By John B. SnyderDecember 22, 2008
The Arsenal's information technology folks have a New Years' resolution and it means getting the Arsenal workforce thinner. No, this isn't some new health kick or an attempt to make Arsenal employees workout everyday at the gym. Because we know that ain't going to happen.
Nevertheless, Bob Davis, acting director of information management at the Arsenal, said that without causing a lot of sweat, a drop in a dress size, or the tightening of the belt, he will magically make us thin with technology.
Davis said that within the next few months, the 175 desktop computers that you have grown to love, unless your computer works like mine, will be replaced by what is called a Hewlett-Packard "Thin Client" device. This thin device and server system is a small, low-powered device that will dramatically reduce information management costs for the command.
A thin client computer relies on a remote server for processing actions and the storage of software and data. The only software loaded on the client computer is the user interface, user applications, and an operating system. So, the bottom line is that all the heavy work will be done by the servers, versus, the individual desktop systems that we currently use. No more DVD or CD slots.
The advantages to the command are significant, Davis said. As you may recall, every time there is a security patch or software upgrade to our current system, those upgrades must be "pushed" to each individual workstation. If there is any trouble with the push, the IT crew often goes to each individual user to try to resolve.
Now, all upgrades and security patches can be sent to just a few servers and immediately, our client computers are upgraded.
Another significant cost savings comes from replacing obsolete desktop systems every five years. The annual upgrade cost to the command is more than $50,000 to replace outdated desktop computers. Now, the thin client system, which cost the command about $500 versus $1200 for a desktop, will always have the most current operating system and software because only the servers will need to be upgraded every few years.
Finally, many of us want to "go green" to reduce our carbon footprint. In essence, reduce the impact our daily activities have on the environment. While others, simply want to reduce their high energy costs. Well, that is another great advantage of the thin client.
Because of the much smaller size and low operating requirements when compared to a desktop, the thin client should dramatically reduce the command's utility bill.
According to the Hewlett-Packard website, the thin client's total cost of ownership will be:
80% less maintenance per year
25% capital cost savings
34% less maintenance
23% less to operate
25% productivity increase