This past summer, the five-year-old PCs in Mugar Library were replaced with Thin Clients and virtualization technologies. Thin Clients have no local disk, and use about a fifth of the power that the old PC’s required (thin clients use 50 watts verses PCs, which use 250 watts). They also run on a server-based operating system with application software.
Thin Client and Blade Server technologies significantly reduce energy consumption and environmental impact by producing much less heat, therefore minimizing the cooling required. This technology allows more stations to be installed and less dependence on a central AC system to cool the room.
Each server is similar so problems can be addressed centrally, systematically, and sometimes automatically without visiting individual PCs. A defective Thin Client can be swapped out in minutes with no need to load and configure the operating system and applications locally. If a station malfunctions, users can simply move to another station and pick up where they left off.
The recently created BU Common @ Mugar provides more information, services and resources.