How Dell Makes Virtual Desktops Easier to Use

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It was recently said, "Dell has a history of making technology easier to buy, which isn't quite the same as making it easier to use and manage."

Few would dispute our legacy of making technology — particularly computer hardware — easier to buy. As for making technology easier to use and manage, that’s a key initiative for modern Dell, and it’s no more apparent than in one of our fastest growing businesses: virtual desktops.

That includes being America’s volume leader of thin clients, the endpoint hardware often used with the technology. But it’s so much more. Thin clients are just a small slice of what we do. What we really do is make it easier for organizations to address security, mobility and BYOD in the multi-device and cloud era.

It starts by offering more thin clients, management options, virtualizations platforms, and reference architectures than anyone else. For instance, Dell’s Wyse thin clients play nice with Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, or Dell’s own vWorkspace or WSM software.

“It’s whatever the customer prefers or whatever the environment demands,” says senior product manager Dan O’Farrell. “Whether on or off premise, we provide conversion consultants and integration analysts free of charge to let customers decide.”

That choice is the driving ethos behind what we call “end-to-end” or total computing; everything from endpoint hardware and data center expertise, to single dashboard management software and virtualization enhancements such as Wyse ThinOS, Wyse vWorkspace, and Wyse WSM. In fact, Dell now has more patent awards for thin client innovations than anyone else.

But “end-to-end” is more than product improvements and owning a piece of the entire pie. It’s about assuming total responsibility should anything go wrong. Only Dell does that. If something goes wrong at any level — server, BYOD, thin client, storage, networking — we will support it.

One of the biggest pain points for IT directors is merely keeping the lights on. With remote management, faster deployments, and quicker repair times, however, virtual desktops can reduce IT management time by 60–99 percent according to internal Dell estimates, depending on the environment. In one instance, a Dell virtual desktop deployment decreased one IT management function from six hours per week to three minutes. “It’s a big difference,” one customer said.

And it’s no longer just retail, computer labs and bank terminals that benefit from virtual desktops. Knowledge workers as well as graphical-demanding engineers can replace their physical desktops, too.

“It all boils down to use cases,” says O’Farrell. “Once we understand what the worker needs to get their job done, we can create a great product mix.”

On the administration side, there’s also more control.

“You can localize as little or as much as you want now — including storage and apps — while keeping personalized data in the cloud,” he adds. “And thanks to automatic updates (without having to push updates like others) and automatic syncs when connectivity is restored, offline modes are a lot more seamless and user friendly now.”

Of course, the multi-device and BYOD era is moot unless companies can secure it. In addition to enabling the above, thin clients running ThinOS not only grant users performance gains, but added security.

Our hardware and software are light as a feather, secure as a rock. It’s why so many of our products are used by Swiss banks, federal government, and other sensitive environments, which are everywhere now. We bake security right in at no additional cost so everyone’s data stays safe.

With all they have going for them, why not make all desktops virtual ones?

“They’re not a complete replacement for physical desktops—at least not yet,” O’Farrell says with a smile. “But they can benefit every organization in an increasing number of cost-effect, productive, and simplified ways. Given that, we believe are open approach is the future of workforce computing.”

About the Author: Jeff McNaught

Jeff McNaught is the Vice President of Marketing at Dell Cloud Client- Computing. Jeff is widely considered the most quoted spokesperson for cloud client-computing in the world. With the experience of hundreds of speaking engagements, articles and press interviews, he is considered an authority on the topics of green IT, cybersecurity, mobility, desktop virtualization and cloud computing. He joined Dell in 2012 as part of the Wyse acquisition and now leads end-to-end desktop virtualization marketing and strategy efforts with his talented team. Jeff joined Wyse in 1987 as an engineer, then led various strategy, development, marketing and general management roles where his most notable achievement was co-inventing and spearheading the development of the award-winning Wyse thin clients, now with tens of millions of units in use worldwide. He lives in El Dorado Hills, Calif., and earned his M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.
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