Dell becomes Dell Technology

After a long legal run, all the hurdles are put away now.

Dell and EMC will finally merge this week September 7th. After this merger Dell will become the largest privately controlled IT company in the world.
Pretty sure this will become a very interesting future for both companies and nevertheless employees and customers.

Synergy Wrap-up

Citrix Synergy was held end of May in sunny Las Vegas and Dell had one of the biggest show presence ever.

But not only having a big booth but also having a bag full of new and upcoming products.

  1. A new Linux version is coming. Dell has fully reworked the existing SUSE based Linux distribution they are selling right now. Aside with this rework the name has changed to ThinLinux.
    ThinLinux is based on SUSE 12 SP1 SLES and has a brand new GUI. Much more streamlined, much flatter, simpler, easier to use and support rich for unified communication.
    Release will be July 2016
  2. An updated version of ThinOS will also hit the market in July. It will include support for Lync optimization pack 1.8 and 2.0 at the same time. Along with that, there are tons of other new features, like
    – VMware Real Time Audio Video
    – Imprivata Bio-metric Single Sign-On
    – EAP-FAST authentication
    – Bluetooth support
    – Citrix icon refresh
    – RDP 8.1 new features
    – Amazon Web Services / Workspaces
    – Proxy support for CCM and Flash Redirection
    – Linux and Windows 10 desktop support
    – …
  3. “Dell Data Protection | Thread Protection” I have discussed this feature already in the last post
  4. Wyse 3030LT unit will get available in July 2016, a cost-effective, Intel based model for the broad market, available with either the new ThinOS 8.3 or new ThinLinux 1.0 firmware, it includes USB 3 and uses only 12 watts of energy
  5. New Wyse 7040 unit, which is a small formfactor, high performance unit, equipped with either a Intel i5 or i7 CPU, six USB 3 ports, support for a UHD 4K display, or three lower res displays daisy chained and much more, like TPM encryption, etc.
  6. Last but not least and also available in July, the new Wyse Device Manager 5.7. This will now fully support the already included webinterface, which was only in preview until now. It will also support Device Configuration for ThinOS, Linux and WES, plus a Profile Manager to assign these configuration per group.

As you can see, there was a lot going on at Synergy. Maybe we meet there next year.

Antivirus and Malware protection on WES based clients

To install an antivirus or malware protection product on a WES based client has always been a hot topic. But why?

Nobody would discuss the need of such a solution on a standard Windows PCs or even Linux or Mac. But for many companies WES is somehow special.
What makes WES so special on this case? It is a feature called Write Filter. WES has implemented this since the beginning. The very first version was designed by Wyse and from that point adapted and enhanced by Microsoft.
A Write Filter prevents writing any files or configurations to a client. If your client now gets infected by any malware, you can simply reboot the client to clean it up.
What works perfectly fine with one or only a few clients, does not work if you have to support hundreds or even thousands of clients. You would have to make sure that all clients are shut down at the same time to prevent re-infection from running clients.
One solution in the past was to install an antivirus solution. The culprit was that you would have to make sure that the new pattern files are stored on the client. Although there are ways to do this, it is not trivial, needs a lot of work and much space on the clients flash drive. Second issue is, that a typical AV solution consumes a lot of CPU cylces.

Dell  has now announced a brand new solution to these problems. It is called Dell Data Protection | Threat Defense.
This is not yet another AV solution but a complete different way to prevent infection. The solution is based on a small programm that consumes nearly no CPU cycle and does not even need pattern files.

“While other vendors depend on a ‘detect and remediate’ approach that alerts IT staff to an attack after the damage has been done,” said Jeff McNaught, executive director and chief strategy officer, Dell Cloud Client-Computing. “Dell employs a ‘prevent and protect’ approach that prevents these attacks from succeeding, and has been shown to be 99 percent effective against even zero-day and polymorphic malware attacks, well above the catch rate of traditional anti-virus products based on malware signature recognition.”

And all this is done with “simple” mathmatics.

Dell will include this solution in their WES7 and Win10 IoT image mid June 2016.
You will see a big announcement during the Citrix Synergy next week. If you are attending, don’t miss to check this out.
I was really impressed when I first saw this solution.

