IGEL unveiled its 2019 roadmap at its Disrupt event, and has high hopes that the new tech will live up to the name of their event.
SAN JOSE – As they regularly do each year at their Disrupt user event, software-defined endpoint management company IGEL gave a presentation for the technology roadmap for the upcoming year. Many of the road map entries this year were software – no great surprise given IGEL’s increasing focus on defining themselves as a software vendor and the imminent release on February 15 of their new OS 11. They also announced some upcoming hardware enhancements though, as well as upcoming integrations with new and legacy vendor partners in their ecosystem.
The vendor integrations include an expanded technological partnership with German keyboard maker Cherry.
“We are implementing an industry-first with them – an encrypted keyboard,” said Mathias Huber, a Product Manager at IGEL. “Now you may ask, ‘what will I use this for?’ Some organizations are deciding to encrypt all their connections to the network. If you are in a very sensitive industry, this may be something that you would want.”
“We are finding that the federal government is a major area of interest for this,” said Roger E. Johns, a California-based Regional Sales Manager for Cherry.
“It is very useful against both keyloggers and BadUSB attacks, where the USB seems innocent and then downloads malware,” Huber added.
The new keyboard is slated for August availability, with IGEL support for security features slated for Q3 on.
IGEL has a brand new partnership with Teradici underway as well, which with a third partner, Ottawa-based Tehama, is making a Linux-based workspace-as-a-service offering available that connects with AWS.
“Teradici is sharing their latest client with us so we can integrate it into OS 11,” Huber said.
IGEL also has multiple new and extended relationships underway with providers of performance monitoring products.
Login VSI, which makes software that tests and monitors the performance and availability of virtual desktop environments, is a new IGEL vendor partner, who have designed a joint solution that will deliver Login PI active monitoring, which is part of the Login VSI Enterprise Edition, through the IGEL OS. It is available now as a custom partition, and will be fully integrated into the IGEL OS later in the year.
“LogInVSI can monitor apps from the point of view of the user, emulating the user perspective so you can test drive a solution before people complain,” Huber said.
IGEL also has an integration in the works with San Jose-based ControlUp, which makes a management console for virtual desktops and servers.
“It will provide detailed metrics about machine performance,” Huber said.
IGEL has a new integration with unified communication vendor Avaya that provides a custom partition as part of the Equinox VDI collaboration package, which will be branded as a Powered by Avaya solution. They also now have a 64-bit client for Cisco, are fully supported for Citrix, and have a VMware Horizon integration coming soon.
Security is increasing in importance. Accordingly, last year IGEL enabled support for UEFI [Unified Extensible Firmware Interface] which is expected to completely replace BIOS.
“We will have digitally signed OS partitions in 2019,” Huber said. The IGEL 11 OS also has multiple security enhancements. All the devices now get the same firmware, and receive the same OS image. All OS 11 based devices are also now configured using one set of profiles.
“It replaces this old game of having to configure profiles based on OS, LX, and UDP,” Huber said.
IGEL’s partnership with AMD is also bring new enhancements to OS 11.
“We are bringing to market a hardware Secure Boot on the IGEL UD 7,” said Dave Rooney, Senior Product Manager at AMD, who has spent 13 years in the thin client business. “We have a small piece of silicon inside the CPU that will check that the BIOS has been signed and validated. If the firmware is compromised, what you do downstream doesn’t matter a lot. It’s an extra layer of security that isn’t there today.”
Huber said that a Web UI for UMS [Universal Management Suite], which will be an alternative to the Java client, is coming.
“Java won’t go away because it’s feature-rich, but some of most important features will be available in the Web UI,” he stated. “You can assign a profile to machines or groups of machines. We think this will be interesting for very large installations of 10,000 clients up in a single UMS, because it takes so long to load them now, By using up-to-date Web technologies, we can load these on demand.”
Will the Web UI eventually be the core one, making Java a niche offering?
“In the end, the Web UI may be the official UI, but that has not been decided yet,” Huber said. “This is the first step on the journey, allowing handling more devices with better performance, and removing the bottlenecks of the UMC Console.”
IGEL Cloud Gateway is coming in June.
“This will enable shadowing devices outside the organization’s network where they can’t now talk to the thin client to manage it,” Huber said. “It allows the gateway to allow the client to call out to the gateway and connect the two.”
While IGEL defines itself as a software company, they still have some hardware items on the roadmap.
“We still have some hardware devices people like to run, despite the fact we are a software company,” said Matthias Haas, IGEL’s Chief Technology Officer.
IGEL’s OS 11 introduced a new partnership with LG, which entered the VDI space last year and is making a major investment in it.
“We are end-of-lifing our UD 9 All-in-One in May 2019, and working with LG as a partner of choice to produce a modern design infrastructure,” Haas said. A release data has not yet been set.
Haas also indicated this year’s refresh roadmap for the other devices.
“We are replacing our entry-level UD2 with a new generation with improved performance in Q2,” Haas said. “Customers and partners both said it was too big, so we invested time in reducing the size, and it will have approximately 50 per cent less housing that the current UD2. While changing the housing, we are also updating boards and chipsets, and will have a modern WiFi with connectivity on both sides so connectivity improves. It will also have 30 per cent recycled plastics to reduce footprint.
Haas indicated that IGEL is working with NVIDIA on an ARM architecture using their Jetson board, which will go into the UD2 housing. The idea is to provide cost-optimized power, while also providing high performing and secure endpoints.
“In Q4, we will have a new UD3,” Haas added. It also has 50 per cent less housing size, and the other kinds of enhancements as the UD2. The new Quad Core Intel chipset will improve performance by 35 per cent.
“We are also moving away from DVI to 2x DisplayPort, to address needs for big desktops,” Haas said.