Wyse Software, Thin Client Improves VDI Experience

Wyse Technology is rolling out new software and thin-client devices aimed at improving the user experience in desktop virtualization environments. The software brings the Adobe Flash capability to the endpoint device rather than having it sit on a central server and then be streamed to the thin client. Wyse's new C class thin clients offer multimedia capabilities on the device. Established vendors, such as Wyse, VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, as well as smaller vendors like MokaFive and Wanova are looking for ways to improve the user experience with the goal of speeding up the adoption of desktop virtualization.

Wyse Technology is continuing to push for greater user experience in desktop virtualization environments by looking to strike a balance between what is put into the endpoint device and what is centrally housed in the server.

Wyse is rolling out a new class of thin clients that include a hardware graphic accelerator for greater multimedia capabilities, taking that load off the central server and putting it at the endpoint.

In addition, the company is unveiling the latest addition to its TCX virtualization software suite, which improves the user experience by supporting Adobe Flash at the endpoint. Instead of putting Flash on the server and then streaming it to the thin client-as is traditionally done in VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) environments-Wyse is putting the Flash object on the client itself, Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer at Wyse, said in an interview.

Improving the end-user experience is a key in fueling widespread adoption of desktop virtualization, McNaught said.

Wyse is scheduled to announce the newest offerings Aug. 25, and will be showing them off at VMworld 2009, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in San Francisco.

The Flash support is the latest addition to the TCX software suite, which also includes support for multiple displays, rich media, rich sound and rich Web applications, among other capabilities.

The Flash acceleration capability, which uses Wyse's Collaborative Processing Architecture, extends the features in Microsoft RDP and Citrix Systems' ICA/HDX protocols for Flash Player 9 and 10 and Internet Explorer 6 and 7. It's compatible with VMware's View and Citrix's XenDesktop offerings, and runs on Windows XP Pro, Vista or Windows 7.

Wyse has been building out its TCX suite since 2005, and the support for Flash rounds out the offerings, McNaught said. The goal of the suite is to make the end-user experience in a VDI environment as good as it is on a traditional PC. The end-user experience when streaming Flash objects from the central server to the endpoint has "been pretty awful," McNaught said.

With enterprises using more animation and video, the need for a better Flash experience at the endpoint is important, he said.

Putting the multimedia capabilities on the new Wyse C class thin clients also improves the end-user experience by taking the load of full HD video off the central server. It also takes some pressure off businesses that are finding the need to put more servers into their data centers in order to support VDI deployments, McNaught said.

The new thin clients are also energy-efficient. They're certified under the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, and consume just under 7 watts of power when working, he said.

The new thin clients offer security and management via Wyse's Device Manager, which includes HTTPS-based communications, device policy features, configuration management, real-time asset management, health monitoring and remote imaging.

Improving desktop virtualization is a key focus of not only traditional vendors like VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and Wyse, but also startups that are jumping into the mix. Wanova Aug. 19 came out of stealth mode with its Distributed Desktop Virtualization architecture, which also is aimed at improving the user experience by offering central management but running desktop workloads at the endpoint. MokaFive in June rolled out MokaFive Suite 2.0, which lets end users customize their desktops while keeping the base desktop image secure on a server.

Wyse's McNaught said the momentum is there to improve the desktop virtualization experience.

"The barrier to successful VDI deployment is falling day by day," he said.