Raspberry Pi turned into thin client by Citrix

Microcomputer will support virtualised Windows 10 and more

Raspberry Pi, the microcomputer created to encourage children to learn how to code, is being brought into the enterprise as a thin client.

During his opening keynote at the company's annual Synergy conference in Las Vegas, Citrix's new CEO, Kirill Tatarinov, said: "We're introducing support for a very interesting and revolutionary new form factor, which is support for Raspberry Pi devices. A really thin client a client that can be procured for under $100 and we now have Citrix ADI technology running on a system on a chip environment. We can provide this new scenario and this is truly exciting."

In collaboration with another presenter, Tatarinov showed a live demo of a Raspberry Pi being used as a thin client running HDX on a chip offeringWindows 10 desktop with XenApp and XenMobile security.

At a press conference held following the keynote, IT Pro asked why Citrix had elected to introduce support for Raspberry Pi, when there are so many dedicated enterprise thin clients available.

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"The way we look at things is not just around innovation, it's not just around partnerships, but it really is TCO/ROI," said Bill Burley, Citrix's corporate VP and GM of Workspace Services. "A big part of it is the endpoint, and so over the years if you analyse buying a PC and what that cost is, not just the upfront costs, but the ongoing management needs of that PC, then you start to realise that [they] consume a lot of capital expenditure that goes out in delivering virtualised environments."

Burley praised the original idea of encouraging children to code with the unit, but went on to say that its ability to run high-end graphics and video as needed by the enterprise at a very low cost made it attractive as a thin client for business as well.

Even if each Raspberry Pi is only used for a couple of years, Burley said, it would still be a fraction of the cost of purchasing, maintaining and replacing alternatives over the same period.

"PCs [are] on average $700-$750, thin clients are $400. Raspberry Pi is just $100," said Burley.

"So it's not just I can connect and get to Windows apps', it's I can connect and run all my high-end graphics, all my video' it changes the dynamic of how you consume technology when you can drop something below $100," he added.

An additional demonstration of Raspberry Pi running the Xen portfolio will take place during the second day keynote on Wednesday.

See also: Top Raspberry Pi projects to try yourself

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