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December 02, 2020

The Right Remote Thin Client for Unified Communications

Remote Thin Client

Does The Right Remote Thin Client Matter for Unified Communications?

I’m sure we’ve all heard this before, "Always use the right tool for the job." With enough experience over the years, you've probably even felt this first-hand. I can remember being asked to go over to a friend's house to build a new bookcase they had just purchased. Sounds easy enough, I thought! Once there, I quickly realized they had no hand tools, other than a hammer and a flathead screwdriver tucked away in their junk drawer. Oh, and a single hex key that came in a box with a 1000 bolts and washers. As it turned out, what could have been a quick one-hour job turned into three, because I didn't think to bring my portable drill and hex bit driver set. You see, having the proper tools can save you time, effort, and sometimes, even your sanity!

"So, what in the world does this have to do with remote Thin Clients (or Zero Clients) and unified communications," you ask? Well, when designing a VDI environment, you want to begin with having the proper tools in place to be successful, including endpoints like the right remote Thin Clients. Like the above example - if I had a portable drill to begin with, I could've built not one, but multiple bookcases in the very same amount of time - with no wrist pain and no regrets. Having the right remote tools for VDI & unified communications will always outperform and outlast. A remote Thin Client (or Zero client) is a foundational part of your VDI environment and something you don't want to overlook.

Remote Thin Client

The Right Remote Thin Client for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business

With more office workers needing to work-from-home during the pandemic, use of remote collaboration tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business, are continuing to be on the rise. For many, gone are the days of walking into a conference room to meet and also those impromptu desk-side chats. Now, we rely on different remote communication platforms like chat, web meetings, and VoIP, to meet virtually and stay connected throughout the day. Many businesses are struggling with how to enable these remote communications within their existing environments and securely deliver these services to their remote workers. They may already have an existing VDI deployment, or maybe looking to stand up a new one – regardless, setting this up correctly in the beginning can ensure the best user experience possible.

Let's start with some basics. To get any of these collaboration tools properly set up in a VDI environment, whether VMware or Citrix, you are going to need three components:

  • Remote thin client (or zero client) devices with the VDI plug-in installed. Either the client will have the plugin embedded, or you will need to install a separate plugin for the communications app. Supported client versions are VMware Horizon 2006+ and Citrix Workspace App 1907+.
  • A virtual desktop to which you want to connect, with the communication client installed on it. There may be a special version of the application unique to VDI. Zoom, for example has a specific download to install in the VDI desktop.
  • Typically, you may also need to then tweak and manage the settings for the application over VDI as well. This adjustment can be done either by Group Policy templates provided by the vendor, registry keys, or another mechanism according to the third-party documentation. These settings can enable the optimization mode, or do things like prevent echo feedback from the headset.

With the above changes in place, you are on your way to a more optimized collaboration using VDI and Thin or Zero Clients with remote communications. Rather than have Skype for Business traffic, for example, go from Thin/Zero Client > virtual desktop > and virtual desktop > back to Thin/Zero Client to the other user, the data will pass directly from endpoint to endpoint, thus removing the processing of the data stream from the virtual host’s CPU.

As traffic still needs to go out to the internet, the network configuration is always a factor in the success of a communication strategy. Microsoft provides the ‘Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool’ to help determine if your network latency is low enough to support Microsoft Teams, for example. At the time of this article, they currently recommend sub-100 ms. latency for a proper round trip connection without any issues. You will need to ensure that the respective ports from the remote Thin Clients out to the Office 365 network are not being routed through any VPNs, proxy server, or other security devices that might degrade the call or video as well. Many of these technologies will start with a less network sensitive UDP port, but fall back to a different TCP port like 443, if blocked.

Thin & Zero Client endpoints from 10ZiG Technology are certified to work with these various communication apps “out-of-the-box,” so it takes the guess work out of needing to determine if it will work or not. Most USB webcams and headsets will work, as long as the endpoint device supports them. Here’s more…

Remote Thin Clients

10ZiG Remote Thin Clients for Optimized Unified Communications

Having the proper tools in place, including supportive remote Thin Client endpoints, makes for a better user experience with VDI and unified communications. Having the right Thin or Zero Client with the latest platform versions, the optimization agent on a VDI desktop, a tuned network, and a little configuration, will go a long way to make sure you are conducting real-time audio and video calls without jitter and high latency.

Leveraging Thin Clients in a VDI environment is a super easy way to get end users set up and connected in the fastest way possible remote, or in-office. They take up next to no space, while still giving you all of the ports needed to connect favorite devices and displays. They support all of the popular remote desktop protocols to connect to a VDI or DaaS environment, ensuring that company data stays off of endpoint devices. It’s easy to see why companies are switching to Thin Clients on desks for a secure cost-effective desktop virtualization solution.

It’s even easier to see why companies are switching to 10ZiG Thin Clients with The 10ZiG Manager™ centralized management software. If you're in the process of setting up end users at home or in office, 10ZiG offers Thin & Zero Clients for VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft, as well as other leading VDI vendors using Linux and Windows 10 IoT based platforms on x86 Intel/AMD hardware. Add in The 10ZiG Manager™ Server and you're a success!

10ZiG is an endpoint provider that provides top-quality VDI endpoints, enterprise software, service, and warranties. You can reach us at sales@10zig.com or +1 (866) 865-5250 for a no-cost consultation and/or get your FREE demo.