How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?



  • At the request of another user, I'm going to try this again. With a couple of pre-discussion statements.

    We have been doing TS for decades. We have been VMimg Servers for years. We are now beginning to move TS customers to Windows 10 Pro hosted by Hyper-V.

    This question has nothing to do with the design or deployment of a VDI solution.

    When you deliver a physical demo of VDI to your customer or potential customer, who has absolutely no idea what the words Virtual, VDI, VM, Hyper-V, ESX, VMware, or any other word you are thinking of right now, mean..... What is your model?

    What is your existing physical on site demo unit look like? What does it connect to?

    The physical onsite demo for the customer cannot be a PC or anything that any normal end user would think is a pc.
    It cannot be a laptop, or chrome book, or tablet, or ipad.
    It must support 2 or more 23" LCD displays.
    It must support a local printer, a local barcode reader, a local Driver License reader/scanner, a local utility meter reader, and an electronic signature pad.
    The physical onsite demo for the customer must connect to local LAN resources for proof of concept.

    In the final solution, there will NEVER be a cloud based solution for the customer, all connections and data must remain on site.

    I don't give two hoots about your ideas on how to design or deploy a VM or VDI (call it whatever you like) environment. I only care about what you carry into a customer site to provide a demo of what will be at the users desk after their current PC goes in the dumpster.

    You see, if you don't carry hardware into the customer site and set it up to show them, (because they have no idea what you are talking about), you may not have anything to add here...... and that's okay.

    I am looking forward to comments from folks who provide this kind of a demo for their customers.



  • In this case, I would put a Intel NUC on the back of a monitor with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

    Have it boot into Kiosk mode with a VDI connection client. From there that would connect to whatever VDI environment you have. Where the user would then login.

    Having this work as an on-site demo I'm not sure how that would be facilitated.

    Since all hardware is going away, you're going to need to replace it with something, to facilitate the connection from the users workstation to your VDI environment.



  • This could also be done with a Tablet and some software on that tablet. In this case though you'd need a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

    All of the printers, scanners, network shares, etc etc would all be hosted from the VDI environment that the client logs into.



  • @DustinB3403 said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    This could also be done with a Tablet and some software on that tablet. In this case though you'd need a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

    All of the printers, scanners, network shares, etc etc would all be hosted from the VDI environment that the client logs into.

    All those examples look like a computer to the end user, though. Can you do it? Yes, but it doesn't meet the goals here of making it clear to the client / end user that it is something unique and doesn't require a traditional computer to function.



  • I have taken my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 before and logged into a desktop from the tablet. A few people have been impressed by that. Light to carry to a meeting and can use in the meeting as well. I always have a company background with logo on the desktop just to make it visually appealing as well.



  • @DustinB3403 said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    All of the printers, scanners, network shares, etc etc would all be hosted from the VDI environment that the client logs into.

    No they wouldn't. That is not how any of this works.

    As stated, if you don't have something specific to add STFU, and spew in the other thread.



  • @JasGot You build a cart with WTF ever solution you use (Wyse or whatever) with one of all the things hooked up to it.

    There is really nothing to discuss. You have very specifc requirements. That means you have very specific hardware choices. So just build a kit. zip tie the fuck out of everything and walk in the door.



  • @StuartJordan said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I have taken my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 before and logged into a desktop from the tablet. A few people have been impressed by that. Light to carry to a meeting and can use in the meeting as well. I always have a company background with logo on the desktop just to make it visually appealing as well.

    Specifically what was excluded.



  • @JaredBusch said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @DustinB3403 said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    All of the printers, scanners, network shares, etc etc would all be hosted from the VDI environment that the client logs into.

    No they wouldn't. That is not how any of this works.

    As stated, if you don't have something specific to add STFU, and spew in the other thread.

    Yes they would or could. All end user equipment is being tossed.

    What is wanted on the user desk is something that doesn't look like a computer.

    Also, go fuck yourself you prick.



  • @DustinB3403 No. He clearly stated.....

    @JasGot said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    It must support 2 or more 23" LCD displays.
    It must support a local printer, a local barcode reader, a local Driver License reader/scanner, a local utility meter reader, and an electronic signature pad.
    The physical onsite demo for the customer must connect to local LAN resources for proof of concept.

