NComputing has updated its N-series system-on-a-chip technology to include support for the latest Citrix technologies as well as enterprise security and a new management interface.

Charlene O'Hanlon

October 7, 2013

2 Min Read
NComputing Thin Client Upgrade Supports Latest Citrix Technology

If thin clients were a flavor, they’d be vanilla—ordinary, ubiquitous, not much to get excited about. But the great thing about vanilla—and thin clients—is it doesn’t take much to make an ordinary flavor into something pretty darn tasty.

Such is the case with NComputing. The company's N-series line of thin clients only support Citrix technology. The result is a client that “performs really well rather than a client that supports many VDI protocols and performs okay,” said Tom Nikl, senior product marketing manager at NComputing.

The company has updated the N-series to include support for the latest Citrix technologies, including Citrix Receiver for Linux, as well as support for XenApp 6.5 Feature Pack 2 and VDI-in-a-Box 5.2. The latest firmware release also includes enterprise-grade security and a new firmware updating system designed to enable IT managers to more easily access and update workspaces.

“When you’re talking about something like a thin client, [the selling points] really come down to performance and cost,” Nikl said. “Because [these] are tailored only for Citrix, we can fine tune exactly for Citrix. … If price and performance are the two biggest differentiators, then we have a huge leg up over our competitors.”

NComputing’s technology isn’t bogged down with code to support multiple virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) protocols, so it performs better that its competitors, the company claims. And, it adds, its system-on-a-chip technology makes for a less expensive thin client, since NComputing owns the manufacturing, and it uses a Linux-based OS, eliminating the need for the cost of Microsoft Windows licenses—further reducing the manufacturing costs of the units.

The N-series consists of three models—N500w, for mobile knowledge users; N-500, for knowledge users; and N400, for task workers (NComputing’s terms, not mine)—a portfolio that addresses the majority of the thin client market, Nikl said.

“We looked at what was out there and saw lot of thin client providers had overly complicated portfolios, and when simplicity and ease of deployment and management is the goal, an IT administrator doesn’t want to have 10 different thin clients throughout an organization. So we decided to just have two or three good models,” he said.

NComputing is a relative newcomer in the HDX thin client space—the N-series has been on the market for only about a year—and Nikl readily admits it’s playing catch-up. However, much progress has been made, with the N-series’ feature set at near-parity with its competitors’.

“After one or two releases we will have feature parity,” he said.

As cloud computing and mobility continue to drive IT spending in the enterprise space, VDI will continue to play a role. NComputing may be an upstart in the HDX thin client space, but it’s a company definitely worth keeping an eye on. Could this be the start of a market shift to vendor-specific thin clients?

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