by Fredrik Brattstig @virtualbrat
During a presentation I gave at Citrix User Group Norway a few days ago, I showed a video on how you can onboard users in the WFH/WFA scenario. Yes, I know, COVID has been around for quite some time, and hopefully things are moving towards normal, though I still think this is very actual as the way we work is and will change globally. There are multiple reasons: Companies has seen that remote work works! Employees has seen the benefit of not driving/commuting to the office every day and can enjoy that commute time in other ways. Plus, maybe the most positive side effect of it all, the environment benefits of reduction of carbon emission due to less commute travels.
Though, this increases the demand for companies to provide a Secure WFx strategy,. where the endpoint sitting at the employees desk in the home office needs to be reliable, and heaven forbid, no corporate data being stored on the distributed endpoints without backups – that can be a nightmare as what happens if the device burns or get stolen all of a sudden company intellectual data is lost or get in the hands of individuals with bad intentions..
Yet, the WFx strategy needs to be as simple as possible especially for the WFx user. The user is not familiar with strange FQDN addresses, ports or other oddities.
What would be the minimal information you can request from a user? I would say – email address, and you could ask for keyboard layout and language settings plus WiFi connection if not using LAN cable, if they are presented in a easy way.
How can this then be achieved when using IGEL OS in combination with the IGEL UMS and IGEL ICG? IGEL has made the onboarding process of users as easy as the minimal requirements. When you boot a IGEL OS endpoint, might it be the IGEL UD Pocket (running the IGEL OS from the USB stick, while preserving the users home PC gaming setup), you can send the user a IGEL endpoint to connect to their TV-Set or their home PC’s monitor, or why not even bundle and send a WFH kit including a IGEL OS powered endpoint, from IGEL, Lenovo, LG, NComputing or any other vendor out there, a monitor and keyboard + mouse kit. Easy to assemble and secure by design.
What will happen when the user power on the IGEL OS endpoint the first time?
The IGEL OS first boot wizard will start, where the initial screen will ask for Display Language. English is default.. Then it asks for keyboard layout, English is default but other languages is easily selected using dropdown menu… After that the user can select Time zone continent and location but this can be controlled using the UMS, so press “next”.. Time for validating the current date, click “next” again.. Time for Wi-Fi Connection, pick your Wi-Fi Network, type the key and off we go. Licensing of the device will be the next screen presented to the user. IGEL OS can be licensed from central location using the UMS and even for WFx scenarios, where the device can be licensed remotely and automatically, so the user can just continue with 30 day starter license, no info needed to be gathered from the user -> “next”, and the final screen would be to connect the device to the company’s IGEL Cloud Gateway (ICG), which sits behind a publicly reachable DNS record. This could be the tricky part for a user, but it isn’t. As IGEL OS can resolve DNS TXT records, the user will fill out his/her email address, and a rollout password, which can be of nature single use or multi use. The end result would show this process:
It may look complex, but believe me, it isn’t complex at all. I promise you that this complete process will be done in less than 6 minutes, including potential reboot when the license gets applied.
For the presentation the other day, I recorded a video when enrolling a IGEL OS endpoint in WFx scenario. The setup is:
In Sweden, I have my IGEL OS endpoint booted, connected to my LAN network, walking through the IGEL first boot wizard following the process above, the interaction I do is selecting the keyboard layout, typing my email address and the ICG enrollment key -> Done.
During this process, the IGEL OS endpoint registers itself with my IGEL UMS through the IGEL ICG that are both residing in Microsoft Azure EastUS. It retrieves the configuration, locks down the device, adds a Citrix Workspace App icon to the desktop of the IGEL OS endpoint. I launch the Citrix Workspace App and login to Citrix Demo Cloud that runs on top of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in Microsoft Azure WestEU datacenter. When I get connected to my desktop, Microsoft Teams is launched and I immediately start a new meeting, showing the optimized state of Microsoft Teams with high quality webcam video feed. The video below shows how this complete setup can be done in under three minutes: To go from 0 to productive! That WFx enrollment is hard to beat!
Read more at www.igel.com and have a look at the enrollment video below!