Last year, I showed how an inexpensive $77 endpoint could be used for Citrix and VMware virtualized environments, to drive a single 4K display. You can find that video here and full blog post here. Over the last couple years there has been a lot of buzz and excitement around the Raspberry Pi, and its application and use within a Citrix environment as a high-performance endpoint, for its low price point. As I had talked with customers, many had become disinterested, due to its inherent limitation as a single monitor (only) solution. A multi-monitor Raspberry Pi option had been made available using the DisplayLink video adapter, but had poor performance, generally outputting between 12-18 frames per second.
Many of my clients had various single-monitor use cases, and for those scenarios, the Raspberry Pi was a perfect fit, with its ability to drive a 1920 x 1200 resolution monitor at 60 frames per second. The performance in these scenarios has been well received, due to the optimizations that Citrix enabled, and the Raspberry Pi’s built-in H.264 decode engine. Equally of interest, in light of the recent Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, the Raspberry Pi based endpoint devices are not affected. I am excited to announce that the biggest limitation of the Raspberry Pi to this point, lack of good performance multi-monitor support, has now been overcome with the first Commercially available Multi-Monitor Raspberry Pi from NComputing! This solution can now deliver high-performance to the secondary monitor at 60 frames per second, leveraging the power and H.264 decode engine of the Pi Zero.
Bringing the Pi Zero to Life as a Secondary Display Adapter
The journey to a Commercially available Multi-Monitor Raspberry Pi first started back in May of 2017, right around Synergy timeframe. On May 19th, Muhammad Dawood wrote the article, Multi-monitor on the HDX Ready Pi? HOW? Find Out Here! In this article, Muhammad shared the results of his Innovation Days work, creating a multi-monitor solution using a low power, low cost Pi Zero board. The super cool demo video of this Hackathon style solution can be found below:
It was only a matter of time before the first Thin Client manufacturer would take this concept and make it commercially available, in an Enterprise-ready hardened enclosure. Well, that’s exactly what NComputing have done with the RX-HDX + Secondary Display Adapter!
For the first time being revealed on the internet, below you will find a short 6-minute demo video of the user experience running two 1080P monitors (1920 x 1080):
Below you will find the full 12-minute video, including the unboxing of the RX-HDX + Secondary Display Adapter, side-panel views, initial setup, and 6-minute demo video of the user experience:
I am incredibly excited about the possibilities of this device, which has a Suggested Retail Price of $119 for the RX-HDX + an additional $49 for the Secondary Display Adapter. Quantity based discounts are available, to bring the price point per endpoint even lower! As Citrix gets closer to releasing the Workspace Hub functionality, this device will prove to be a crucial component of the Digital Workspace of the future.
The Raspberry Pi 3 Based NComputing RX-HDX
The Raspberry Pi Zero Based Secondary Display Adapter
Summary and More Information
If you’d like to learn more about this device, you can find product sheets, features and functionality on NComputing’s website here. If you’d like to request a product quote to order these units, feel free to reach out. My full contact details can be found below.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this device and its fit within the Citrix ecosystem! As always, if you have feedback, questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment below.
Thanks and take care,
Dane Young, MBA
Strategic Business Advisor | Entisys360
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Additional benefit: The OS and management software is based on Stratodesk NoTouch Desktop. Thus, it is compatible to the #1 PC-to-TC conversion software and can be used in a mixed environment, PCs, Thin Clients, and Raspberry Pis (RX-HDX)
What VDA version is running on the Citrix Xenapp side? Is this using Thinwire advaced? Any particular video policy settings on the Citrix side to get the video playback to work so smoothly?