IGEL Secure

IGEL Secure - On the 12th of June some of the Workspace IT gang got to spend the day listening to "front-men" from some of the EUC industries best vendors at the IGEL hosted "IGEL Secure" event. After a day absorbing information and some interesting discussions I decided to write this blog to summarise what i heard.

So lets get into it, after an early start at 6am I headed into London to the venue - 30 Euston Square, London. A great location and a fantastic comfortable auditorium which you will see in the pictures coming up.

After a quick breakfast we headed in to the auditorium for the keynote sessions. First onstage was Darren Fields, IGEL VP Sales, who provided a warm welcome and set the scene for the day.

Next up was Klaus Oestermann, IGEL CEO. Klaus gave an overview of how IGEL have re-positioned themselves within the market and redefined what IGEL's strategy and direction is. Introducing....

IGEL Secure18
IGEL Secure17

What's the IGEL Preventative Security Model (PSM)?
In my own words, IGELs PSM is essentially removing attack surfaces from the endpoint, therefore lessening the risk of a cyber attack due to a by design "hardened" device. The next pictures show some of the differences between using IGEL and other traditional endpoints operating systems such as Windows 11 and the additional technologies and complexities involved to try and manage additional attack surfaces and product integrations.

For more details on the PSM, you can checkout the whitepaper here:
IGEL-Security-Whitepaper_Preventative-Security-Model.pdf

One of the major benefits of transitioning to IGEL and its Preventative Security Model is the impact on cost. Everyone knows cost more often than not provides major influence in any companies strategy and technology. Klaus went on to talk about a customer that has saved over £32M over a 3 year period in equated cost. This was achieved by using IGEL on the customer endpoints allowing the customer to:

Next Klaus moved on to show the current landscape of IGEL Ready partners. The partner ecosystem is changing rapidly with more and more partners on-boarding to the program, each time I see an updated chart there are more and more vendors.

"An exclusive partner program designed for hardware, software and peripheral companies that want to develop verified, integrated solutions with IGEL technologies."


Matthias Haas, IGEL CTO took the reigns from Klaus at this stage and went on to talk about the current state of IGEL OS12, the App Portal and how its showing 25% more velocity in how apps are appearing bringing updates and new features. Local Apps on OS12 were then highlighted allowing more flexibility in utilising the local devices hardware for potential performance improvements - a key feature for me was the introduction of the Microsoft Teams Progressive Web App (PWA), allowing a user to run Teams in a browser directly on the IGEL.

Matthias expanded on more functionality within OS12 such as:

For me personally, a couple of those announcements are a big deal!

First, SSO from the OS level right through to the desktop or application you want to use - No more entering your credentials multiple times.

Second, Microsoft Teams PWA, locally installed on the IGEL. Unified Comms straight from the endpoint.

Lastly, my favourite and what I have been talking with IGEL about for quite some time, Microsoft Intune Enrollment! This is huge! Enroll your devices then apply Compliance and/or Conditional Access Policies to your devices like you would with any other device currently within your tenant.


Next up, Justin Thorogood took centre stage as a referee to chat with Jim Moyle, Microsoft, Spencer Pitts, Omnissa and Gerry Lavin, Citrix. Justin had the red card ready if things were to get out of hand between these tech giants. The panel discussed their views on the current state of their respective companies and gave a bit of insight around the changes since acquisition for the likes of Citrix and Omnissa. Jim caught my attention with his insight on the highly debated "AppV is end of life 04/2026" topic.

I caught up with Jim in-between sessions to quiz him on this subject a little more. After some digging here's what I learnt:

Realistically, the AppV client is going to be around until at least 2030.... maybe more... shhh.


Back into the auditorium and Joe Cleary from Lenovo was on stage to talk about how IGEL and Lenovo are "Securing Devices at the Edge".

This session had some specific use cases in mind such as Point of Sale (POS) devices, Digital Signage and Patient Kiosks and how Lenovos ThinkShield offers a lower layer of protection against Cyber-Attacks - right down to protecting the Firmware and BIOS of the device. For more info, checkout the Lenovo site here.


