HP will provide bundled Teradici CAS with ZCentral Remote Boost subscriptions.

Jeffrey Schwartz

November 19, 2021

6 Min Read
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The acquisition of Teradici and new partnerships with IGEL, Microsoft and Nvidia, are reigniting the HP remote client portfolio.

HP has revealed various virtual client PC and workstation options, amid consensus that hybrid work environments will outlive the pandemic. The PC maker signaled its intent to expand its aging thin client portfolio with the recent Teradici deal.

The Teradici acquisition, which HP announced in July and completed last month, gave the company Teradici’s broadly supported Cloud Access Software (CAS). Teradici is now a business unit in HP’s personal systems group.

HP will release by year’s end its ZCentral Remote Boost software bundled with Teradici CAS. The company designed ZCentral Remote Boost, until recently called Remote Graphics Software (RGS), for pooling and scheduling of HP’s physical workstations. Annual subscriptions for the new bundles, which cost $240, include licenses for both CAS and ZCentral Remote Boost.

The combined offering will give existing Teradici users added remote access to workstations. ZCentral Remote Boost customers gain Teradici’s CAS, which provides remote access from thin clients, Chromebooks and Apple Macs.

The Big Clouds

The bundles provide access to cloud PCs via the three top cloud providers — AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.


HP’s Christian Jones

“You can provision those cloud instances automatically and turn them off when they’re not in use,” Christian Jones, HP’s business planning manager for ZCentral and Edge solutions said.

“You also get the tuned experience that both companies [Teradici and HP] have created for design specialists, creative professionals and technical professionals,” Jones added. “So, if you’re using Wacom pen, and you need to communicate the angle and the pressure of that pen remotely, that’s included in the solution. If you’re using financial keyboards, and you have to remote the audio or fingerprint reader, voice recognition or other things, those are included. There are a lot of workflow specific optimizations that are included.”

HP has not added new features to the software; updates are included as the company releases them, according to Jones.

“Now that it’s a subscription model, there are quarterly releases that have new functionality in them,” he said.

Nvidia Omniverse Support

HP also said it’s working with Nvidia to enable users with Teradici CAS, running on its Z workstations, to collaborate on simulations in real-time. Select HP workstations will include three-month licenses to Omniverse Enterprise, which Nvidia recently released.

The workstations will include two Creator licenses, four Nucleus licenses and 10 Reviewer licenses. They also include up to 50 three-month trial licenses of Teradici CAS. Jones said that in aggregate, the licenses are worth more than $5,000.

For design professionals, digital content creation is a very linear process, which Jones describes as similar to an assembly line. Certain creators build 3-D designs, some might specialize in color and texture, while others might focus on transposing content into photorealistic renderings. Each are separate steps, performed by …

… multiple professionals with different applications.

“It has always been a very serial process,” Jones said. “Now for the first time, when you combine that with Z by HP powerful workstations that are designed for powerful creation applications, and when you combine that with Teradici Cloud Access Software, you can have people working from any location geographically, getting the best performance and being able to collaborate live and collapse that serial process into a simultaneous co-creation process.”

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2

HP also announced select Z workstations with Nvidia GPUs can now run Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2). HP is bundling WSL 2, a subsystem that can run Linux without exiting Windows. The HP instantiation of WSL 2 will create Ubuntu environments in Windows, allowing use of tools, utilities and applications without rebooting or running a virtual machine.

This will have particular appeal to data scientists because many of the software libraries and tools they use only run in Linux, said Jeri Culp, HP’s head of data science workstations. At the same time, data scientists rely on applications that run in Windows, requiring them to either reboot, or use multiple devices.


HP’s Jeri Culp

“For a very iterative workflow, this cost tons of time,” Culp said. “With Microsoft’s WSL 2, data scientists get the best of both Windows and Ubuntu. It’s a single operating system that now provides all of the development advantages of Ubuntu and the enterprise manageability for Windows.”

Culp noted that the new WSL 2 is a vast improvement over the first iteration.

“When WSL first came out, it had a performance loss over the normal workloads,” she said. “WSL has made significant improvements to the point that in some instances, we are finding better performance with WSL 2 in Ubuntu versus native Ubuntu. And so, it is equivalent, if not better in some cases.”

IGEL and HP Partner

Also boosting HP’s virtual client portfolio is a partnership with IGEL. HP is certifying the IGEL OS on select HP thin clients. IGEL OS, the company’s Linux-based client with access to various VDI and cloud desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings, will be factory-loaded on HP t430, t540 and t640 thin clients.

The partnership makes HP the latest major PC maker to join the IGEL Ready program as a strategic platform partner. Among others bundling IGEL OS on their devices are Lenovo and LG. IGEL CEO Jed Ayres said the HP partnership is a big win because IGEL has a significant thin-client business.


IGEL’s Jed Ayres

“HP sells a million thin clients a year,” Ayres said. “They’re very serious about this hybrid-work-anywhere model and want to own as much of the architecture as they can. They see this partnership with IGEL as a way to provide value to their customers.”

VPN Replacement Opportunity

Another justification for the renewed HP remote client focus is a pressing desire among organizations to phase out VPNs. According to Teradici’s Securing the Hybrid Workplace in 2022 and Beyond report, published Tuesday, 78% plan to phase out VPNs as part of a shift to zero-trust authorization within two years. Among those, 38% expect it to happen even sooner.

The shift to hybrid work environments has hastened a shift that was already on many organizations prior to the pandemic. Frustration with performance exacerbated as the number of remote people accessing VPNs accelerated, according to HP distinguished engineer Ian Main.


HP’s Ian Main

“All of these things have come to the fore because with the new work from home use case, VPNs have suddenly had to be used a lot more and they’ve been under more pressure,” Main said. “So, people are looking toward next-generation firewalls as one part, but then also virtual desktop and desktop-as-a-service technology, which allow you to get away from traditional VPNs and move to this zero-trust architecture where you authenticate devices as well as people.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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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.

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