    Nothing stated here is not on site



  • @JaredBusch said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @StuartJordan said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I have taken my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 before and logged into a desktop from the tablet. A few people have been impressed by that. Light to carry to a meeting and can use in the meeting as well. I always have a company background with logo on the desktop just to make it visually appealing as well.

    Specifically what was excluded.

    True, but not much left to choose from:

    "The physical onsite demo for the customer cannot be a PC or anything that any normal end user would think is a pc.
    It cannot be a laptop, or chrome book, or tablet, or ipad."

    So you would need a screen to plug this device into? are you going to carry a screen round with you as well or expect the client to grab a screen for you? obviously only leaves thin clients, Intel Nuc and compute sticks.

    I think the devices you mentioned above actually would be ideal to show the solution to the customer.



  • @JasGot said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    The physical onsite demo for the customer cannot be a PC or anything that any normal end user would think is a pc.
    It cannot be a laptop, or chrome book, or tablet, or ipad.
    It must support 2 or more 23" LCD displays.
    It must support a local printer, a local barcode reader, a local Driver License reader/scanner, a local utility meter reader, and an electronic signature pad.
    The physical onsite demo for the customer must connect to local LAN resources for proof of concept.

    Why the need to keep it from looking like a computer? Computers literally come in all shapes and sizes today, so to say it can't look like one - well, you've likely already failed - unless you're going to have a plant sticking out the top of the box.

    No laptop, chromebook, tablet or iPad... that leaves maybe the Chrome Box or NUC or any of the several thin clients out there today. It boils down to how you want to lock the end device down as well - do you want to use Google's tools, Windows/Linux (assuming NUC) or the thin client vendors? Your supported device requirements will obviously also limit what devices you can choose from.

    Then there are the regulations - any you have to be certified for?



  • @Dashrender said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    unless you're going to have a plant sticking out the top of the box.

    hahahaha

    🌵 ☘ 🍆



  • A Celeron based Intel NUC with two 24" monitors and a wireless keyboard and mouse has been our go to for quite a long time. An alternate is the Intel Compute Stick for single monitor setups. Both are Windows Pro based.

    Since 2016 RD EasyPrint just works it's a pretty neat thing to walk in, set up, turn on, connect to a printer on-site, and fire a print job off in a few short minutes. That seems to transcend any need to discuss Geek Speak type stuff.



  • I'd do a Kangaroo Pro and a USB hub if needed if I wanted to demo multi monitor with something that most people wouldn't think of as a computer.

    alt text

    I actually have a few of these floating around some Customer sites used as "thin clients". Caveat? No integrated speaker.



  • @JasGot

    If you have the resources you need to experiment with Single Boards Computers, some of them runs Windows like LitePanda, but expensive at 200$.

    I think using SBC stronger than the Pi3 good be good start like ASUS TinkerBoard, and see how many addons and software you can shove in those boards, but you really need resources and time for this.

    Other than that you can can get one of those commerical solutions like IGEL



  • @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I'd do a Kangaroo Pro and a USB hub if needed if I wanted to demo multi monitor with something that most people wouldn't think of as a computer.

    alt text

    I actually have a few of these floating around some Customer sites used as "thin clients". Caveat? No integrated speaker.

    We've looked at Kangaroo as regular desktops. They'd be seen as every day style desktops around here.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I'd do a Kangaroo Pro and a USB hub if needed if I wanted to demo multi monitor with something that most people wouldn't think of as a computer.

    alt text

    I actually have a few of these floating around some Customer sites used as "thin clients". Caveat? No integrated speaker.

    We've looked at Kangaroo as regular desktops. They'd be seen as every day style desktops around here.

    you work for an ITSP - so your user base is different. Normal users at first at least wouldn't consider this 'normal.' Though it could quickly become so.



  • @Dashrender said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I'd do a Kangaroo Pro and a USB hub if needed if I wanted to demo multi monitor with something that most people wouldn't think of as a computer.

    alt text

    I actually have a few of these floating around some Customer sites used as "thin clients". Caveat? No integrated speaker.

