This summer Trinity University Information Technology Services updated their computing systems to be more environmentally friendly by pursuing a Green Computing Initiative.

“This summer we replaced one of our Computer Labs with thin clients.  Thin clients are small units that use only nine watts of power but still operate the same as a traditional PC.  Using visualization software, these units present an image of a Windows 7 Desktop so the look and feel are the same,” said Arturo de los Santos, associate director of information technology services and director of user support services.

These thin clients use less energy than a traditional PC, thus making them better for the environment.

“By going to thin clients it gives it a lower carbon footprint, so less energy. It’s definitely more energy efficient,” de los Santos said.

The main physical difference between a thin client and a PC is the inclusion of a hard drive. Thin clients do not have hard drives, which helps to reduce the amount of space they take up.

“A PC itself has all of the components that you would need, including a hard drive. A thin client has everything except a hard drive. So it doesn’t have a hard drive to save space. Nothing is saved to the thin client which allows it to be much, much smaller and much more compact. In fact, the thin clients are so small we put them under the desks and you can’t even see them,” said David Salinas, technology and user support administrator.

With these thin clients, students will be able to access this desktop from anywhere, allowing students who are studying abroad the ability to have access to Trinity’s technology resources.

“You can also access this virtual desktop from anywhere any time as long as you have Internet access,” de los Santos said.

This switch is also cost efficient because the thin clients do not need to be replaced as frequently as the older, traditional computers.

“These units will be replaced every eight years as opposed to the three years we typically replace computers in our labs, resulting in significant cost savings for us,” de los Santos said.

Trinity’s Information and Technology Services hopes that this switch to thin clients will help reduce the number of computers in landfills and be a step towards a more environmentally conscious campus.

“We care about the environment,” de los Santos said.