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Managing computer reservations in a thin client environment.

Neil Bellerby, Director at Monitor IT discusses how the Monitor group have managed to develop a reservation system within a thin client environment. 
We have long accepted that it is prudent to have an effective computer reservation system for our users. You may have hundreds of PCs, Macs and other clients - we want our users to quickly find available clients allowing them to spend more time working and less time searching.
We may also want users to reserve a computer for the future, or perhaps give staff the ability to block book computers for their classes. We can apply quotas to stop excessive use and even charge external users creating an extra income stream.  
At the same time, many organisations are looking to expand and start their thin client environment and for good reason. Thin clients can promote cost savings, efficiencies, security and longevity whilst at the same time, require less maintenance and are more environmentally friendly when compared to a traditional thick client set-up.
However, we often find compatibility issues between thin clients and common computer reservation or booking systems. Why is this? Well here’s the technical bit (at least for me it’s technical!)… the thin client is the physical terminal a user would access from where they can reach a virtual desktop. It is the virtual desktop that is reserved by the reservation system BUT virtual desktops aren’t usually related to specific thin clients and can be allocated randomly.
Therefore, a user does not know which thin client to sit at in order to access their reserved session – which obviously causes a slight issue. The user needs to be able to reserve a physical machine rather than a virtual desktop only!
Following lots of hard work, development and cups of coffee, the Monitor group have managed to overcome this problem and have successfully deployed a reservation system within a thin client environment at Auckland council libraries with over 600 clients in operation.
Now, on making a booking, a user will book a physical machine whose name will be passed to the reservation client running in the virtual session – this ties virtual and physical together. When the user is told to go to machine A32, they look for machine A32 and low and behold, there’s a reservation session waiting for them there. Easy!
Now you can go thin client crazy safe in the knowledge that you have a reservation system that works with thin clients!

If you would like to find out more about how we can improve your computer reservations then please do not hesitate to contact me on 01494 565 066 or email me neil.bellerby@monitorit.co.uk. Alternatively why not watch our video on our full reservations solution by clicking here 

Neil Bellerby, Director

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