Benefits of internet-based vs terminal server based practice management software and EHR

Internet vs. Citrix or Terminal Server-Based Technology

Pushing Pixels Through Cyberspace

This technology is known by a lot of different names – thin client computing, terminal services, or sometimes just by the brand names of the most popular providers – Citrix® or Microsoft Net®.

With terminal server-based computing, all users can access their data from anywhere with an Internet connection. However, unlike Internet-based applications, the sessions are not actually running directly on each user's computer, but on one central mainframe computer. What users see on their screen is a pixel-by-pixel reproduction of what is running on the mainframe computer. View our fact sheet to read more about the differences in technology.

Terminal Server-Based Computing vs. Internet-Based Computing

Terminal server-based computing was designed to allow multiple users at a company to access office applications remotely and is perfectly adequate for this purpose. However, it is not suitable for mission critical applications that have a large number of users. Here's why:

  • Slower - Terminal services require all users of a particular application to share processing power. These systems are not capable of balancing the processing load efficiently, unlike the data centers used by Internet-based applications, so as more users log into the application, response time slows dramatically.

  • More unreliable, potentially more downtime - Due to limited "redundancy", if the terminal server fails, the whole system fails. Internet-based applications such as those provided by Nuesoft have multiple data centers and redundancies built in so if one server fails, the others take over until it's fixed.

  • Less secure - Using terminal server applications without a VPN (virtually private network) is not secure and leaves data potentially vulnerable to ‘sniffing’ or other common attacks. Adding VPN adds to the cost and complexity of implementation both on the server and the user’s desktop. Nuesoft, on the other hand, provides five levels of security to protect your data and is completely HIPAA-compliant.

  • Poor scalability - Terminal server architecture is complicated and very costly for any vendor to properly and securely maintain. So as more users sign up, costs, complexity, vulnerability and unreliability will increase. Internet-based applications have economies of scale in their architecture - the more users that sign up, the lower the cost tends to be.

  • Lack of rich interactivity Due to its basic model, the use of rich content or multimedia within the application is very limited at best. Internet-based applications have no such restrictions.