Time to get new computers? Maybe not!

Published on: April 22nd, 2016

Like every small business, CT Business Solutions has been faced with the inevitable problem of aging computers. Like all, we just want the things to keep working so we can work on “sexier” things like growing the business. We don’t want to dump time, money, and energy into upgrading computers. But inevitably, hardware ages and it quickly can’t keep up with software advances. No matter how much you tweak it, the computer is on a downward slide, getting slower. And as I have always argued, the most proactive thing you can do to have trouble free technology is to budget and keep up on updating hardware instead of seeing hours of productivity go down the drain as you milk the remaining life out of the computer.

But as I have just stated, no business likes to dump money into new computers. Well, the employees who have to use the computers actually do but the entrepreneurs trying to make a profit don’t. Anyways, so what have we decided to do? CT Business Solutions had decided to delay it and try to turn our four year plus hardware into thin clients!

Essentially this almost means going back to mainframe technology. We essentially offload storage, memory, and CPU requirements off our local devices in onto a remote server. Microsoft RemoteApp allows you run your applications off a server while they appear to be running on the local machine. If you can picture it, only pixels from the server are streamed to your local device, while only keystrokes and mouse clicks are uploaded to the server.

So the big advantage is not having to upgrade the end devices as often, or when you do, you just have to get hardware designed for thin clients, still saving you hundreds of dollars. But there are other advantages. All your application settings are saved at one central location. So no matter what device and from any location, you get the same experience in the application. You essentially pick up where you left off when you disconnect from one device and reconnect with another. On a Windows machine, we know if you have multiple RemoteApp applications open, you can choose to disconnect from server that is hosting and all applications seems to close from your local device. Then, when you reconnect from another device to the hosting server, all the applications open up at once, right where you left off! This can beat the experience of having your separate instances of applications, installed on separate devices, where you have to manually configure them the same and wait for them to sync with the cloud.

Disadvantages? Always:). You have to have connection to the Internet or to your local server where the applications are being hosted. As broad band and wireless access becomes more and more available, that has become a smaller disadvantage. Also, some applications that run on the desktop are not meant to be used on your small smartphone screen. Though you can run RemoteApp on your smartphone, the separate mobile app designed by the application vendor might be better for your smaller screen. How is the performance? I would say pretty well but specifically, I noticed, when I run Outlook 2016 via RemoteApp, as opposed to running Outlook 2013 locally, you can notice a delay in the painting of pixels. It is not that much of delay so not a deal breaker for me and this might be improved with better hardware on the back end or add on technologies through Citrix or VMWare.

Finally, I started off this blog touting the cost savings, well, you more than likely will have to pay more on the back end. This includes the server(s) and its software that hosts the applications. What the amount will be varies greatly on your organization and the applications it runs. CT Business Solutions is currently working hard to make these back end solutions more and more affordable to the small businesses. Feel free to contact us to see if this is a fit for your business!

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With an evolving business comes expanding technological needs. If your business is sending you any of these signs that it’s time to update your technology.