Now, I need to highlight my favorite presentation of the day, this was delivered by Nathaniel Comer, CEO & Founder of Sun Screen IT Group. What do Sun Screen IT do? I am not a good enough writer to convey the message in the way i received it so I have instead here are some of the slides from the presentation.

Since the event I have spoken to Nathaniel to get permission to provide a snippet of video from what he presented for the first time. The actual video was just shy of 15 minutes, once publicly released, I urge you to watch it.

If you can help or want to get involved please reach out directly to Nathaniel (link above) and he will be more than happy to speak to you about Sun Screen IT and their mission.


Breakout Sessions were next on the Agenda where I headed over to get an update on the IGEL Channel changes. Some exciting changes, enhancements and some insightful Q&A with the presenters, Justin Thorogood (Looking shook!), Ken Millard, Brendan Williams, Eric Kline & Mads Skalbo. Thanks for the update guys! Unfortunately the detail shared here is still to be kept under wraps.


And finally it was time for the the social afterwards to dig into the detail with a beer and some banter. Obligatory selfies with the main man Rene Recker who heads up the IGEL Community. Joe Cleary from Lenovo. And a trip to re-enact the Spice Girls Wannabe music video on the stairs in St Pancreas International featuring, Jim Moyle, Colin Eales & myself (Dan Goss).

Hopefully you learnt something from this post, if not i'm sure you at least enjoyed the Spice Girls reenactment. If you would like anymore information on anything mentioned above to reach out to me, if I cant help I can put you in touch with someone that can. Thanks for reading.

ISN 2021-11: UMS Log4j Vulnerability

IGEL have updated their guidance this morning regarding the recent Log4j Vulnerability and are now recommending all UMS versions since 5.09.100 be upgraded to version 6.09.120.

For full details on the vulnerability and mitigation see the following link:
ISN 2021-11: UMS Log4j Vulnerability (igel.com)

IGEL OS 11.08.200 - Released

IGEL OS 11.08.200
IGEL released OS 11.08.200 on the 18/10/2022, with it come some exciting enhancements many of our customers will be very interested in.

What's new in this OS 11 release?
Our favourite:

Specifics for our Citrix customers:

Specifics for our VMware Horizon customers:

Some of the other key updates in this release:

For a full list of the updates in this release see the release notes here

What's coming up?
With IGEL OS 11.08.110 (Private Build) Citrix Workspace App (CWA) v2209 was released, we expect to see a new private build based on 11.08.200 including the CWA v2209 within the next week or so.

How can I get this update?
If you are a fully managed customer of ours then expect to hear from your Technical Account Manager (TAM) in the very near future if you have not already. The 11.08.200 is being tested in house and your TAM will work with you to schedule the rollout so you can begin your own UAT.

For anyone not fully managed, reach out to us and we will work with you to define an update strategy, test the new firmware and get your devices updated on a schedule that suits you.

IGEL Announce Hardware Exit

IGEL have exited hardware to focus on its next gen edge OS, exclusively through hardware partners LG, Lenovo and HP.

Following a successful 20 years and reaching the No.3 provider of thin clients in north America and Europe, IGEL plans to focus purely on software research and development.

They have confirmed support of the five-year warranty for new and previous IGEL thin clients will be continued.

The IGEL OS is extensible to all kinds of hardware form factors. IGEL is software that can deliver the richest, most secure, easiest to manage and most cost-effective Windows experience.

The move to focus exclusively on the software market puts IGEL into a position to accelerate its next gen sec.

Computing News, CRN

The official end of life will be March 2023 and sales will continue while stock lasts, please do reach out as soon as possible if you would like to purchase additional UD’s.

LG, Lenovo and HP all have some great alternatives to the UD hardware, contact us to discuss which is best for you.

Follow this link to access the press report - ‘Dream Come True’: IGEL Exits Hardware Business | CRN

How a green approach to tech can attract and engage students

As students challenge universities to do more for the environment, IT systems can hold the key to boosting sustainability credentials

Universities that invest in an environmentally friendly technology strategy can reduce their carbon footprint, save on energy costs and attract a generation of climate-conscious students.

At a recent Times Higher Education webinar, held in partnership with Workspace IT, a panel of industry experts discussed how institutions can boost student attainment and engagement through a strong green technology agenda.

