Join us for a chat on Dell Thin Client Software Solutions with Echo.

Click here to join the conversation and chat with experts on Dell Thin Client Software Solutions with Echo Tuesday Nov. 29th, 2011.


Chat Transcript

Lee4Dell Welcome to everyone that has logged into the chat so far. We'll get started in a few minutes while we give everyone time to join
Lee4Dell We'll get started in 2 minutes. Thank you all for joining the chat today
Dell-KongY Hello everyone :)
Lee4Dell Alright, let's get started. Thank you all for joining today as we talk about the Dell Devon It Echo Solutions that we now offer.
Lee4Dell I would like to introduce our guests today
Lee4Dell We have Phil Glover & Ian Geiser from Devon It along with Mike Griffith & John Russel from Dell who will be talking us through the chat today
Lee4Dell To start off, what is Echo and what does it do?
Dell-LanceB Welcome everyone
dell-johnrussell Thank you for having us Lee, and welcome to all of our guests!
dell-johnrussell First, let me give a quick introduction on what Echo is and how it relates to our Thin Client products
dell-johnrussell Echo is our managment console that we provide with our Dell Thin Clients to enable remote management of the devices, among other things that we will chat about today
dell-johnrussell Echo is included at no cost with our Thin Clients and is compatible with our Fx130 and Fx170 platforms
dell-johnrussell That includes our Detos Linux Os, Windows Embedded 2009 and Windows Embedded 7
Dell-Mike_Griffith Additionally Echo will manage any systems repurposed with the Vdi Blaster Dell Edition Software
Lee4Dell What devices does Echo manage?
dell-johnrussell Echo is specifically designed to work with our Dell Fx130/fx170 platforms, Vdi Blaster re-purposing software as well as other Devon It Thin Client hardware
Lee4Dell Why would we need to manage thin clients?
dell-johnrussell A great question Lee
dell-johnrussell It all depends on what our customers are looking to do with their thin clients. Some never need to see, touch or update their thin clients
dell-johnrussell Other customers want to perform basic tasks like inventory and asset tracking for compliance purposes, just like a desktop
dell-johnrussell and other want to keep their thin clients fully up to date. For example, when a new reciever client such as View 5.0 or Rdp 7.1 is released, many customers want to take advantage of those new features and they need a way to remotely send updates to their deployed thin clients
dell-johnrussell In the end, the managment is minimal, it just depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your thin clients and what Os you choose.
dell-johnrussell For example, Dell provides images updates 4 times a year with our thin clients..so most customesr will download and push those updated images if they need the new features
Lee4Dell What are the top 3 tasks we would use this for?
pglover The top three tasks we would use Echo for would be inventory, deploying profiles, and updating images.
pglover Through the main page of the Echo console we can view and search our inventory.
pglover We can deploy profiles based on numerous qualifiers to ensure each individual is receiving the proper set of connections and settings.
pglover Lastly by using Echo to update images, we can deploy new images through the network without having to touch each individual terminal.
BKD Does Echo help build profiles? Or do you have to create them on a client and echo just copies/distributes them?
Lee4Dell Could you expand on the profile piece. In other words, what does Echo consider a profile?
pglover A profile is a collection of connections and settings. This would include for example a View connection, screen resolution settings, and keyboard settings.
pglover Echo has the ability to clone these settings from a terminal to then deploy to other termianls as well as the ability to create them within the management console.
RAReed0219 I do not have any of the Dell thin clients yet (they are still recent). I have not looked up the specs, do they ship with some flash memory drives and run some embedded Windows or Linux client?
pglover The key use of these profiles is so that the end users do not have to create these connections and edit these settings on their own. They will be automatically applied to the terminal to simplify their use.
Dell-Mike_Griffith Yes the Dell thin clients come in several different configurations and ship with onboard flash containing embedded Os images
