Chromebook Thin Client: The Perfect Solution?

What is a Thin Client?

A common definition of a thin client is a computer that uses resources from a central server rather than a hard disk. The thin client connects to a server-based environment that carries most of the applications, memory, and sensitive data that users need. Thin clients can also connect to cloud-based servers.

In many cases, thin client computers are an effective alternative to personal computers (PCs). It can also be an excellent solution, especially as it enables the IT team to set up a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). With the thin client configuration, you can purchase new workstations for employees working remotely or in-house at a lower cost than providing everyone with their own desk. Additionally, you can choose to centralize your security solution by protecting the servers to which multiple thin clients connect.

Chromebook Thin Client Market Trend

Traditional PC sales have surely been on the rise, but this is even more true in the case of Chromebooks. The inexpensive price tag, Google-optimized system, quick boot-up, and secure and free browsing make it a good choice for people who do a lot of things online. The absence of office automation tools, graphical programs, and other traditional software had been a big minus but not anymore.

A virtual environment allows users to access virtual applications on Chromebooks using an HTML5 Web client, making it a good choice for a thin client for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. Consider an instance wherein an enterprise needs to set up a VDI environment.

Software Installation and Updates

Another advantage of Chromebooks is the installation and updating of software. When there is an update, the IT admin downloads it and creates an FTP repository so that each device is updated. The FTP server details have to be pre-configured on thin clients. Chromebooks eliminate installation and deployment hassles as they automatically update themselves as soon as they are connected to the network. Users have nothing to do with the update process. Dell Wyse devices have a slight edge in device management, as they offer powerful customization, device configuration, and asset tracking, but Chromebooks offers almost as much of these functions.


The major limitation of Chromebooks is the absence of Microsoft Office automation tools and traditional software programs. However, this is not the constraint it used to be. Google has teamed up with Parallels® to bring traditional Windows applications into Chromebooks with its product Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS. Also, by using an HTML5 web client, you can access virtual applications from the Chrome browser. Earlier, this was not possible because a Chromebook does not allow you to install VMWare thin-client software on the machine.  Chromebooks are also more secure than competing devices. Data is stored in the data center and the browser is not easy to hack protecting virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments.  Easily manageable and updateable, Chromebooks are a good choice for those seeking thin clients.

Parallels RAS and Chromebook Thin Client

In this article, we discussed the advantage of Chromebook and how it will be taking the lead in the next years, but we still have to answer the question of how Chromebook will support businesses, considering the majority are still using MS Office. Another solution is Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS). Parallels RAS allows employees with Chrome OS to access line-of-business (LOB) applications, desktops, and data seamlessly over any network—while at the same time improving security and reducing endpoint management and maintenance costs.

Chrome OS is one of the most secure and easy to manage endpoint platforms. Parallels RAS  builds on Chrome OS capabilities by extending them to Windows and Windows applications, helping organizations to maintain compliance while accessing corporate data and applications.

For Chromebooks and any other devices used for remote access, all corporate data and applications reside on the centralized servers in the corporate datacenter or on the cloud, where it can be audited, controlled, and secured easily. Granular access control policies, two-factor (2FA) authentication, and smart card authentication let you determine exactly how, when, and where selected users access applications and data.

Further Benefits of Parallels RAS

Parallels RAS is one of the most powerful tools for seamless virtual desktop and application delivery. Easy to configure and install, it can be set up quickly. Parallels RAS offers an outstanding user experience from the start. With Parallels RAS, Chromebook remote access to Windows applications is simple. Here are some more benefits:

BYOD support

The Parallels Client allows businesses to easily deliver applications and virtual desktops to all users irrelevant to the hardware and operating system they are using. The Parallels Client can run on any modern operating system such as Windows, macOS and Linux, and can also run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Businesses are not limited to purchasing specific hardware or operating systems.

Flexible cloud deployment models

Parallels RAS supports public, on-premises and hybrid cloud environments. Use different approaches while reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO). Mix and match different workloads such as Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), hypervisors, hyperconverged infrastructures and cloud providers. Moreover, Parallels RAS integrates with Azure Virtual Desktop to manage and unify all virtual workloads from a centralized console, including Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

Easily deliver and manage virtual desktops

Deliver virtual desktops hosted on most major hypervisors. Parallels RAS also enables administrators to automatically create clones of a specific virtual desktop and automatically create persistent rules so that the newly cloned desktops can be used as a personal desktop. Clients can be easily managed through the client group policy feature.

Enhance user mobility

Allow remote workers to access all applications and their personalized desktops hosted on the cloud easily over a secure and encrypted channel. Published applications and virtual desktops can be accessed via the Parallels Client, which can run on any operating system and mobile devices, or via the HTTPS protocol via standard HTML5 browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Improve productivity

Allowing remote users to access their personalized desktops and applications over a secure and encrypted channel with Parallels RAS is straightforward. By enabling remote users secure access to published applications and their own personalized desktops, businesses can also benefit from a boost in productivity and collaboration between users.

Network and cloud security

By implementing Parallels RAS on the network and segregating all the servers from the network and the Internet in the private cloud, businesses will improve the security of their network and private cloud because all kinds of access can be controlled via a central location, the Parallels RAS Console. Published applications and personalized desktops can also be accessed over an SSL layer to ensure that the data between the user and the private cloud is encrypted and is not tampered with.

Centralized management

Manage all user connections to Windows Remote Desktop Servers and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure hypervisors from an easy-to-use centralized console and automatically distribute new connections to the least busy servers in the farm with the in-built Parallels High Availability Load Balancer (HALB). The load balancer automatically checks the usage of each server before a new connection is initiated to ensure that there are enough resources available for an application or virtual desktop to run.

Interested in trying out Parallels RAS for yourself? Download our 30-day trial.