Glossary of Thin Computing


(Application Service Provider). An organisation that rents applications to companies. The users of the applications are then charged a monthly amount rather than having to pay for software in one go. The applications are normally accessed via the Internet. One of the well known business applications is


This is the physical cabling and internet access of a computer network. It is to computer systems as pipes are to plumbing. Without the correct pipes connected to meet an individual’s needs, they won’t receive water! The water in this analogy is as data is to a computer. The pipes required to transport water in a hotel are significantly more complex than a house.


A network allows computers to communicate with each other. There are a number of ways from a technical perspective how this can be achieved but the best known and biggest is the internet.

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).

A hand held computer that can be used to store contact details, calendar, send emails as well having the ability to use word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Many PDAs these days can also be used as mobile phones.

VPN (Virtual Private Network).

A VPN allows users to use a network securely. For example, it is possible to use the internet in this way by separating a company’s flow of information by securing it by encrypting the data. It ‘scrambles’ the messages making it illegible to people outside of the organisation. It allows organisations to use the Internet as if it were their own private network.

Authentication Software
Software that ‘scrambles’ or encrypts information, such as email so that it is unreadable without the right key to decrypt it.

Load balancing

Load balancing software will spread the processing capability of each server according to the needs of the users. This prevents one server being heavily overused and the other one being under utilised.