Real World ThinManager | Part 9

Transportation


PROBLEM:
• IT and production are in separate facilities.
• IT was losing valuable resources while traveling to other sites for maintenance.

SOLUTION:
• ThinManager Remote Administration allows IT to control and manage a remote site from one location.

Many companies have one IT department that covers a number of locations requiring the IT staff to make regular visits to the other plants for maintenance and repair.

Using standard ThinManager utilities this same staff has access to all remote sites allowing the IT staff to manage them from a central location. They can even shadow sessions and view process and load statistics.

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Top 10 Advantages to Using ThinManager

We all know that ThinManager is great, but do you know all the ways ThinManager can help you?  Here are the top 10 advantages of using ThinManager:

1.  Security: ThinManager knows the best security is not letting the problem close enough to be an issue, so we’ve created a secure environment. Terminal Servers can be secured away from public access, USB ports are closed by default and there are no CD or floppy drives to compromise security.  With TermSecure™ we added a second level of security with features like having users access and privileges controlled by administrator, an Auto-login option, and a key blocking module.

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Thin Client Introductory Article

“Being one of the cases where environmental responsibility actually adds to business profitability, thin client computing is likely to be a prevailing trend for many years to come.” So concludes author Bruce Tyson in his article, “The History of Thin Clients” found on brighthub.com.  Since some readers are just learning about Thin Client technology I like to include the occasional introductory post.  You can read the rest the story by clicking on the link below.

The History of Thin Clients

Terminal Server Sizing

The typical industrial user is a special case, and therefore does not fit into the Terminal Server sizing requirements usually advertised by Microsoft. This article discusses some of the factors associated with most industrial applications that may make them unique.

So What is a Thin Client?

As best I can tell, Tim Negris is the man who coined the term Thin Client when he was with Oracle. It originally described scaled down applications that ran in conjunction with a full version of an application that was loaded on a server.

When Windows OS versions that allowed multiple users came on the scene, one of the first hardware companies to start selling client hardware was Wyse with the introduction of their WinTerm in 1995. This made sense – Wyse was already a huge seller of “dumb” terminals for mainframes and providing a Windows Terminal was logical.

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Building a Thin Client System

Question: We would like to put together a Thin Client system that will have a total of seven Thin Clients. While some of these clients will be standard Thin Client hardware, we would also like to use some of our PCs as clients as well. We also need to allow for some spare capacity for the future.

Can you please specify the hardware and software (ACP and Microsoft) requirements for a reliable system?

Answer: There are multiple ways to build this system. I will start by specifying the basic system (the minimum required) and then work up to a system with redundancy that will guarantee uninterrupted operation in almost every case. Each system will have the following four parts – the Thin Clients, the hosting Windows Terminal Server, the Microsoft software and the ACP software.

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Total Cost of Ownership

A Thin Client computer runs what looks like a full Windows NT 4.0 operating system on each Client installed in a factory. This is accomplished by having a powerful server running a version of Microsoft’s NT 4.0 designed for Thin Clients, NT Terminal Server 4.0. This version of Windows allows multiple users to log in and establish a full Windows session running on the server. Each user gets a dedicated share of memory, some slices of CPU time, and access to the server’s disks and applications.

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ThinManager Version History

Since its introduction in 1999 ThinManager has undergone a number of improvements. But the most significant changes have come with the latest releases.

Here is a look at the most important features added and enhanced since ThinManager 2.3.

Introduced in ThinManager 2.4

  • Configuration Wizards – Perform most of the configuration through computer directed wizards and walk through any number of complex configuration tasks without the fear of missing an important step.
  • New Tree view of Terminal Servers and connected clients – See exactly which Windows Terminal Server is hosting each Thin Client. As clients log off one server and on to another, or in the event of a primary server failure and the automatic switching of all its connected clients to a backup server, the new tree will enable identification of all the server to client relationships.
  • Multiple monitoring connections to redundant ThinManager Servers – Provided the ability to run the ThinManager software on multiple machines. Load and start ThinManager wherever you need to be able to keep up with the system status.
  • Support for new Hardware – Added a number of new industrial ThinManager Ready Thin Clients.
  • ThinManager Configuration Import and Export – Multiple ThinManager Servers can work together by allowing for the export and import of the configuration of all managed Thin Clients. Along with this comes the ability to backup and restore ThinManager configurations.
  • Assign names to Servers – Even users who are not using a network with DNS can assign names to the ThinManager Servers and Terminal Servers on the network.
  • Create lists of available ThinManager Servers and Terminal Servers – Easy and automatic creation of server lists to cut down on confusion during initial system configuration and updates.

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