Dell and VMware Re-imagine PC Deployment Possibilities

Aug 29, 2018
Justin Grimsley

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Justin is an end-user computing expert, leading the Community team for VMware EUC.

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New Dell deployment service provides users with ready-to-work experience on first boot

Together, Dell and VMware are transforming how organizations deploy, manage and support PCs. This post will explore how Dell and VMware are working together to provide a modern approach to deployment.

At VMworld 2018, Dell announced a new PC configuration service, which allows organizations to ship devices preconfigured with company apps and settings directly from the factory to their users. This new service, called Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE, dramatically reduces the amount of time IT spends staging devices and minimizes end user downtime.

The Shift from Network-Based to Cloud-Based Deployment

The traditional approach to prepare a PC for work is time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. IT admins build, maintain and update the company’s golden image(s), and then apply the image manually to a new PC or when re-imaging an existing PC.

During conversations with customers, we’ve heard it can take hours to image a PC based on organizational requirements, the size of applications and the complexity of task sequences. Even when following deployment best practices to reduce the number of golden images maintained and time spent applying the images, IT can still spend an inordinate amount of time on such a mundane task; time they could be focusing on driving business value.

The problem of imaging only gets more complicated as organizations seek to support multiple device types with different drivers and support the Windows update servicing model that delivers a new version of Windows twice a year instead of every 3 to 5 years.

These changes with imaging do not exist in the mobile world. In your personal life, when you get a new iPhone or new Android device, you simply type in your credentials and all your apps, settings and data come down over-the-air onto the device. Today, managed enrollment for Apple and Android brings a similar experience that meets enterprise-level needs. .

Cloud-Based Provisioning for Windows 10

With Window 10, Microsoft simplified the PC onboarding experience, allowing a user to take a device out of the box and quickly walk through a first-time set-up process. Microsoft extended this capability by releasing Windows Autopilot, which gives organizations three capabilities: (1) register a device with an OEM, (2) customize the setup screens users interact with at first boot (the Out of Box Experience or OOBE screens); and (3) enroll the device into MDM, such as VMware Workspace ONE.

Both Dell and VMware support Autopilot. It’s good for users who rely primarily on cloud-based SaaS applications and customers using Azure AD for their directory service. For those who prefer to avoid the cost of additional licensing, Dell and VMware offer a cloud-centric provisioning service for Workspace ONE that launched in 2017.

One of the primary differences between the mobile and desktop worlds is the size of traditional Windows applications that most businesses rely on compared with mobile or cloud-based apps. Depending on the network connection, the time to productivity could be hours for some users as they wait for gigs of applications to download and install. Dell and VMware have solved this problem, leveraging the scale of the Dell factory.

Zero-IT Touch: Provisioned in the factory, shipped to the user and managed from the cloud

With the arrival of Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE, Dell and VMware customers can provide a virtually zero IT touch and virtually zero user downtime experience. Configurations, settings, and applications are preloaded at the Dell factory. Now, instead of users waiting hours (and hours) for apps and settings to download and apply, they can have a ready-to-work experience on first boot of the device. And if IT needs to perform a PC reset or recovery in the future, included Zero Touch Restore functionality allows applications and management to persist, minimizing user downtime.

Packaging up information for Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE is simple: the IT admin exports applications from Workspace ONE as a PPKG and completes a wizard to generate a configuration file (Windows Unattend.XML).

Dell Provisioning

 

How Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE works:

Dell Provisioning

Secure application installs with Trusted Software Authority

At VMworld 2018, VMware also showed a tech preview of Trusted Software Authority, which leverages Windows Defender Application Control (formerly Device Guard) to restrict devices to only install applications from trusted sources. Workspace ONE becomes the trusted installer for applications, along with other trusted sources, including Microsoft Store for Business, Windows Updates and Dell Command Update. When Trusted Software Authority is released later this year, customers can apply the policy when they export applications for Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE. The Dell factory provides a stable and secure environment to apply the policy. After the initial boot, only apps and updates from the trusted installers will run on the device.

Recommendations Dell Provisioning

Availability

Dell Provisioning for VMware Workspace ONE will be available in North America and select European countries on Sept. 12, 2018.

The Trusted Software Authority capability will be available later this year.

Embrace Modern Management after Deploying Devices with Dell and VMware

Once a user powers on their Dell device, VMware Workspace ONE applies any “last mile” settings or user specific applications and provides users with a unified catalog that gives single sign on access into SaaS apps and allows users to self-service install any additional applications they may need.

Workspace ONE keeps the apps and operating system up to date, whether customers use WSUS or Windows Update for Business. Through the integration of Dell Client Command Suite, Workspace ONE can also configure and update the device firmware, BIOS and drivers from the cloud across any network.

Dell and VMware are working together to change what’s possible for PC deployment and management. Customers can expect continued innovations and integrations that accelerate workforce transformation.

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