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Tuesday, 26 May

Thin Edge of the Computer

Cost savings of up to 47% and reduced global warming potential up to 59% are two benefits of computer recycling according to research from a German institute.

Most businesses are used to replacing their old PCs with new ones every three to five years but the latest research may point the way to how organisations can help themselves by converting them to ‘thin clients’

Businesses can cut their desktop management costs by up to 47% and reduce global warming potential by up to 59%, according to research from German scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT). By using a simple piece of IGEL Technology software on a USB stick or disk, old desktop computers and laptops can be converted into thin client devices in just minutes.

A thin client behaves just like an old PC but stores all its information directly on the server, rather than on the device and can be managed and updated more simply than PCs.

When the researchers compared new PCs and notebooks with older devices, which continue to be used after converting them to IGEL software-based thin clients, they found that over a typical three-year period, the software thin clients reduced global warming potential by up to 59% and cut overall costs by up to 47%. For a business with 100 converted computers, this amounts to a saving of £720 per computer.

There is also a significant saving in the greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions. When the entire life cycle of the desktop device is taken into account from production and manufacture to distribution, operation and recycling/disposal, the institute found that the production of the devices was responsible for a high proportion of the emissions. By continuing to use older devices as converted thin clients they made a ‘significant’ contribution to protecting the climate because they prevented and/or deferred the production of new devices.

"This study is a revelation for businesses and public sector organisations struggling to manage with old PCs on their desktops,” declared Simon Richards, IGEL Technology MD for UK & Ireland. “By using a simple piece of software to convert these devices to a thin client, organisations can save significant costs, management time and help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this conversion of old PCs is the first simple step to moving to a virtual Cloud or server-based computing infrastructure, which is much more flexible and easier to manage moving forward.”

Picture: Old PCs are being dumped when they could be converted, argues one German institute

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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