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Dell Wyse thin clients offer VDI shops a diverse device selection

Dell Wyse offers a wide variety of thin clients that span from high-end to cheap zero clients. The Wyse 3030 and 7040 are two of the newer offerings from the company.

Dell Wyse thin clients cover a broad range. There are low-cost clients suited to simple duties and more powerful...

endpoints that run local applications, multiple screens and locally attached devices.

One of the newer directions in thin clients is to use them for web and cloud applications, because these applications only require a modern web browser, which can run locally on the thin client. It's part of a clear transition -- likely to last 10 or more years before the last legacy apps retire -- where VDI delivers legacy applications and browsers deliver modern applications.

Thin clients are a good choice during this transition because they are built for centralized IT management. The ability to tightly control the device is extremely valuable to large organizations that need to keep track of what their users are doing. And Wyse has a strong history of central management for its thin clients.

What's new with Dell Wyse thin clients?

A big issue with mobile thin clients is that they are based on the standard laptop chassis.

The Dell Wyse 3030 thin client, which the company announced in May 2016, has a dual-core Intel CPU, works with multiple displays, handles a variety of local storage sizes and uses different operating systems. The lowest cost option runs a Linux OS, with a small solid-state drive (SSD) and modest RAM. At the other end of the price range are Windows Embedded models with Wi-Fi and a larger SSD. Wyse 3030 thin clients are ideal in offices that require good, but not high-end, VDI performance. Dual display options expand the use cases to some power users. The Wyse 3030 is the type of thin client admins can deploy in large numbers for office workers.

Another recent release from Dell Wyse is the 7040, which has a powerful configuration for a thin client: sixth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs and up to 16 GB of RAM. Users can connect three displays or a pair of 4K displays. The Wyse 7040 thin clients are powerful enough for IT to deploy them as tightly managed desktop PCs. They allow users to store files in the cloud and boast full-featured browser and VDI clients. With such a powerful thin client, IT should have no issue installing voice over IP softphones and browser plug-ins to support enterprise deployment.

Dell Wyse has a 1000 series for lower-cost uses, such as in call centers. It also has zero clients that provide simple dedicated connectivity for VDI.

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Why mobile thin clients are appealing and what holds them back

The idea of a mobile thin client -- a highly portable device that gives users the power of full virtual desktops wherever they go -- is appealing. As a part of Dell, Wyse can use the Dell laptop chassis for its devices, which is good for the company because it doesn't have to develop its own hardware.

Dell Wyse has two mobile thin client models, a high-performance 12-inch Latitude E7270 and a cheaper 14-inch Latitude 3460. Both run Windows Embedded 7, have reasonable amounts of local storage and cost a little less than the standard Latitude equivalents that run full Windows desktops. The Latitude E7270 has a wireless WAN and 4G wireless options for out-of-office mobility. Mobile teams, such as financial service sales or medical field workers, that want to avoid having local data on their devices because of the risks of losing customer or patient information, may find the Latitude E7270 to be a good fit.

A big issue with mobile thin clients is that they are based on the standard laptop chassis. It would be better if mobile thin clients were thinner and lighter like the Ultrabook chassis. A mobile thin client is the ideal place for the compromises of an Ultrabook, which sacrifices the option for larger disks, more RAM and a DVD drive to keep the device compact.

Next Steps

How to pick the right VDI thin clients

Thin clients can improve security

VDI endpoint options to keep in mind

This was last published in January 2017

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Where do you think Dell Wyse ranks in the thin client market?
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As a smarthands IT field tech, I go onsite at lots of different organizations, both large & small. But, while I see small form factor PC's in increasing numbers, I seem to encounter thin clients very rarely. When I do, they are likely to be Dell Wyse thin clients, so I would guess that they are market leaders. As a tech with an obsession for network security, I would love to see more VDI infrastructure in healthcare, financial services, and other security sensitive industries. Also, I would love the opportunity to study VDI real world performance in an SME-sized organization to see how VDI impacts LAN/WAN utilization rates and user experience. At the end of the day, a better mousetrap gets adopted because it actually catches more mice than those in widespread use. So, those readers who have large thin client deployments: "how's it going?"
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