Dell reaches into midmarket with new Dell Appliance for Wyse — Citrix

An appliance originally designed to bring Citrix into the low end of the market has had its scalability increased more than tenfold, now supporting up to 5000 users. Dell also announced its new ThinOS software, which now supports Skype for Business, and is backwards compatible into the existing install base.

Dan O'Farrell Dell

Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing

LAS VEGAS — Dell has made a pair of announcements which significantly strengthen its thin client portfolio, particularly for partners who work in Citrix environments. Dell introduced the second generation of its Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix, significantly enhancing the scalability to turn it from a purely SMB or proof of concept offering into one that encompasses much of the midmarket. Dell also announced Wyse ThinOS 8.2, the latest release of its thin client software, with the major enhancement being its ability to support Skype for Business.

While the original Dell Wyse – Citrix appliance dates only from May 2015, this second version of the product represents a massive upgrade of its addressable market.

“The new appliance can really scale,” said Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing. “Before it was very small business-specific, and while the true cap was very task-specific, in most cases it was really about 350 users. They could get to 500 if they didn’t have a large variety of applications. Now, you can expand it out to about 5000 users. Before, it was easy to install and operate, and now it’s easy to scale as well.” As a result, O’Farrell said that like the original version of this appliance, it remains an excellent channel product.

Bernie Hannon Citrix

Bernie Hannon, Director of Strategic Alliances at Citrix

“It’s not just cost-effective, which is always a need with VDI,” said Bernie Hannon, Director of Strategic Alliances at Citrix. “It has a quick start feature. It lets you stand up a XenDesktop environment in two hours or less. It’s ideal for a market with little expertise in VDI infrastructure. The beauty of this appliance is that it is preconfigured with all the things necessary to get it up and running quickly. That time to value combined with the low cost per desktop make it a great value for customers.” A single server appliance purchase can deliver XenDesktop shared sessions starting at $616 CDN per user, or $806 CDN per user for traditional desktop virtualization.

“Our goal has always been to make it super easy to move to VDI by removing the costly and the complex,” O’Farrell said. “It has been all about simplicity, and now it adds simplicity to scale. This can be installed by the same person who has been maintaining Windows desktops, because it’s all Windows based.”

While the original appliance was specifically designed as a low-cost option for Citrix, which typically plays in higher levels of the market, this version will likely draw the interest of more mainstream Cisco partners. It also fits well into the mid-market strategy Citrix has been stressing at its Citrix Summit partner event, where the appliance was announced.

“[Citrix channel chief] Kimberly Martin’s messaging at Summit made it very clear the midmarket space is very important to us,” Hannon said. “Our channel plays a vital role in helping deliver in this market, and this appliance is perfect for that strategy.”

“The new scalability won’t change the profile of the partners who currently sell it, but it will open up more opportunities for them,” O’Farrell said. “Before, this was great for a small company or a proof of concept or a pilot, and now, it’s much broader. It allows partners to expand the number of opportunities and it makes VDI sales more transactional. It no longer will take nine months to sell virtual desktop infrastructure, but could take nine days, because now customers know once they start, the scalability is academic. So the partner can flip many more deals, plus the value added services they always sell on top.”

The second part of the announcement is Dell’s release of its Wyse ThinOS 8.2 software The big news here is that it now supports the Skype for Business client for Lync 2015 (UI mode) through the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack, as well as earlier versions of the app – Lync 2010 and Lync 2013.

“This is not insignificant,” Hannon said. “There is this huge install base of Citrix customers who use Wyse thin clients, and with this, they have been given a level of productivity they have never been able to enjoy before. The demand has been long and customers are excited about this.”

“Some will say this just sounds like a feature – and indeed it is,” O’Farrell said. “But the demand has been very powerful. People can now use this highly virus-resistant platform for knowledge workers, whereas in the past this was hard because you couldn’t put Lync on this. There is a large install base where they can add this capability.” The backward compatibility allows ThinOS 8.2 to be installed on millions of existing Dell Wyse thin clients including the Wyse 5010, 7010 and 5040 AIO with ThinOS, and the Wyse 5010, and 5040 AIO with PCoIP.

The new OS also facilitates enhanced security, with support for updated security and encryption methods including TLS 1.2 with AES.

ThinOS 8.2 will be available in Canada in January 2016. The new Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix will also be available in January.