Dan's Take

Dell Unveils Two New Thin Clients

The clients work with the major products from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.

Dell recently launched two thin client devices designed for mobile use and the extension of Dell's Data Protection, designed to protect customers against advanced persistent threats and malware.

Here's how the company describes its new products:

    • The Dell Latitude E7270 mobile thin client is designed for those who require superior computing power and ultimate portability with the centralized control and security inherent to thin clients. To best meet the exacting needs of power users, the E7270 is the most powerful mobile thin client available today, starting at only 2.77 pounds¬† with a 3-cell battery and with an Intel 6th Generation Core i5 processor. Users will enjoy all day productivity with a 12.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare display.
    • The Dell Latitude 3460 mobile thin client has been designed to address a broad range of typical use cases by giving employees an enterprise-class mobile experience, with the utmost security and manageability benefits of a virtual desktop environment. It offers high performance with an Intel Celeron 3215U processor and a 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare display.

Dell notes that these thin client systems support all VDI protocols and can connect to all of the major brokers, including Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware Horizon.

Dell also took the opportunity to wave the flag for its Dell Data Protection and Threat Defense software.

The Changing Client-Server Times
Long-time IT folks remember the days in which they used a mainframe block-mode terminal or a character-cell terminal to access minicomputer applications. The terminal devices were easy to deploy, very reliable and would survive many hardware and software updates without requiring a change at the client side. Moving into the client/server world using a PC or laptop as an endpoint device has offered a lovely look and feel, combined with management, security and data governance headaches. Those long-time IT folks mentioned earlier long for a simpler time.

Thin client computing, regardless of whether it's connecting to an application executing on a host or in the cloud, or executing an entire virtual client system delivered by a local server, a server in the enterprise data center or a cloud server, appears to check many of the boxes.

The problem has always been that some applications impose pretty heavy processing, graphics or other requirements, making some thin clients die in disgrace. Dell has been working to address those needs for quite some time. Each new system narrows down the places in which a full PC is a requirement. These newly-announced systems make it possible for nearly anyone's computing requirements to be supported.

Dan's Take: A Potentially Good Fit
The benefits of this approach are obvious: the data being processed remains in the datacenter, and can't be easily lost or stolen. Proprietary applications can be projected out to these systems for use by authorized individuals, but don't hang around for others.

If your organization has chosen to deploy applications using this approach, Dell's devices are worthy of consideration.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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