    We've looked at Kangaroo as regular desktops. They'd be seen as every day style desktops around here.

    you work for an ITSP - so your user base is different. Normal users at first at least wouldn't consider this 'normal.' Though it could quickly become so.

    What makes it different? ITSPs' customers are the same as any other. The "your customers are different" thing is never a viable way to excuse things. Everyone says that, but never considers how it applies in the real world. In this situation, an ITSP customer is identical to a non-ITSP customer, they are interchangeable by definition.



  • I would argue that most people see the monitor as "the computer", at least the end users themselves. If the computer boots into something like windows, that is a PC regardless of it's physical form. People that do not understand what VDI actually is will assume that whatever physical box is plugged in is "the PC", they are just black boxes to them. How would they know the difference between a thick client box that boot into local windows 10, and a black box that boots straight into a windows 10 VDI? All the user can see is the physical appearance, and PC's come in all manner of physical appearances these days, thick and thin.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @Dashrender said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I'd do a Kangaroo Pro and a USB hub if needed if I wanted to demo multi monitor with something that most people wouldn't think of as a computer.

    alt text

    I actually have a few of these floating around some Customer sites used as "thin clients". Caveat? No integrated speaker.

    We've looked at Kangaroo as regular desktops. They'd be seen as every day style desktops around here.

    you work for an ITSP - so your user base is different. Normal users at first at least wouldn't consider this 'normal.' Though it could quickly become so.

    What makes it different? ITSPs' customers are the same as any other. The "your customers are different" thing is never a viable way to excuse things. Everyone says that, but never considers how it applies in the real world. In this situation, an ITSP customer is identical to a non-ITSP customer, they are interchangeable by definition.

    Not your customers - YOU as the customer. Your internal ITSP personal. They know this is a computer, they are techies... I completely agree that your customers are no different than anyone else's.



  • I personally don't know of a single non-"techie" that would look at this and think "Computer"

    alt text



  • @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I personally don't know of a single non-"techie" that would look at this and think "Computer"

    alt text

    Maybe not upon first look - but once you connect it - it becomes pretty obvious.

    It's like your phone - assuming an android or iPhone - it's a computer, even though people don't view them as such.



  • @Dashrender said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I personally don't know of a single non-"techie" that would look at this and think "Computer"

    alt text

    Maybe not upon first look - but once you connect it - it becomes pretty obvious.

    It's like your phone - assuming an android or iPhone - it's a computer, even though people don't view them as such.

    People are used to all kinds of computer form factors today. From cell phones that transform into desktops with just a docking station, to tiny portable desktops. Intel NUCs coming in a form factor that looks basically just like this. As did Steam machines. This looks a lot like one of the Raspberry Pi style chassis. It might not be the first thing that anyone is going to think of as a computer, but the moment someone sees it they are going to go "obviously, that's just a small computer."



  • Well, if that's the case, then does ANYTHING fit the OPs criteria? If anything that is plugged into a monitor and keyboard instantly "becomes" a computer then it really doesn't matter the form factor does it?

    I think you're both conflating the issue: The OP specifically wanted something that didn't LOOK like a computer (my assumption is: "at first glance").

    With your reasoning, it doesn't matter if it looks like an Altoid tin if, when connected to peripherals, it acts like a computer then it will not pass spec.



  • @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    With your reasoning, it doesn't matter if it looks like an Altoid tin if, when connected to peripherals, it acts like a computer then it will not pass spec.

    That's been the issue since the beginning. All thin clients look like computers because a thin client is just a computer. In fact, devices sold as thin clients look more like what people expect computers to look like than some normal fat clients. I think everyone is in agreement that there's no solution that meets the requirements as stated.

    The OP had mentioned Wyse, but Wyse units look "more computer" than some of the things rules out, like some Chromebooks.

    But part of the complication was that even with all of the limits, there was still a question of what to use. Which makes us think that the Wyse didn't meet the requirement. Which makes sense, as they look just like normal computers. In fact, some of them share chassis with normal Dell desktops and laptops.

    They even say Dell on them.

    Compare this to a Chromebook in the same form factor..

    If anything, the Wyse look more like what end users expect as computers than the Chromebooks do for the same use case.

