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Tally Academy, save on hardware cost : Switch to Thin client Computing

Many of my readers are Tally Academies. For them here is my New Year idea. Some advance level academies are using it but for those who are new players in this field they can use it. You can use thin client technology and save big on hardware cost and get advantages on many fronts. Thin client solutions is not a new concept but now a days as hardware costs is a major factor in establishing a good Tally Academy you can give thin client computing a thought. More the number of PCs you are installing more is your saving.
The beauty of this concept is that need not throw your existing hardware. You can use the existing one and add up the new ones also to expend at a very low cost.
Now a days hardware configurations are changing very fast and it is very hard to keep pace with changing hardware requirements. More is the number of PCs more complex is your problem and more difficult is its maintenance.
What is Thin Client computing
A thin client is a computer (client) in architecture networks which depends primarily on the central for processing activities. It is a network terminal which behaves like desktop but applications running on central server instead. It doesn't ave any moving parts like disk drives, fans etc but have all the same ports and accessories to support as a PC. Thin client computing consists of a server which does all the processing and thin clients which are disc less systems which just displays what is going on screen. The actual processing of OS and Application software happens on server only. The server with the help of thin client software can manage any thing on clients. The client computer have just a lan card with boot Rom which can start the system. It can have a minimum memory and a very low capacity processor (even P2 can work). This wikipedia page on Thin Client can give you some insight about what is concept behind thin client computing. You can further explore about Thin Client computing and its advantages.

How to switch to thin client computing

The first requirement for this to decide about which brand of thin client software and hardware you want to opt for. At present in India few players are working very successfully. These include Neoware, ThinNet and Enjay thin clients. I am using Enjay cards and Tally solutions is using Neoware for its regional office at Delhi.
After deciding about hardware next step is to make server. Any P4 processor server with 3.01 GHz speed or higher and 1GB or more RAM can handle upto 15 pcs in case of normal Tally Academy kind of work. You can easily run Tally, MSOffice, and host of other applications.
In your existing setup you choose your best PC, increase its RAM and hard disk and make it like server. Windows XP professional as OS can do but Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 server would be better.
Now comes the client part. Add Lan cards with boot ROM in your existing pcs and let them boot through it. In case of Enjay they provide their own LAN cards and a CD for installation. If your system are having LAN cards then they need to be replaced with newer ones. To add more PCs if you can make it by your own then you can assemble it in Just Rs. 4000/- a pc. Otherwise you can purchase new slim thin clients in around Rs.8000/-
  • In academy a student can sit on any pc and open its own Tally company where as in second case he is fixed to one system otherwise you have to shift his company data.
  • Maintenance is low as client PCs would never get out of order due to software failure.
  • Work on multi user version of Tally becomes faster.
  • Security of data is more as individual users can be created with restricted rights.
The only disadvantage is that all your computing gets dependent on single server. In case the server crashes then you have to make lot of efforts in putting the system on track again.

But this disadvantage can be taken care of by taking proper backup of data and making another dummy server which would take place in case of emergency.

You can check cost benefits and maintenance benefit on Enjay world. Some more FAQ's can also be found here.

Users individual experiences are welcomed here.

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