Review: IGEL's UD Pocket Micro Thin Client Boosts Security With Latest Update


In November, we covered a major customer win for IGEL North America, after IGEL's UD Pocket micro thin-client device helped a customer save $6.5 million by avoiding the need to replace old hardware. Instead, using the UD Pocket to boot from the IGEL Universal Desktop enabled access to Skype for Business, which the customer's aging Dell Wyse devices couldn't run.

That's a compelling customer example, but at the CRN Test Center we expect to see plenty more big wins for IGEL thanks to a recent security update for the UD Pocket.

[Related: IGEL Jumps To No. 3 Position In U.S. Thin Client Market Share Battle]

Previously, the device—a USB stick that's smaller than a paper clip—required the disabling of the UEFI Secure Boot feature in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. Secure Boot can be described as a security gate that requires valid credentials to pass through when booting up.

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Clearly, disabling the security feature is not ideal.

This requirement also created more work for the IT department or solution provider, which previously needed to disable Secure Boot on every PC intended to be used with the UD Pocket.

In April, however, IGEL became the first thin-client company to receive validation from Microsoft for supporting Secure Boot on Linux.

The move should remove another hurdle for organizations that want to pursue initiatives such as enabling employees to securely work at home and other remote locations.

Since the UD Pocket no longer requires disabling Secure Boot, users can now simply plug in the device to their home computer and boot up--and their employers don't need to worry about what security risks their home PC might pose. Previously, the user would typically have needed IT support because of the need for disabling Secure Boot.

Another key use case is for third-party contractors that come onsite and are seeking access to the company's network for their laptop. Instead of granting that access, companies can now give their contractors a UD Pocket and provision a virtual desktop for them while they're onsite.

Ultimately, the UD Pocket and the IGEL OS overall strike us as a very welcome option as endpoint management grows in complexity, due to rising security threats and the numerous new versions of Windows 10 that have been released in recent years.

In this environment, we think the now-even-more-secure UD Pocket should resonate well with many partners and customers.