Chair Julia Gilmore, branded content manager at Times Higher Education, said a university’s sustainability credentials were an increasingly important metric for students when choosing an institution to attend. With IT a major focus of the green agenda, she said universities had an opportunity to boost their sustainability credentials and save significant costs and time by repurposing hardware rather than replacing it.

A survey by the UK’s National Union of Students found that 91 per cent of students were concerned about climate change and 80 per cent wanted their university to do more for sustainable development.

Kat Piotrowski, partner technical strategist at Citrix, said prospective students wanted to know what different universities were doing to advance the green agenda before deciding where to study. “This is actually a big change that people are asking for. It’s not just, ‘how many windows is my dorm going to have? What is it going to be like on a student night out?’ It is, ‘I want to be part of a university that is going to be helping our planet moving forward’,” she said.

Ben Ward, field technologist and principal systems engineer at IGEL, said up to 83 per cent of a digital device’s total carbon footprint is generated during manufacturing, with raw materials procured from across the world. He suggested universities could save money and find favour with students by using devices beyond the “average refresh cycle of 3.8 years”.

“When students are looking at the university, give them the ability to choose an older device, potentially,” Ward said. “If you can say to them, ‘if you can love this device for another three or four years, you’re helping to save 353kg of CO2 which could be equivalent to several acres of trees’. That's the sort of message that we are seeing resonating.”

Dan Ogilvie, technical consultant at Workspace IT, said the company had devised a sustainability calculator for universities – and other organisations – to see the potential reduction in their carbon footprint and financial savings from switching to Cloud-based workspaces and virtual desktops.

“Just because a device is a bit old and not capable of running Windows 11, for example, certainly doesn't mean it should be destined for landfill. This is potentially a rare opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment and maybe save a bit of money,” Ogilvie said.

IT accounts for 10 per cent of all business electricity consumption, with 50 per cent of that impact driven by inefficiencies, said Danny Clarke, principal systems engineer for financial service and insurance at Citrix. He said universities should “shift emphasis from having workload on an end device” to an app or desktop virtualisation, efficient endpoints and the Cloud.

This approach would deliver “four pillars of sustainability in IT”, reducing power consumption, the impact of the device replacement cycle, emissions from travel and greenhouse gas emissions from data centres.

“Give [staff and students] flexibility and freedom to work or study from anywhere, reduce the travel, reduce the impact of devices because we’re no longer tied into a regular refresh. And reduce the impact of the data centre as well,” Clarke concluded.

Webinar times & titles

00.01.42 – Summary of Talking Points
00.02.49 – Sustainability
00.06.24 – Student Priorities
00.08.07 – Areas of IT Impact – Power/ Travel
00.10.49 – Areas of IT Impact – Devices
00.12.26 – What It Takes To Make One Laptop  
00.13.12 – End User Device Supply Chains
00.15.47 – E-Waste
00.18.06 – Q&A Session
00.22.21 – How IT Can Help
00.28.16 – Further Benefits for Students and Faculty
00.32.02 – Eight Year Refresh Cycle Using IGEL & Citrix
00.34.26 - How Citrix Has Enabled Customers to Cut Emissions
00.36.10 – Potential Cost Savings
00.38.51 – Introduction To Workspace IT
00.39.17 – Workspace IT Sustainability Calculator
00.41.06 – Q&A Session  

The panel:
Danny Clarke, principal systems engineer, financial service and insurance, Citrix
Julia Gilmore, branded content manager, Times Higher Education (chair)
Dan Ogilvie, technical consultant, Workspace IT 
Kat Piotrowski, partner technical strategist, Citrix
Ben Ward, field technologist, principal systems engineer, IGEL

Watch the webinar on demand above or on the THE Connect YouTube channel.

IGEL COSMOS

February 15th 2023 at Disrupt23 - IGEL Announced the impending arrival of IGEL COSMOS - GA 18th April 2023

Without a doubt, this is the biggest development in IGELs recent history and its a huge leap forward in functionality. As an IGEL MSP and Elite Partner we are fortunate enough to already have access to IGEL COSMOS and have broken down the components in this article.

