IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Dell Ships Business-Ready Latitude Chromebooks and a VMware-based SD-WAN Solution

The Chromebook Enterprise devices are designed to combine the portability and battery life of consumer Chromebooks with the Latitude line’s security, performance, and connectivity. The SD-WAN solution seeks to dramatically simplify deployment and management of SD-WAN environments. By Rich Freeman

Dell Technologies has added business-ready Chromebooks to its Latitude notebook line and integrated those devices with Unified Workspace, the workspace-as-a-service solution it introduced in April.

The company announced those changes, as well as a new VMware-based SD-WAN offering, in conjunction with the 2019 VMworld conference taking place this week in San Francisco.

The Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise and Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise, which Dell calls the first Chromebook Enterprise models on the market, are designed to combine the portability and battery life of consumer and student Chromebooks with the security, performance, and connectivity features provided by Dell’s venerable Latitude line of business notebooks.

When paired with Unified Workspace, Dell continues, the new devices allow businesses to provide a consistent, secure experience to employees across operating systems, and manage those endpoints centrally.

“Through a partnership with Google, businesses will now have a choice to deploy Google Chrome OS devices to their global workforce through the world’s first Latitude Chromebook Enterprise solution,” says Sam Grocott, who is senior vice president of product marketing for Dell EMC.

The Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise is 14-inch clamshell laptop that weighs 3.24 lbs. The Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise features a 13.3-inch foldback touchscreen display, and weighs 3 lbs. even. Both units come with Intel 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processors, 8 GB of DDR4 memory, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive. They are also, according to Dell, the only 13- and 14-inch Chrome Enterprise devices in their class with mobile broadband capability.

The Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise sells for $699 and up. The Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise is priced starting at $819. Both products are available for ordering today.

Enhancements to Unified Workspace also unveiled at VMworld include the addition of strong BIOS passwords to the system and the launch of new functionality combining Dell’s SafeBIOS off-host BIOS verification system with technologies from VMware, Secureworks, and CrowdStrike that lets businesses update endpoints out of compliance with BIOS requirements automatically. Dell previewed the latter feature in April

Further new technology in Unified Workspace lets organizations persist VMware Workspace ONE on endpoints. That feature helps administrators restore management and recover devices quickly over the air after the accidental or malicious deletion of the Workspace ONE agent.

New as well from Dell this week is a subscription-priced offering that matches Dell EMC hardware with VMware’s SD-WAN by VeloCloud software. Officially named the Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution, the product includes purpose-built, networking-specific edge computing devices, cloud-based management and orchestration software from VMware that’s managed by Dell EMC, and a global network of VMware access gateways to handle WAN traffic.

The new Dell EMC SmartFabric Director, meanwhile, is designed to give administrators central control over SD-WAN network underlay fabrics based on Dell EMC PowerSwitch hardware via VMware virtualization and security platforms.

“SmartFabric Director simplifies networking deployment, saving upwards of 98% of deployment steps compared [to] without the SmartFabric Director,” says Grocott. “This ultimately enables physical switches to be centrally orchestrated from VMware’s vCenter and NSX-T for better, long-term network management and agility.”

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