Car hire firm Europcar International has migrated thousands of PCs across Europe from Windows fat clients to Linux thin clients, lowering both its hardware and maintenance costs.
The car hire firm has saved on hardware and maintenance costs by migrating its 1,500 stations to thin clients running Linux, but Stefan Ostrowski, the CIO of Europcar, said that while migrating to Linux thin clients has saved them money, but it would not have been as cost effective for them to migrate fat clients to Linux.
“The effort to install or maintain Windows and Linux is the same, though you might save a bit on licence costs,” said Ostrowski. “You are not saving a lot by moving fat clients from Windows to Linux. But by converting fat clients to terminal servers we have reduced the total cost of ownership by 60 percent.”
Europcar chose to run Linux rather than Windows on the terminals so that it could create a bespoke version of the operating system which included specific inventory, security and remote management tools needed by the company. It has based its bespoke version on Debian.
The main advantage for Europcar in migrating to Linux terminals has been the ability to centrally manage the terminals in its 1,500 rental stations, which are spread across Europe. Ostrowski said this has dramatically reduced the cost of maintaining the systems and in particular the cost of implementing updates.