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A Comparison of Thin-Client Computing Architectures

Nieh, Jason; Yang, S. Jae; Novik, Naomi

Thin-client computing offers the promise of easier-to-maintain computational services with reduced total cost of ownership. The recent and growing popularity of thin-client systems makes it important to develop techniques for analyzing and comparing their performance, to assess the general feasibility of the thin-client computing model, and to determine the factors that govern the performance of these architectures. To assess the viability of the thin-client computing model, we measured the performance of five popular thin-client platforms running over a wide range of network access bandwidths. Our results show that current thin-client solutions generally work well in a LAN environment, but their performance degrades significantly when they are used in today's broadband environments. We also find that the efficiency of the thin-client protocols varies widely. In some cases, the efficiency of the thin client protocol for web applications is within a factor of two of standard web protocols, while others are 30 times more inefficient. We analyze the differences in the various approaches and explain the impact of the underlying remote display protocols on overall performance.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-022-00
Published Here
April 22, 2011
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