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Dell Expands VDI Portfolio, Broadens Partner Opportunity

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Dell on Thursday expanded its VDI portfolio with a combined announcement that includes a new Dell EMC hyperconverged appliance, a new Dell Latitude mobile thin client, Wyse management suite, and a new Wyse ThinOS — products that target the vendor’s cloud client-computing channel partners.

The latest VDI products from Dell attack the two biggest problems of the VDI market — that it’s complicated and expensive, according to Jeff McNaught, vice president, Dell Cloud Client Computing.

Dell's Jeff McNaught

Dell’s Jeff McNaught

“VDI requires a bit of hand-holding. These announcements provide another set of new capabilities that are going to help the channel drive growth in this space,” he told us.

The new Dell EMC XC Xpress appliance for VDI is an optimized Nutanix-powered hyper-converged appliance designed for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). The product is a scaled-down version of the Dell EMC XC series of appliances designed for thousands of seats or the enterprise business market.

The new appliance is a hyperconverged product for VDI, designed to be more affordable, easily implemented, and to meet needs of SMBs — between 100 and 300 seats of VDI.

The Dell EMC XC Xpress appliance targets organizations that use Citrix XenDesktop. It’s a small 1U server delivered in a set of three 1U nodes in the rack to provide redundancy and failover capability. The 3-node cluster can be expanded to a 4-node cluster, the company said.

“This solution can outfit an office for about $25,000,” said McNaught, adding that it comes with the Nutanix software stack and Citrix Xen Desktop.

The new appliance supports hypervisor and brokering technology from Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware.

A mobile thin client – the Dell Latitude 3480 that comes with Windows 10 IOTE – is next in the new product announcement lineup. It’s price is $500 less than the previous 5000 series mobile thin client — $799 versus $1,299.

The new mobile thin client uses the same hardware as Dell sells in the Latitude PC, which allows users to use the same docking stations and spare batteries. Users can also connect to a variety of virtual desktop brokers, including Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, and VMware Horizon.

“As our customers transform, many are realizing that work isn’t a location but something that you can do from the office or something you can do from the coffee shop on an unsecured network, from home, or from the road,” said McNaught.

Also announced Thursday is the Wyse ThinOS 8.4, which expands support to include VMware Blast Extreme Protocol and Citrix HDX RealTime optimization pack 2.2 for increased unified communications capability and greater video and multimedia capabilities, the vendor said.

Wyse ThinOS 8.4 also includes security enhancements. Wyse ThinOS 8.4 will be available to existing customers who are licensed.

Finally, Dell announced the Wyse Management Suite, an all-in-one software management product for thin clients. The new software suite can be used via an on-premises console or via the cloud, is automated and offers configuration, monitoring, managing and optimizing features.

“This is particularly good for the channel because as the channel implements these sorts of solutions, they want to be able to sell management services on the back end, which is a profitable element of the solution for a lot of organizations,” said McNaught.

The software is free for managing under 10,000 seats. For more than 10,000, a more fully featured Pro version, which includes a mobile app, is available for $20 per seat, per year, on a subscription basis.

Availability for the Dell EMC XC Xpress for VDI is July 20; the Dell Latitude 3480 mobile thin client is available beginning July 19; and, the Wise ThinOS 8.4 and Wyse Management Suite are available now. Migration capability from Wyse Device Manager to Wyse Management Suite will be available in the next release, the company said.


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