What Are Thin Clients?

  • A thin client is a lightweight endpoint computing device that depends on a server for its computational role.
  • Parallels RAS works seamlessly with major thin-client vendors to provide an optimized user experience, with instant access to applications, desktops and data.

How Do Thin Clients Work?

Flash Memory

While thin clients run an operating system locally, they usually carry flash memory instead of a hard disk. Because they have no hard drive or local storage, all applications and data are stored on central servers. Thin clients depend on network computing to allow local printing, audio, video, web browsing, and terminal emulation.

Thin-Client Advantages

Hardware optimization: Since the server's computing power is shared between the thin clients and users, the overall hardware investment needed is lower.

Reduced software maintenance

Software updates and patching can be deployed for all users in one go, improving administrative efficiency.

Improved security

Corporate assets are centralized and only accessible after authentication, reducing the risk of data loss in the case of desktop loss or theft.

Go "green"

Thin clients are usually fan-less, which reduces energy consumption. Thin clients also have a longer life span compared to a PC, allowing further cost reduction and helping the company reduce its carbon footprint.

Understanding Windows Thin Clients

"A Windows thin client is an efficient, cost-effective endpoint device that is able to offset many of its computational processes to a server. These devices achieve their computing needs through a network connection to a central server."

-By Alex Hunter

Thin Clients That Parallels RAS Supports

IGEL Thin Client UD5
W7 (H830C), UD2 LX40
(D220), and UD3 LX50
HP Thin Client
HP t520,
HP mt42 Elitebook
10ZiG Thin Client
5872Q, 5817Q,
and 4472
Atrust Thin Client
T68L, T66, and T66DL
Centerm Thin Client
C91 and C10
VXL Thin Client
IQB27-F9R7 and

How Thin Clients Work with Parallels RAS

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) connects the server-hosted applications, data, and desktops to thin-client machines through Microsoft RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Parallels RAS works with Microsoft RDS, Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Citrix XenApp, Nutanix Acropolis, and KVM, providing impressive technology flexibility.

Parallels RAS works seamlessly with the major thin-client vendors, including IGEL Technology, 10ZiG, Atrust, Centerm, and VXL. The Parallels Client, which enables the connection between the thin client and Parallels RAS, has been developed in collaboration with each thin-client vendor to ensure an optimized user experience. The Parallels Client allows users to have a local desktop–like experience, with instant access to applications, desktops, and data.

Benefits of RAS Virtualization on Thin-Client Devices


Take advantage of superior audio and video performance with Microsoft RemoteFX graphic improvement, dual-monitor support, and robust redirection capabilities.


Increase data protection with SSL encryption, advanced filtering access, two-factor authentication, and smart card authentication.

USB Drive and Printing

Local printer or USB drives are instantly enabled, providing users with a local desktop–like experience.