Cloud Computing; The Return of the Dumb Terminal

By Scott Sinclair

In June of 1988 IBM released their AS/400 server that used RS232 connectors and dumb terminals. Remember those? There had been several predecessor network configurations available prior to 1988, but the AS/400 architecture took off and became a staple in businesses all over the United States. That reign would come to an end as the result of Ethernet cabling standards, PC’s and the Windows family of operating systems. Unlike the previous dumb terminal architecture, Ethernet allowed businesses to install versatile network infrastructure that didn’t require forklift upgrades every few years. Ethernet cabling standards played a significant role in this open standards revolution, by allowing businesses to buy Network Hardware, PC’s and Servers from a number of different manufacturers thereby driving costs lower.

25-years later we are well on our way to revisiting the dumb terminal architecture. With the wide spread adoption of virtual server and desktop technology, the thin client (aka dumb terminal) is becoming a very attractive office network architecture solution for large and small businesses alike.

The most important aspect of deploying a successful hosted network architecture is to make sure that your Internet/Data bandwidth is appropriately sized. Nothing can destroy a state of the art virtual environment like not having enough bandwidth.

For more information on virtual environments, bandwidth and ways to improve your businesses efficiencies, contact us at

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2 thoughts on “Cloud Computing; The Return of the Dumb Terminal

  1. Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet). For example, email. The name comes from the common use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts remote services with a user’s data, software and computation.”

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  2. Is cloud computing a waste of electricity. Is it an easy way to give away your personal information? Does the use of a cloud make the general population less informed? If cloud computing is the future, what comes after a cloud?

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