With the most secure OS ThinOS and now Thread Protection on WES, Dell really made a huge step in security.

Xenith is dead – Long live ThinOS lite

Dell has released another ThinOS and Xenith update. The new version is just a hotfix release without any new features. It just includes bugfixes and some new INI parameters.
With this release Dell also dropped the Xenith naming. Xenith is now called ThinOS lite, which it technically was since the beginning.

The HF release is available for C10LE, R10L, 3010 (T10), 3020 (T10D), 5010 (D10D and D10DP), 7010 (Z10D), 5040 (5212 and 5213) plus the Xenith (ups, ThinOS lite) family Xenith, Xenith Pro, 3010 (T00X), 3020 (T00DX) and 5010 (D00DX).

Versions are 8.1_031(ThinOS)/2.1_031(ThinOS lite) and 8.2_017(ThinOS)/2.2_017(ThinOS lite)

ThinOS 8.2_015 finally posted

Today Dell finally posted the newest release of ThinOS.
Version 8.2_015 is only available for 5000 (5010 – D10D/D10DP, 5040 – AIO 5212/5213) and 7000 (7010 – Z10D) series units.

You can find more information on the release here

Configuration Generator 7.4.02 is ready

Today I have updated the Configuration Generator to version 7.4.02.

New features:
– ThinOS: all parameters for the 8.2_015 are integrated
– ThinOS: all parameters for the 8.1_029 are integrated
– fixed ThinOS VPN connection
– Xenith section reworked. Now all ThinOS parameters except ThinOS specific ones (PCoIP, RDP, …) are visible
– added SUSE Linux parameters
– fixed some bugs

ThinOS 8.2 with RTME support is ready to go

What a week. Beside a new WDM version, new SUSE image and updated WCM tool, Dell engineering has finalized ThinOS 8.2.
Although the binaries are still not available for download somewhere, Dell promised to release them shortly for customers with valid maintenance. New orders will get this version in March/April timeframe.

This release is only available for 5000 (5010 – D10D/D10DP, 5040 – AIO 5212/5213) and 7000 (7010 – Z10D) series units. 3000 series unit will stay on 8.1_029 and have to wait for the 8.3 release later this year.
The reason for this is the main new feature which was integrated – RTME.
RTME is the Citrix Real Time Media Engine and is needed to support Lync.
Dell engineering has implemented RTME based on the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 1.8 for Lync which support Lync 2010, Lync 2013 and Skype for Business (Lync 2013 GUI mode) as well as Lync 2010 and 2013 server.

Other new features are:

  • Bluetooth support: The ThinOS 8.2 release supports HID and Headset Bluetooth devices and needs the Intel wireless chipset 7260 which is integrated in the above mentioned devices when ordered with wireless module
  • VMware Horizon View broker and PCoIP updates
  • Removal of RDP VOR from ThinOS 8.2
  • Log attached monitor data to the thin client event log
  • Upgrade TLS from 1.0 to 1.2

SUSE Linux MR7 finalized

Today Dell has uploaded the brand new SUSE Linux MR7 (Maintenance Release) to their website.
MR7 includes an AES password encryption tool
Unified image: SP3 support for dual and quad core thin clients
Additional management features: CCM and WCM/WDM 5.5
Latest protocols: Citrix ICA 13.2.1 and VMware Horizon client 3.5
Security updates, and bug fixes.

WDM 5.5.1 Hotfix posted

Dell has released a WDM 5.5.1 hotfix. This hotfix can only be installed on top of either WDM 5.5 Enterprise or WDM 5.5 Workgroup. There are two different installers available. Take care and download the correct one.

New feature:

  • Option to extend the 30 days WDM Enterprise trial to 60 days
  • Webinterface introduced in WDM 5.5 got a lot of updates. Now this webinterface in no longer only for viewing. Instead you can do a lot of admin task now. However, it is still labeled as “Preview”
  • Integrated WCM version was updated to 1.4.0.3 and now supports Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
  • Plattformsupport for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
  • Updated HAgents and Boot Agents