Dell EMC manufactures a variety of thin client devices, but the focus of this article is the Dell Wyse 3040 Thin Client. A thin client device, sometimes referred to as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or a microserver, in its first development phases was meant to be a compact computer with server-like functionality. The concept, however, has since evolved to incorporate a range of hardware, to where currently, all a computer needs to qualify as a microserver is a motherboard, a power supply, a processor, some RAM memory, and multiple network connection points (such as LAN and WLAN connections).
A thin client device is basically a compact, portable hard drive. It normally has its own onboard capacity when it comes to processing and memory, but its main purpose is to be the ultimate device when it comes to portability. It is mainly used as a device for connecting to a private network – such as your workplace’s network – either through a network cable or wirelessly. Another great benefit of a thin client or micro-server device is that it's very energy-efficient, more so than a conventional laptop, notebook, or desktop. Yet it connects you to the network infrastructure you want to access, such as your employer’s network, from where you can run the operating system, applications, and even save your work directly onto the network wherever you are linked up to the micro-server. Essentially, thin client devices are affordable, low-power servers that can perform several server-like functions with flexible configurations options. All you need is a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to hook it up to, and you instantly have a desktop computer that is active on the network of your choice.
Featuring Intel Quad processors, wireless and wired connectivity, 4 USB ports, and two DisplayPort interfaces, you can hook up two monitors onto the Wyse 3040 device. The Wyse 3040 comes pre-installed with Dell’s own ThinOS and ThinLinux operating systems that interface seamlessly with several different desktop brokers such as Citrix, Microsoft, VMWare, and Amazon Web Services environments. Essentially, you can choose which OS interface you want to work on or know best, on any device connected to the Dell Wyse 3040, from anywhere.
The Dell Wyse 3040 VDI is easy to use with simple, automatic setup, configuration, and management. Once you have it out of the box and hooked up to the power supply, you can connect to other VDIs wirelessly, or if you’re on-premise, through your organisation’s network cables. As it is simply a small micro-server, you would obviously need the necessary peripherals to interface with it, so you’ll need a monitor – you can easily link up two monitors – a keyboard, a mouse, or any other peripherals you need.
Very reasonably priced at just over R4,000 and running on a meagre 5W of power, this little powerbox – weighing a little more than 250 grams – is the best solution for home users or small enterprises that don’t require a large capital outlay on hardware, and run small, private networks. All you’ll need extra are the peripherals mentioned, and you can maximise your use of the Dell Wyse 3040 by choosing just about any device – desktop, laptop, notebook, tablet – that suits your needs and your budget.
Specification-wise, the 3040 has an Intel System-on-Chip (SoC) Cherry Trail Quad-Core processor – an SoC integrates the processor, a graphics processor, a USB controller, and power management circuits on one chip – has a system memory of 2GB, up to 16GB of memory storage, and is LAN and WLAN enabled.
In addition, Dell also offers the Wyse Management Suite, a powerful, scalable, and highly secure solution to manage and optimise all user endpoints on the network.