In a market dominated by brand-name laptops with a four-figure sticker price, often with high-powered compute that is largely wasted on its most frequent end users (do we really need $1200 Facebook and email machines??), the humble Chromebook remains relatively unknown to the average non-techie user.
However, Chromebooks not only satisfy all the needs of the casual user or task worker for a fraction of the cost of a Windows or MacOS machine, they are also perfect client devices for users who need portable remote access to a high-powered (virtual or physical) desktop. Moreover, the ChromeOS platform offers a unique advantage over a Windows or MacOS client – security.
Chromebooks as VDI Clients
A Chromebook is a small, light, laptop machine running ChromeOS. ChromeOS is a Linux-based operating system that uses the Google Chrome web browser as it’s primary user interface. No desktop, no local drive, just hardware and a browser. The simplicity, combined with the astonishingly low price tag, makes them perfect for everyone from Grandma who always forgets where “the internet” is, to a teen or college student checking Facebook and writing papers on Google Docs, to a mobile CTO who needs a highly portable and cost-effective device with remote access to a high-powered virtual or physical machine.
For building out a VDI or DaaS environment, they are an ideal mobile client device option that is cheap to buy and cheap to replace. Perfect for remote users, temporary employees, or simply budget-friendly hardware.
In the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attacks, IT security has been bumped to priority number one for most organizations. CIOs are actively seeking new avenues for locking down IT environments and VDI and DaaS is becoming an increasingly attractive option.
From a security standpoint, a key advantage to the Chromebook is the ChromeOS itself. ChromeOS is a unique operating system, one on which a virus may download – but it certainly won’t run. Perfect for those users who simply insist on clicking those fishy email links. Keyloggers also won’t install, along with other forms of sketchy software like spyware and ransomware.
In terms of protocol support for VDI and DaaS, your options are Chrome Remote Desktop or an HTML5 viewer like the one included with the Leostream Gateway. Alternatively, most Chromebooks run Andriod apps so any major high-performance protocol vendor with an Andriod app would be an option as well, such as Teradici PCoIP or Mechdyne TGX (coming soon!). Perfect for power users who need access to a remote desktop for graphics-intensive or compute-intensive tasks.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity or the humble price tag, Chromebooks are an ideal client device for VDI and DaaS!