Citrix Synergy 2016 – Citrix/Dell Chart Separate, Complementary Courses

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  May 25, 2016

Annual trade shows serve to highlight the value of strategic relationships between the hosting vendor and its key partners and customers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire crew is moving forward in lockstep. In fact, conventional trade show narratives tend to find the hosting organization speaking in expansive strategic terms, while customers and partners provide gritty, tactical details on day-to-day efforts.

That was certainly the case this week at Citrix Synergy 2016 in Las Vegas. In his opening keynote, Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov focused his comments on how the company is helping customers move to the cloud and how the rapid adoption of complementary mobile, big data and analytics technologies are creating new work models and business opportunities. Citrix is ensuring this transition by delivering solutions, including new unified Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) offerings that provide workers secure, on-demand access to apps and data.

Those messages resonated in new products and services announced at Synergy 2016 by Citrix partners, such as Dell. In fact, the ability to support increasingly flexible business models and worker engagements is central to the new Dell Wyse thin client solutions and technologies the company launched this week. But Dell also focused on how it is granularly meeting the specific needs of certain customer classes, and effectively addressing overarching security concerns.

Let’s look at these points more closely.

Keying on keynotes

During the opening keynote, Tatarinov and other company, partner and customer executives focused on the role that cloud is taking as a cornerstone for supporting the agility, convenience and accessibility businesses require. Citrix’s WaaS solutions, in concert with the Citrix Cloud, is central to the company’s vision for customers. Citrix also unveiled new solutions for virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) and app virtualization, delivery networking and secure file sharing.

In fact, Citrix Cloud services unify major components in the company’s solution portfolio, including NetScaler, ShareFile, XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile, which are available individually or as a unified WaaS solution. Citrix enables its solutions to be utilized on premises in customers’ private data centers, and also supports deployments on whichever cloud or infrastructure customers need to support their businesses or regulatory requirements. That last point – regulatory requirements – features in two of the most intriguing offerings; Citrix ShareFile and XenMobile SecureForms.

The former is an enterprise class sync and share solution that includes information rights management so security authentication requirements “follow the file” even if it is copied to unprotected devices, USB drives and email attachments. The latter allows IT to transform traditional documents into secure, mobile mini-apps that can be easily accessed with smart phones and tablets but be configured to apply required security policies.

New Dell Wyse Thin Client Solutions

The Dell Wyse thin client offerings announced at Synergy 2016 closely followed last week’s announcement of new Dell solutions for effectively securing VDI and virtual workspace environment. Those included Dell Data Protection/Threat Defense which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to proactively prevent malware, including ransomware and zero day threats on all Windows thin clients.

Those solutions are supported by the new Dell Wyse 7040, a highly secure thin client designed to meet the needs of the most demanding virtual workspace business customers, and the unique security and compliance requirements for the Federal government and related markets. For use cases where security is paramount, the solution is accredited with major Federal compliance and certification credentials including OPAL-compliant storage options, TAA, Energy-Star and EPEAT.

The 7040 incorporates 6th generation quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and enterprise-class management capabilities with Intel vPRO and support for Wyse Device Manager, System Center Configuration Manager and Dell Command Configure. The 7040 can flexibly support desktop configurations, including support for one UHD “4K” display (3840×2160), or up to three 2560×1600 displays. It also features six USB 3.0 ports, and the capability — either through the BIOS or the Dell Command Configure tool — to lock them down to prevent data leakage.

The new Dell Wyse 3030 LT thin client offers organizations a highly secure, yet affordable solution with broad connectivity that can be easily scaled from a few employees to tens of thousands of end users. The 3030 LT is designed for budget conscious organizations in its purchase price, its projected 6 to 8 year lifecycle and its superior energy efficiency (consuming just 12W).

But its dual-core Intel Bay Trail 1.6GHz processor and integrated graphics engine are designed to deliver an enjoyable user experience, including support for two high-resolution displays up to 1920×1200 & 60Hz. The 3030 LT also offers multiple connectivity options including wired networking, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band Wi-Fi, two Display Ports, and four USB ports, including one USB 3.0 for high-speed peripherals. In addition to these new Dell Wyse thin clients, the company also announced a new ThinLinux (based on SuSE Linux) software option, and enhancements to the Dell Wyse Device Manager (WDM) management platform.

Final analysis

While Synergy 2016 followed a script common to other IT industry trade shows, the conference also cast light on the relative progress of Citrix and Dell in their respective markets.

The former’s solutions and offerings find the company leading the way in helping enterprises cope with demands for ever more flexible and mobile processes that are also secure from increasingly dire security threats. The new and improved offerings from Dell Wyse clearly demonstrate why the company has been and remains one of the industry’s leading makers of innovative thin client, VDI and virtual workspace solutions.

That the pair’s respective strengths are entirely individual yet also highly complementary qualifies as the sort of exercise in synergies that Synergy 2016 hoped and is designed to spotlight.

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