The PC is dead. The Internet is everywhere. Mobility is king. You can’t do any job without a tablet. These are all things the bloggers tell us.

While they are busy touting the death of the PC, tablets are becoming keyboard less laptops, PC specs continue to improve and client side virtualization is rapidly growing. Every year I have ordered more PCs in the year before.

I am still many places where the internet is so slow I wish I had dialup, if I am lucky enough to even connect.

Many of my end users are chained to a desk, my customers need them there, demand they are there, and their monitor size and number of open windows keeps increasing to prove it.

Let’s face it; physical assets are here to stay. What is a better way to work with them?

Two words: XenClient Enterprise. 

After rolling out 1800 PCs with XenClient enterprise, and still managing a few thousand regular PCs; I have some experience in figuring out where XenClient is suited to meet the needs of an enterprise. With that here are 8 great reasons to give XenClient enterprise a look:

  1. Systems ManagementWhile tools like SCCM, Altiris, KACE, etc. allow for the distribution of applications and scripts, XenClient takes this one step further by allowing you to physically install the software image, and distributes just those changes to every machine. The power of this is incredible. With the machines I manage that haven’t been switched over to XenClient shared images, I routinely have to repackage, rewrite, and cajole software that wasn’t meant for an enterprise to be distributed. With XenClient shared images, I just install the needed software on the specific image, deploy it to a test group and then send it everywhere.
  2. Built in encryptionYou no longer need to purchase additional software to manage the encryption on your machines. I check a box, and my machines have full disk encryption and I manage them the same way I manage my images. My end users don’t even notice that it was done.
  3. Locking out specific USB devicesPreventing data leakage through USB devices can be tricky. With most tools, when you try to prevent USB device access and it is done improperly, you may have encrypted your end users phone, or worse yet disabled their keyboard. I am preventing all types of USB Devices on specific images through simple checkboxes. This gives me the control to have tiered security zones for my PCs.
  4. Low/no bandwidth areasSometimes the Internet just isn’t fast enough, if you’re lucky enough to get a signal. Running things locally isn’t bad, it’s a necessity.
  5. Run multiple separate OSs and versions on the same machine at the same time
    During an OS migration there are always one or two nagging applications that prevent a seamless upgrade. How would you feel if you could slowly transition the machine from one OS to another?
  6. Turn a PC into a thin client ( For Free *)
    Starting down the VDI path? Know you have many computers that you won’t get the budget to replace? Want to run XenDesktop in parallel with a local OS? Would love to do this at no additional cost? XenClient can do this for you.*XenClient Enterprise included in your XenDesktop enterprise & platinum licenses, thus making it in essence free, if you’re already using those great products.
  7. Kiosks/LabsA quick reboot and everything is back to factory specifications – no matter what the user may have done. With a simple shared image, the fully functional kiosk of your dreams awaits.
  8. One Image no matter the hardwareWhen you deal with physical computers, any hardware change can be dramatic. The belief is always the drivers and software will work with this new equipment, or I’ll add it to my driver repository and it’ll work. Maybe it’s just me but on the machines I haven’t yet cut over to XenClient Enterprise, it usually means recreating the whole image.

How do I learn more?

For those going to Citrix Synergy, attend my breakout session “SYN329: How Life Time Fitness shaped desktops across 100+ locations with XenClient” at 9am on Friday May 24th. Or, feel free to contact me via twitter @KraigStew, or contact your local Citrix rep.

Kraig Stewardson is the IT desktop manager at Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company. With over 15 years of experience, he has an extensive background in all things IT. Currently, Kraig is focusing on end-user technology. Recently he designed and drove the implementation of 1,800 Citrix XenClient machines, which are hosting 3,600 VMs. This allows his users to better service their customers while remaining compliant with PCI requirements. Follow him on Twitter @KraigStew.