Dell Wyse Gives Citrix Workspace App Preferred Status with ThinOS 9

Citrix Workspace migrations rise as the app moves to cumulative updates.

Jeffrey Schwartz

March 31, 2020

5 Min Read
Dell Wyse products

Dell Wyse says its thin clients used in secure VDI environments by such industries as government, health care and finance can now offer the Citrix Workspace app a much-needed, more reliable user experience and performance boost with the release of ThinOS 9.0.

A new version of the proprietary secure operating system is available starting today. The release comes at an opportune time for Citrix and Dell partners that have found themselves suddenly needing to offer improved capabilities for the mounting number of their shared customers working at home due to extended quarantines stemming from COVID-19.

“It is off of the scale,” said Fred Waibel, fixed client project manager at Wyse, referring to the recent surge in demand. “We’ve seen a lot of renewed interest with individuals who are looking for solutions that they can basically send home to their customers to basically provide access to their existing virtual workspace environments.”

It’s noteworthy that Citrix Workspace app, the cloud-native, virtual end-user computing environment released in 2018 that incorporates Citrix Receiver and other components, took precedence in ThinOS 9.0 over enhancing Dell Technologies’ own VMware Horizon Cloud and Workspace ONE. Likewise, Citrix Workspace app support in ThinOS 9.0 came before providing native support for Microsoft’s new Windows Virtual Desktop, though Dell Wyse rival Igel has an exclusive window with Microsoft in working with WVD.

Dell-Wyse-3040.jpgWaibel indicated that future ThinOS updates will address added functionality and/or support to those platforms and others as well, though he declined to elaborate. To be sure, ThinOS is a broker for Citrix, VMware Horizon, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Amazon WorkSpaces environments.

Waibel, a 31-year veteran of Wyse, which Dell acquired in 2012, noted that Citrix is one of its oldest partners and estimated roughly half of Wyse thin clients now run ThinOS operate in Citrix environments. Migrations from the traditional Citrix Receiver to the modern Citrix Workspace app are increasing rapidly, according to Waibel.

“I don’t know of any that are not planning to move to Citrix Workspace app from the classic Citrix Receiver environment,” he said.

In addition to incorporating Citrix Receiver, Workspace app incorporates related plugins from Citrix including NetScaler, XenMobile Secure Hub, a driver mapper to ShareFile, a secure browser, single sign-on to SaaS apps and data-loss prevention, among other features.

ThinOS is one of three operating systems Dell offers for Wyse thin clients — the other two are the more extensible Linux and Windows OSes that allow for third-party applications and drivers.

Unlike the Linux and Windows operating systems for Wyse devices, ThinOS is a secure operating system preferred by health care providers, financial-services firms and government agencies that handle sensitive and confidential information. In addition to providing AES 256-bit encryption, ThinOS is designed to offer added protection to the underlying operating system, application and data by caching and credentials reside in RAM.

The rollout of ThinOS 9.0 also comes a week following the release of the latest Citrix Workspace app update, Long Term Service Release (LTSR) 1912 for Windows. In a blog announcing the LTSR 1912 release, Citrix product manager Aayush Agarwal noted that it marks a key milestone for Citrix Workspace app.

LTSR 1912 marks a new Citrix Workspace app release cadence that partners and customers …

… should be aware as the company shifts to the cloud model of issuing cumulative updates (CUs).

“This is the first LTSR since we transitioned to the Citrix Workspace app, and we cannot wait to see customers migrate from Citrix Receiver 4.9 LTSR to this release,” Agarwal noted.

Among many new features in Citrix Workspace app LTSR 1912, the update provides app protection against keylogging and screen capturing, improved graphics with DPI enhancement, added Microsoft Teams support and single sign-on with Citrix Gateway (the former NetScaler Unified Gateway).

Dell’s Waibel acknowledged that Wyse ThinOS 8.6, released early last year, provided a less-than-optimal environment when used with Citrix Workspace app. Likely, that would become more pronounced with the LTSR 1912 release.

“This was done purposely to accelerate the delivery of the Thin OS 9 client to our Citrix population that is out there because we wanted to make sure that we gave them a client as soon as we possibly could,” Waibel said, in regard to the focus on Citrix with the initial release. “It’s a great advancement over what we had in our Thin OS 8.6 support for Citrix Receiver. This particular release guarantees us to provide that optimal user experience by running Citrix Workspace app.”

Explaining why ThinOS 8.6 didn’t work as well with Citrix Workspace app, Waibel noted when Dell released that update last year, the company had leveraged Citrix source code into the Wyse operating system. As Citrix ramped up with more frequent modifications to the Citrix Receiver client, ThinOS was still working with the older source code.

“Now with Thin OS 9, we’ve enhanced our operating system so that we actually offer Citrix Workspace app just by packaging and embedding the Citrix public binaries into our client devices,” Waibel explained. “This allows us to deliver a more feature-rich Receiver inside of the client that is basically supportive of enhanced capabilities to support all of the features that Citrix has within the Citrix Workspace app. That was a big advancement for us, because it allowed us to do things that we weren’t capable of doing with ThinOS 8.6, such as browser content redirection and Enlightened Data Transport (EDT).”

ThinOS 9.0 works with all four Wyse models, which include Wyse 3040 and 5070 desktops, as well as the company’s new ThinOS 5470 mobile laptop and 24-inch All-in-One systems.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like