BKD Are the profiles universal or are there different profiles for different client versions (linux/winembed7/blaster)
Dell-Mike_Griffith The Fx170 comes with Detos Linux, Windows Embedded Standard 2009, or Windows Embedded Standard (wes) 7
Dell-Mike_Griffith The Fx130 is offered with Detos only
pglover The profiles can be deployed in various methods. They can be deployed in a default setting where every terminal will have the same profile. They can also be deployed based on model, Ip address / range, Os, and various other qualifiers.
pglover We can also apply profiles to individual terminals.
Lee4Dell Why would I use Echo instead of Sccm or Altiris?
dell-johnrussell The best answer.....echo is Free!
Lee4Dell Thats always a good thing!
Lee4Dell From a feature perspective, how does it match up?
dell-johnrussell In reality, it is all about customer choice. Some customers feel more comfortable with the managment consoles they use today with their desktops and notebooks. Sccm is a good choice for Wes based thin clients, but you certainly not get the full feature set you would with Echo. And it may have additional costs
dell-johnrussell Echo excels at thin client management becuase that is what it is designed to do
dell-johnrussell Sccm, Altris and others are great "multi-purpose" tools, but many times thin client management is an after-thought, or a sub-set of features
igeiser Echo is optimized for endpoing managment and their specific settings.
pglover Echo is not a series of scripts but specific options to allow administrators to control the specifics of a machine without having to know the internals of Wes and the Devonit embedded operating system.
Dell-Mike_Griffith Devonit embedded operating system = Detos
RAReed0219 Is this console a stand-alone project or is it available as a plug-in to other Dell management consoles?
Dell-Mike_Griffith Echo is downloadable as a stand alone console
BKD Is it possible to manage thin clients from other vendors running Wes7?
Dell-Mike_Griffith It is easily deployable as a virtual appliance for use on Vmware vsphere
Dell-Mike_Griffith (or other Vmware products)
RAReed0219 That's what I was thinking of actually!
Dell-Mike_Griffith @BKD Do you mean manage thin clients from other vendors from Echo?
BKD Yes, say Hp
dell-johnrussell In those cases, something like Sccm would be the best choice as it is "vendor neutral"....echo does not have the capability to manage other vendors thin clients today
dell-johnrussell We could re-purpose them with Vdi Blaster and manage them!
RAReed0219 @BKD we also have Hp thin clients and ours are sort of crippled to require either the Hp tool or maybe Altirus. (At least it seems to me).
RAReed0219 When we've removed some of the Hp software they blue screen!
BKD Thanks. I was just wondering if it was an agent that ran under Wes or if there was more to it.
dell-johnrussell Echo is technically an agent (there are more pieces behind it)..while it would be nice to just put Echo on other vendor's Wes images, it would likely not function correctly
dell-johnrussell The good news, Echo is free!
dell-johnrussell I have seen many customers use Altiris or Sccm to manage transisiton, but you do tend to give up some feature sets to do that
BKD I don't have any clients that can be managed by echo (yet) Would I be able to tinker and see the feature set if I downloaded and ran the Vm?
dell-johnrussell Absolutely....here is a great way to try that
dell-johnrussell First, Echo is a free download on support.dell.com (you can find it under the Fx130 and Fx170)
dell-johnrussell Next, Vdi Blaster has a downloadable demo version
dell-johnrussell So, you could install Vdi blaster onto any old Desktop/notebook, and try the Echo Management Tool to manage that system
BKD Great. Thats exactly what I wanted to try!
dell-johnrussell vdiblaster.com/delledition
dell-johnrussell both are available there
dell-johnrussell the "demo" does not support management with Echo out of the box, but we are happy to provide a free license
dell-johnrussell just email info@devonit.com....they will be happy to send you a free copy of Vdi Blaster....just reference our "free Vdi Blaster Dell Offer"
Lee4Dell before we wrap up, does anyone have any additional questions?
Lee4Dell Alright, thank you all for joining the chat today and for more information you can go to dell.com/thinclients
Lee4Dell Have a great day everyone!
RAReed0219 Thanks for the info!
BKD Thanks!
Dell-Mike_Griffith Thanks for joining everyone
Lee4Dell Thank you!
mylvisaker Thanks. Good info!