When the Raspberry Pi was released in early 2012, it was targeted at education and to encourage youngsters into learning coding skills, and that remains pretty much the same to this day.
If however, you were like me, then you might have had other ideas based around gaming or even turning it into a makeshift thin client by adding third-party applications, a remote desktop client or Citrix receiver. This might be OK for a hobbyist, but it doesn’t lean itself towards being suitable for the enterprise when you take into account you have to build the device, load the operating system and applications but most importantly you don’t have the ability to manage the device, which limits how quickly the devices can be rolled out.
Over time, several third-party organisations started to develop their own operating systems that incorporated the connection clients that could be installed onto a device, but you still had to build that device yourself.
RX300 by NComputing
Fast forward to February 2017 and NComputing released the RX300 as a replacement to their successful L series devices which connect to vSpace over the UXP protocol, which is NComputing’s own version of Microsoft’s RDP client. This was a pre-built solution that you could simply plug-in, power on and you are ready to go. As an added benefit for education users, the device has a dual boot option to the Raspbian OS as well as the vSpace mode.
The RX300 has Wi-Fi as standard and is now available with the optional secondary display adapter (SDA), which uses the Pi Zero for dual-screen support. Multimedia content from the likes of YouTube also makes use of the RX300’s codec to offload video content from the server to the device.
RX-HDX by NComputing
In September 2017, NComputing released the RX-HDX now known as the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub. This was a joint project between Citrix, Stratodesk who developed the operating system and management platform, and NComputing who provided the bundled hardware.
The RX-HDX was the first purpose-built, Citrix-ready thin client based on the Raspberry Pi platform and it also had a few other tricks up its sleeve. It has support for dual-screen using the SDA, Wi-Fi as standard, Skype for Business using the Citrix RTME, and something never seen before in a thin client, Citrix Casting. Citrix Casting is a brand-new technology that allows you to transfer your Citrix session from your mobile phone, using a QR code displayed on screen or by simply holding your mobile phone close the RX-HDX and casting the session using proximity authentication.
Citrix Session Roaming Triggered by Proximity Authentication:
Citrix Session Roaming Triggered by QR Code:
Since it’s launch in 2017, the RX-HDX has been a disruptive technology to the traditional thin client model and is now being adopted in the enterprise, healthcare (Imprivata) & manufacturing sectors.
RX-RDP by NComputing
The final product in the NComputing line-up is the RX-RDP for Microsoft Remote Desktop Environments. The one frustration many people have when using a standard Remote Desktop environment is multimedia playback capability. This wasn’t so bad if you were connecting from a Windows Embedded thin client, but that was expensive and also required Windows updates to both the thin client and server environment.
However, NComputing’s server-side software, Super-RDP, allows you to make use of the vCast multimedia plug-in and play full-screen video content from YouTube or local video content using VLC media player, which uses the hardware codec of the RX-RDP freeing up valuable server resources.
The RX-RDP is managed using PMC, NComputing’s own Pi Management Centre, which allows you to group devices and push out both firmware and configuration updates. PMC can also manage RX300 devices.
The Raspberry Pi has come along way since its release, and with the new 3B+ model and options for native dual screen coming soon, the future of this device looks certain to get better and better.
If you want to find out more about our products, please email sales:tilttech.co.uk or give us a call on 01480 585 555