    In this day and age, you can definitely find people who are going to think one thing is a computer and another isn't, but what you won't easily find any device that is functional that will universally not look just like a computer to end users. The OP was very clear as to what didn't qualify, but what none of us can figure out is given what is ruled out, it seems to leave nothing. In an age where people are used to tablets, chromebooks, all in one PCs built into the monitors, tiny form factor computers, SBCs, computers that bolt onto the back of monitors, etc. as the normal things that they have at home or from previous office experience - there really isn't a device that's going to just look like something that isn't a computer. And as people pointed out, once you plug stuff into it, even the oddest or smallest device will instantly look like a computer to them and even if that doesn't do it, the monitor itself is the "computer" to the average user.

    It's the OP's reasoning of what doesn't quality, and how it needs to be perceived, that you are having an issue with. We are just repeating the limits that he set forth. If we ignore that it can't look like a computer, be a Chromebook, be a tablet, etc. then sure, we can come up with examples. But if we stick to the list as given, we can't. Assuming that Wyse, since it was mentioned, is excluded from the exclusions, then even though we all seem to think it clearly looks like Dell desktops or laptops, then that's acceptable. But if the answer was provided before the question was asked, then the only question would be "what's the question?"



  • @manxam said in How do YOU provide a physical VDI demo?:

    I think you're both conflating the issue: The OP specifically wanted something that didn't LOOK like a computer (my assumption is: "at first glance").

    If that's the case, why rule out the things that would best fit that criteria (tablets, tiny machines, etc.?) The parameters of the question don't match that specifically.



  • My assumption is that enough tech people know Wyse from the green screen era and we associate the name with thin computing so that when we see them, even though they just look like small desktops (seriously, compare them to small form factor Dell desktops) we don't "see" them as computers, but as dumb devices even though they are essentially a Chromebook without the branding. But I have a feeling, especially now that the Dell branding is side by side with the Wyse name, that end users that aren't technical will see them identically as normal desktops. It feels like a thin client product name would be seen as a different kind of device, but it is actually our tech knowledge that gives us that impression. Take a kid or someone without tech experience and the Wyse brand is just another random name on a box, they'd have no idea that that is supposed to be something special.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41Ac7A1bZcL.jpg

    Try to look at it without the trained eye of an IT pro. To grandma or Ether in accounting or Frank in HR, the Dell desktop and the Wyse thin client look essentially the same. It's just that "Dell computer on my desk."

    The OP's goal makes sense. And I agree, the Wyse option might be the best one. But I'm not sure that we can state that it will meet the intended goal of not appearing to be a desktop. As an untrained end user, I think it will be perceived as a full desktop no matter what we do (which, to be fair, is part of the goal of thin clients.)



  • I think that the real challenge being face here, if I read it correctly, is that there is a desire for the hardware used to not confuse the end user into thinking that there is a computer there doing the work. While not having to teach them what remote computing means. And that's a great idea and would be awesome if there was a device that would do that.

    But it's my opinion, from a lot of experience around this, that as long as there is a monitor, let alone a box of any sort, the users will just perceive the monitor as the local computing device (heck, that's one of the most popular approaches today for desktop computing) and no matter what you use you are going to have some "'splaining to do" to the end user so that they understand that they are seeing something special.

    If anyone has success or experience in actually getting around the need to explain remote computing to the customer, definitely share it. Because I do this all the time and have pretty good luck in explaining it and showing them how we can transform any device whether one that they already have or one that we demo, so that the customer understands what they are seeing. But can't imagine how we could do it in a simpler way without having to show some of the sausage being made to the customer.

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/25/93/4e/25934e78efb9480d585305fbb2a8c482.jpg



  • Well - Scott hit over 3+ posts exactly what I was wondering with one of my earlier posts.

    I love the idea of trying to get end users to think that nothing local is happening, removing the need to actually educate them on remote computing - but Apple in the olden days and just about everyone nowadays makes an all in one computer. So just because they don't see a box doesn't mean they won't think the components aren't 'in the monitor'.

    Unfortunately I think this goal as restarted by Scott is unobtainable. End user education will be required, assuming their understanding of this functionality is a requirement.


Log in to reply