Diskless linux computer will become immensely popular and will
be the product of this century and in the next century.
The diskless linux computers will be very successful because of the
availability of very high-speed network cards at
very low prices. Today 100 Megabit
per second (11.92 Megabytes per sec transfer rate) network cards are
common and in about 1 to 2 years 1000 MBit (119.2 Megabytes per sec transfer rate)
network cards will become very cheap and will be the standard.
In near future, Monitor manufacturers will place
the CPU, NIC, RAM right inside the monitor to form
a diskless computer!!
This eliminates the diskless computer box and saves space. The monitor will
have outlet for mouse, keyboard, network RJ45 and power supply.
The following are benefits of using diskless computers -
- NO time-consuming UPGRADES at all!! With 'Live Linux' CDROM upgrading diskless
workstation is just "throw-away-old-CDROM-and-pop-in-new-CDROM-into-drive".
Just takes 5 seconds to upgrade!!
- Sharing of central server RAM memory by many diskless computer users.
For example, if many users are using a web browser then in the server RAM there will
be only one copy of web browser in the RAM. In case Windows 95 PCs, many
users need to have individual copy of web browser
in local RAM and hence there is wastage of RAM space.
Since the RAM in server is "shared" by hundreds of diskless clients, this will be a
huge savings in the cost of memory.
You can pool the RAM memory by shifting memory from clients to server.
- Diskless Linux computers can run BOTH MS Windows 95/NT and linux programs.
- Total cost of ownership is very low in case of Diskless computers.
Total cost of ownership is cost of initial purchasing + cost of maintenance.
The cost of maintenance is usually 3 to 5 times the cost of
initial computer purchase and this cost is recurring year after year.
In case of Diskless computers, the cost of maintenance
is completely eliminated!!
- All the backups are centralized at one single main server.
- More security of data as it is located at server.
- No need of UPS battery, air-conditioning, dust proof environment for
diskless clients, only server needs UPS battery, A/C and dust proof environment.
Only remote server inside the "Data Center" needs to have UPS, Redundant power supply,
Portable Diesel Electric generator, A/C, Fire protection,
Highly restricted access with locked and secure door to "Data Center".
- Noise is completely eliminated since diskless computer does not have
Fan motor, and local hard-disk. Only server makes lots of noise but it is enclosed
in a server room ("Data Center").
- Protection from Virus attack - Computer virus cannot attack diskless
computers as they do not have any hard disk. Virus cannot do any damage to
diskless computers. Only one single server box
need to be protected against virus attack. This saves millions of dollars for
the company by avoiding installation of vaccines and cleaning the hard disks!!
- Server can have large powerful/high performance hard disks, can optimize
the usage of disk space via sharing by many diskless computer users.
Fault tolerance of hard disk failure is possible by using RAID on main server.
- Server can have 64 bit CPU SMP box having many CPUs or even
linux super-computers. CPU power can be shared by many diskless computer users
- Diskless computers are extremely fast because program loading time is
completely eliminated. For example, if the server loads the StarOffice suite
into memory due to request from one diskless user then if another diskless user wants to
use the StarOffice suite then loading time is avoided since StarOffice is
already loaded into memory.
- Diskless linux computers can run programs on multiple servers using the
"xhost" and DISPLAY environment.
- Very few system administrators required to maintain central server unlike
Windows 95 PC clients which need many administrators.
- Zero administration at diskless client side. Diskless computers
are absolutely maintenance free and troublefree.
- Long life of diskless clients - more than 300 years without any
hardware or software upgrades.
- Eliminates install/upgrade of hardware, software on diskless client side.
- Eliminates cost of cdrom, floppy, tape drive, modem, UPS battery, Printer
parallel ports, serial ports etc..
- Prevents pilferage of hardware components as diskless node has very little
RAM and low-cost CPU. The server has lots of memory and many powerful CPUs.
- Can operate in places like factory floor where a hard disk might be too fragile.
- Diskless nodes work even on wide area network.