Flex Client – Low cost, Compact Computing

Thin Client?  Thick Client?  Why not both?

The choice between remotely hosted desktops (VDI) and local computing plays out in many organizations.  Each option presents opportunities and costs.

Intel NUC
The Intel NUC comes in different configurations and provides an ideal platform for a virtualized multi-desktop solution

Until now – these desktop computing options were a choice of “either” “or”.  In order to achieve any kind of meaningful cost savings VDI desktops must cover the majority (80% or more) of the desktop user base.  However, even the most aggressive VDI/Thin Client solution usually cannot satisfy a small or substantial set of the user population.  Further complicating matters, some employees may have different roles in the company – making them more suited for the thin client desktop for some roles, and reliant on thick client computing for others.  In our agile work environment these hybrid environments are the norm, not the exception and there are few end point devices that are cost effective and flexible enough to support both use cases.

To address this need, we have integrated a device we call a “flex client” – meaning it can support both thin and thick client computing on the same device.   Leveraging a secure hypervisor solution, it can even support multiple desktop computing operating systems on the same device, running simultaneously, yet in complete isolation of each other.   Use cases for the flex client include work environment where one desktop must be used for mission data and a different desktop can be used for personal applications.

Flex-clients leverage Intel vPro chipsets and Trusted Boot technology to ensure security and separation of processes, networks and services at the hardware level.   They are low-cost – on par with thin-client devices.  Yet they have the computing and graphical horsepower to support a full scale desktop running high end applications.

So when it comes to choosing remote VDI or local computing – the answer now is “both”.