Wyse Xenith – Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 1/2

One of my customer needs to have robust workstations in a factory where there is a lot of dust and vibrations. This is a common environment for a factory but it doesn’t really suit for a computer. My customer is spending a lot of money in the maintenance of these computers. Worker in the factory need to access the company main ERP with those computers and they are accessing this software through a XenApp connection.

My project was to build from the ground a new Citrix Architecture (XenApp / PVS / EdgeSight / PCM / XenServer / Netscaler etc…) and early in this project I wanted to include endpoints as a full part in this architecture. (If endpoints are failing, old plug-in versions for ex) the whole architecture won’t mean anything if users are not able to have the full and last functionality introduced in this project.

The factory workstations were a pain in the ass for everyone, for the IT department, technicians were always on the move, spending time trying to repair and most of the time just replace the computer. For the Finance department, it’s very expensive to replace computer every month (basic / normal life cycle renewal for a workstation is about 3 year) and the need for more technicians to change and repair these machines.

With issues listed above, bringing thin clients in this project was obvious and I really wanted to try the new Wyse product Xenith. So I called my french contact Boris Espiand (Wyse France) to borrow me this ‘HDX ready’ thin client. Less than one week after, I had it in my lab ready to test it. As my personal lab is limited to my XenServer @ Home, I won’t make any performance test but I will be more focus on features and integration in the architecture I chose to design for my customer.

I tested access to XenApp 6 published desktop (Hosted Shared), XenDesktop 4 with Windows 7 virtual machines and with Windows XP virtual machines (Hosted VDI)

Of course HDX features have been tested, I plugged all sort of devices, webcam, wacom devices, mouses, USB hard drives, USB pen drives…

The reference of the Xenith I received were :

Model No : C00X
C00X, 128F/512R, XENITH, INTL
Part No : 902196-02L
Serial No : 2NN0J549524

Here are some information I got on-screen within the admin menu :

But first, here are my customer’s needs :

  • Dust proof
  • Vibration resistant
  • Small size
  • Citrix XenApp and XenDestop compliant
  • Hardware resistant and switchable
  • Access to a Shared Desktop (XenApp 6) – Hosted Shared

So here we go, first things first, the setup. That was for me something new to setup this kind of devices and to do it you simply need to add option in your DHCP scope and one is mandatory to allow the device to find the PNAgent Website on the Web Interface. The option #181 allow you to specify the web address :

And then everything is ready to boot up the thin client.The  PNAgent site found allow to authenticate and launch either a published application, a published desktop or a XenDesktop session. If you need or want to configure more settings and lock-down the device, you will need to go further in the Admin Guide ( http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX125881 ) and use a central shared file xen.ini

I made a very short video to show you the switch on / boot up and logon time to a XenDesktop session with a Wyse Xenith :

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oGVO1EskrA&hd=1 w=620 h=360]

In the next part, I will go further and explain the tests I made regarding my customer’s needs and I won’t go very deep on the performance side because my EdgeSight is out of order until the version 5.4 is out and performances test in my lab (only one hypervisor with local storage) won’t be relevant.

Sources :
Wyse Xenith Admin guide
Wyse Corp
Wyse Xenith

Wyse Xenith – Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 1/2
Wyse Xenith – Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 2/2

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