Dell's Jeff McNaught talks the Wyse 5070 and the recent update to VDI Complete.

May 31, 2018

7 Min Read
Dell Wyse 5070 Thin Client

By Jeffrey Schwartz

Dell Technologies has integrated its Wyse thin client group into its commercial client organization. The first product jointly designed and manufactured by the two groups – the Wyse 5070 – is set for release to the channel June 5.

We caught up with Jeff McNaught, the longtime Wyse veteran and now VP of Dell Cloud Computing, who discusses the 5070, the recently launched update to VDI Complete, and the opportunity he sees these moves present to partners.

Channel Partners: It’s been a year now since VDI Complete was announced. Has it met your expectations?


Dell’s Jeff McNaught

Jeff McNaught: It has been hugely successful. We are now on version 3 of VDI Complete. The original VDI Complete had a certain hardware definition; we have now added more hyperconverged infrastructure appliances, we’ve added GPU support inside the solution, and we’re adding the Wyse 5070 in the solution.

CP: What’s new with the Wyse 5070?

JM: These are the first thin clients that have been designed as part of Dell. Until this point, all of our thin clients with very few exceptions were designed by Wyse and built by Wyse. Our brand-new 5070 was designed with Dell’s supply chain, intellectual property. These represent a quantum leap now in the flexibility and performance of thin clients.

CP: Is Dell eliminating the Wyse brand?

JM: No. The Wyse brand is just like the Latitude, OptiPlex or Precision brands. Whenever you see the Wyse brand at Dell, it’s all about digital workspaces, VDI and in-essence virtualization. The new Wyse 5070 is the standard. This is expanded, but both [the new 5070 and last year’s 3040] use the same logic board inside. But the whole idea behind these are they are the first truly global thin clients.

CP: What do you mean by that?

JM: They’re capable of doing all of the traditional applications in places that have backwards standards such as parallel ports and serial ports. But it’s also able to support true 4K displays at full 60 hertz and at full frame rates, whereas most of the 4K thin clients out there from other guys won’t work past 30 hertz. The new 5070 has the ability to support six display ports, which is popular for traders in the financial sector. It also supports an add-in card with its own GPU. So that’s one of the reasons for the wider chassis. We’ll have a [control access card] slot for quick logins for use in health care and government users.

CP: What processors will run with the 5070s?

JM: We have four different configurations. They come either with quad-core Celerons, or quad-core Pentiums driving much more powerful applications than the 3040 that we introduced last year. The 3040 has a quad-core Intel processor, but it’s in the Atom family. The 5070s are much more powerful and much more capable in terms of what they can do. There are just tons and tons of ports so that it becomes really …

… flexible and useful for a very long period of time. These are still low-cost, around $400 per device with all of this capability.

CP: How is the 5070 configured?

JM: In fact, there are 1,600 factory configurations because health-care providers want something different than banks, which want something different from state and local government agencies. All of these configurations are capable at factory integration. If you want them configured to break down in terms of operating systems, we support Wyse ThinOS and Wyse ThinLinux. We will most likely support Windows 10 IoT in a future version, but for today, the bulk of those shipments are ThinOS.

CP: Is that a first?

JM: Supporting all three operating systems, yes. We do have full Windows 10 IoT in our previous 5000 and 7000 Series, but this new system will run it faster and better.

CP: When you say it will support 1,600 different configurations, do you anticipate demand for each one of those?

JM: The government says “I don’t want copper; I want fiber or I only want two displays.” All of these things can be fully customized out of the factory; you never have to take a unit and then mess around with it. These are designed to get out of the box.

CP: To put those 1,600 configuration options in context, how many SKUs were previous models available in?

JM: Most of the Wyse thin clients based on the Wyse designs had the one configuration with maybe one or two options. So, here’s the thing. Six different units out of the Wyse product line are going away and being replaced by this one new model with its configurability. And with all the granularity, customers want the lowest cost. They want to order exactly what they want.

CP: How will this change the way partners deliver these systems?

JM: That just means channel partners will be able to spec out exactly what a customer wants. Right now, if you look at the capabilities of most thin clients in the market today, they don’t reach this capability of internal performance, they don’t reach this ability to spec in terms of networking or in terms of what we can do with the displays. So now we’ve got a single, entry-level product in 3040 and a single midrange product in the 5070, and between those two products, they could meet almost any need because we have the factory configuration capability. Any configuration they order, they’re not hobbling it together on their work bench. They’re not adding cards into it. We do everything in the factories; we warranty everything for them 100 percent. Procurement, management and everything else is made much, much easier.

CP: Will that reduce the channel’s role in deployment and integration of these solutions?

JM: Partners have an important role because what they’re doing usually is architecting a solution. They’re working on the infrastructure, and they may be promoting a Citrix or VMware or even a Microsoft VDI suite. They’re optimizing that and they’re selecting the storage. Then they’re talking about the whole story with regard to …

… mixing PCs and thin clients or just thin clients and how to optimally manage them.

CP: Are most of them looking to connect to their data centers or to the public cloud?

JM: Largely, it’s all data centers today. I mean, it’s probably 95 percent data center. The companies that adopt this highest mass are the highly regulated industries with health-care data or accounting data that need to be protected. And they get in big trouble if they fail to do that.

CP: Do you see that shifting as cloud providers offer virtual desktop client and app services?

JM: More and more customers are asking us if it’s practical to run their desktop from that environment. And it’s moving in that direction. We’ve got a program underway to see if there’s a way to develop a solution to take all of the friction out of connecting an employee to a service like that and making it natural. We don’t have a product to announce yet. But making a product that is just cloud-native is a major software challenge. That’s where we think there’s the next S-curve will be.

CP: How do you reconcile the Dell Technologies “better together” emphasis with the fact that you’re also a Citrix partner?

JM: I see a renewed and a rejuvenated Citrix. Good for them, because competition is important in this market. We have a very close relationship with VMware, obviously, with our strategically aligned businesses. We have secrets that are Citrix’s and we have secrets that are VMware’s. We have to work very carefully to make sure that we continue to drive both of those relationships. I’m responsible for alliances and I meet with the companies on a regular basis. We treat them both equally because our customers expect us to.

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