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Terminal Services

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Terminal services work in conjunction with thin clients to provide a network-based client/server computing environment in which much of the processing load is shifted from the client to the server. The thin client and the terminal server operate in what is called a thin-client computing environment. Terminal services refer to the software that resides on back-end servers that host multiple, simultaneous thin clients. Servers in this environment must manage the sessions and applications of multiple users. However, there is reduced network traffic, reduced client cost, and ease of management. Thin clients are ideal for users that perform just a few tasks, such as order processing and retail sales, or in call center and kiosk environments.

In terms of functionality, thin clients fall between dumb terminals and smart full-function desktop PCs. While terminals servers perform the bulk of processing, thin clients provide high-resolution GUI displays and keyboard functionality. They also include embedded operating systems such as Windows CE or Linux. See "Thin Clients" for a more complete description.

One category of thin clients is specifically designed to be a Web terminal. They are capable of accessing any Web site and running the Java applets or other code at those sites. Some include hard drives to cache Web objects (the drives are not meant for permanent storage).

There are three primary terminal services vendors: Microsoft, Citrix, and Sun Microsystems...

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications."

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