Q&A with IGEL Community Member Carl Behrent
We recently sat down with IGEL Community member Carl Behrent, Co-Community Member of the Year 2020, to discuss his experiences working with IGEL technologies.
First, how long have you been working with IGEL technologies?
I have been doing EUC for 10+ years now focusing on two other vendors during that time, about three years ago on Twitter there were mentions of this thing called an 'IGEL UD Pocket' being promoted by Doug Brown, who was raving about it. I knew I had to have one, so Doug sent me one. Within 30mins of setting up IGEL UMS and creating some profiles, I was blown away, the simplicity of everything had me sold.
Was IGEL your first experience with 'thin clients'?
As mentioned, I have been using thin client technology for many years now mostly the two leading players Dell Wyse and HP, in recent years it has been vendors like IGEL and NComputing as well.
How do you see IGEL solutions compare and contrast to your other experiences?
After using the overall IGEL solution (OS and Management tool), my first reaction was, 'where have you been all my life?".
A lot of other vendors require a very manual approach to doing those day to day tasks like pushing out setting config changes, upgrading firmware, even simple things like changing the OS wallpaper. These same tasks under the IGEL OS take much less time, minimal scripting needed, unlike other vendors, and the ability to layer on settings are some of my standouts.
Another big selling point for me is having the full Linux OS available. -This allows for greater peripheral support and also having full clients available like Citrix Receiver/Workspace App, VMware Horizon client, so you know you'll have the complete feature set of with no limitations or vendor wrapper around these clients.
Why IGEL? Why do you feel IGEL's software approach to the endpoint is right for your customers?
IGEL has proven to be constantly staying on top of the constant changes in technology. Being able to include new technology and client versions very rapidly put them ahead of other vendors.
Do you feel your customers understand the 'IGEL is a software vendor' message?
When people think of thin clients, its usually always about the hardware, IGEL has been making good progress on pushing their software vendor message to customers. Once you start playing with the UMS and IGEL OS, you soon understand it.
In the world of engineering, nothing is 100%. Do you feel some places are better suited for IGEL style solutions than others? If so, where?
I think the IGEL solution can be suited in any environment from SMB right through to large enterprises but also across many different industries. It’s been proven to scale from 10's of devices too many 1000's.
What do you feel the most significant challenges relating to working with IGEL has been?
Like any vendor, I think it’s the rapid change of technology can be challenging. IGEL is doing an excellent job of keeping up, being able to deliver updated Citrix/VMware clients. This is only a good thing for the support staff and end-users.
Peripherals can be challenging to deploy and support on endpoints. What has been your experience managing peripherals on IGEL OS, are they some you can't get to work?
Because the IGEL OS is full Linux and as long as the vendor supports Linux, then there aren’t usually any dramas. IGEL can do generic drivers, so it almost covers any peripherals that are out there.
Do you feel 'security challenges' have played a hand in moving customers to IGEL?
IGEL is well known for keeping on top of security vulnerabilities and very quickly releasing fixes compared to other vendors to stay on top. In any aspect of IT these days, security should always be near the very top of the list.
How did the IGEL Community change your way of using/learning IGEL products and solutions?
Since the launch of the IGEL Community, it has grown at a rapid rate. The Slack channel is a great location for community members to get together, ask questions, collaborate ideas, and have some banter. Another thing that's great in the IGEL community is the ever-famous Doug Brown’s step by step guidebooks. This has proven to be very useful for people getting their first look at IGEL and want to know those 'getting started' questions.
Are there differentiators between IGEL Community and other communities you joined / will join? If yes, what makes us unique or not?
I feel one of the keys to a vendor these days is having a useful community with it. The IGEL Community is continuously growing, and everyone is willing to help each other out to get a good IGEL experience. The IGEL Community Slack channel is a great place to ask questions or contribute to the community.
If you had one wish for IGEL, what would it be?
Continue what you're doing; you obviously have the right strategic plan going forward and are continuing to get more disruptive in the market.
Special thanks to Carl Behrent for taking the time for this interview. Truly appreciated!