Through Thick and Thin: Zeroing in on the Perfect HVD-Client Device



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Selecting the best hosted virtual desktop (HVD) client for a HVD implementation presents IT organizations with a dilemma: What's the best choice--thick-client, thin-client, or zero-client? Each approach comes with trade-offs that include performance, network bandwidth requirements, manageability, security, and flexibility to adapt to a changing HVD implementation. Failure to understand the impact of these trade-offs in a particular HVD-client deployment can seriously undermine the success of the project. In this Gartner assessment, Research Director/Analyst Nik Simpson examines the various approaches to providing the client device for a HVD implementation.

Table of Contents

  • Summary of Findings
  • Comparison
  • Analysis
    • Characteristics of Thick, Thin, and Zero HVD-client Devices
      • Thick-Client Characteristics
      • Thin-Client Characteristics
      • Zero-Client Characteristics
    • Usage Models for HVD-clients
      • Remote Terminal
      • Local Processing
    • Comparison Between Thick-, Thin-, and Zero-Client Devices
      • Flexibility
      • Manageability
      • Security
      • Performance
      • Costs
    • Strategies for Selecting a HVD-client
    • Future Technologies
      • Hardware Acceleration for Server-Side Rendering
      • Windows 7 Embedded Edition
      • Cloud-Based Applications
      • Mobile Devices
  • Recommendations
    • Categorize User Requirements
    • Consider Reusing Existing Desktops
    • Consider Security Implications
    • Be Wary of Server-Side Hardware Acceleration
    • Consider Web-Based Alternatives to Support
    • Consider Alternatives to Hardware Maintenance
  • The Details
    • HVD-client Protocol Implementations
      • Client-Side Rendering
      • Host-Side Rendering
      • Multimedia Offload
      • Selective Refresh
      • Client-Side Caching
    • HVD-client Implementations
      • Thick-Client
      • Thin-Client
      • Zero-Client
  • Related Research and Recommended
  • Notes
© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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