If you cant wait and just want to see it in action, scroll down to the video and see the full unboxing experience.

IGEL COSMOS - What is it?
IGEL COSMOS is made up of 3 main components as shown in the image below, they are IGEL Cloud Services, UMS12 & OS12.

COSMOS

IGEL Cloud Services
Cloud Services brings some completely new features and functions that help pave the way to a whole new experience when combined with UMS12 and OS12.

Looking a little deeper into the individual components we have:

IGEL Customer Portal
This is the centralised identity and access management for all the IGEL Cloud Services

IGEL License Portal
No major changes here, the ILP remains pretty much the same and is where you manage your IGEL licenses

IGEL Insight Service
This is a new feature that will collect and display data about your IGEL Infrastructure, a few examples:

Insight Service

IGEL App Portal
Another new feature that will enable you to selectively deploy and/or update applications without needing to update the entire firmware (Like previously with OS11). The App Portal is an IGEL cloud hosted repository containing all the software provided by IGEL and IGEL Ready partners.

App Portal

IGEL Onboarding Service
This ones super exciting! The Onboarding service allows fast and easy onboarding of devices. How? You can now link your IDP (Identity Provider) to enable end users to onboard their devices by using their standard username and passwords that they already use day to day, for example AAD (Azure Active Directory) or OKTA. Not only that, your users can now receive devices direct from the manufacturer with IGEL pre-installed so they can onboard immediately after unboxing and be working in a matter of minutes! - To see this in action, watch the video below, a 4 minute walkthrough of the unboxing and onboarding experience.

UMS12
The next iteration of UMS is UMS12, a completely redesigned web-based GUI to manage your IGEL devices. Its not just a facelift, there have been some other major enhancements such as:

A sneak peak of how UMS12 looks in real life:

UMS

OS12
And finally! OS12, the completely redesigned OS that now embraces a modular approach enabling individual application and firmware updates. What does this mean? This means you can now upgrade an IGELs firmware without affecting any of the applications you are running. It also means you can upgrade or even downgrade an application without making any changes to the firmware.

OS12 introduces more exciting changes such as:

Sneak peak of OS12 out of the box:

OS12

IGEL OS12 Unboxing Experience
This short video below will show the full end to end process of an end user receiving their new IGEL OS12 device direct from the manufacturer (In this case a Lenovo Laptop).

How can I find out more about IGEL COSMOS?
If you want to know more, reach out and one of our IGEL Experts (Certified Architects) will be more than happy to talk with you, give a personalised demo and work through the benefits of how IGEL can simplify and benefit your organisation. Contact Us

IGEL Technical Workshop

June 1st 2023 - Workspace IT - IGEL Technical Workshop

That's a wrap! Our IGEL Technical Workshop is complete, a big thank you to all the attendees for not only attending but also making the webinar interactive with lots of questions during the Q&A sections of the webinar. We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to speaking to you more about Workspace IT & IGEL.

To watch again click the play button below:

How can I find out more about IGEL?
If you want to know more, reach out and one of our IGEL Experts (Certified Architects) will be more than happy to talk with you, give a personalised demo and work through the benefits of how IGEL can simplify and benefit your organisation.

Improve Global Sustainability by Embracing Remote Working

Now more than ever is the world focused on climate change as we see large scale events running like the recent "Global Citizen Live: Music Festival for the Planet". We as individuals and businesses need to act now to help tackle the problem of climate change.

One of the questions we got asked recently was "How can we as a business help reduce our carbon footprint?"

Its not the first time we have heard it and we recently saw a wonderful presentation on Sustainability delivered by Citrix at an IGEL hosted Disrupt event in London. The presentation explains the sheer volume of and puts into perspective how the green house gas's created as part of current IT practices are contributing to the problem and how simple changes can significantly reduce this volume.

Workspace IT pride themselves as being a sustainable business introducing technologies to reduce our emissions and selectively placing our infrastructure in datacentres who use renewable energy to further support the journey into being a zero emissions company. For more details on how we operate sustainably click the following link: https://workspace-it.com/sustainability-calculator/


How can we help your business improve its sustainability and lower its carbon emissions?