine that relies on the server to perform the data processing. Either a dedicated thin client terminal or a regular PC with thin client software is used to send keyboard and mouse input to the server and receive screen output in return. The thin client does not process any data; it processes only the user interface (UI). The benefits are improved maintenance and security due to central administration of the hardware and software in the datacenter.


(Storage Area Network) A network of storage disks. In large enterprises, a SAN connects multiple servers to a centralized pool of disk storage. SANs improve system administration by treating all the company's storage as a single resource, disk maintenance and routine backups are easier to schedule and control.

Virtual Desktop

The virtualized desktop is stored on a remote server rather than locally on a PC. Desktop virtualization software separates the physical machine from the software and presents an isolated operating system for users. The benefits of desktop virtualization include:

  • Cost savings because resources can be shared and allocated on an as-needed basis.
  • More efficient use of resources and energy.
  • Improved data integrity because backup is centralized.
  • Centralized administration.
  • Fewer compatibility issues.

Knowledge workers who use mostly business software applications are good candidates for desktop virtualization.

Application Virtualization

With application virtualization, each application brings down its own set of configurations on-demand, and executes in a way so that it sees only its own settings. This leaves the host operating system and existing settings unaltered.

Active Directory

Active Directory is Microsoft’s directory service that gives network users access to permitted resources anywhere on the network using a single logon process. It provides network administrators with an intuitive, hierarchical view of the network and a single point of administration for all network objects. Active Directory is designed especially for distributed networking environments.

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