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Lean and Mean

When it comes to saving your business's time and money, thin is in.

This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Despite the name, thin clients aren't overly diet-conscious customers-rather, they're stripped-down computer systems that run applications remotely from a server. They forego all the "fatty" aspects of regular desktop PCs and are able to operate without hard drives, screaming-fast processors, removable media drives or souped-up RAM. Although thin clients still use regular monitors, the devices themselves look more like vertical pancakes than computer towers.

Thin clients are attractive for businesses that don't want to-or can't-employ a platoon of IT professionals to baby a slew of regular desktops. Because most software is deployed on the company server, the IT load job is a lot lighter. Upgrade the programs on the server, and you upgrade all the thin clients as well. Upgrade the server hardware, and the thin clients reap the benefits. It all adds up to tech-support savings.

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