Virtualization in an Industrial Environment (Part 2)

This is the second in a three part article focusing on the entire process of Virtualizing in an industrial environment.  While there is a lot of talk about Virtualizing and VDI, we wanted to focus on the viability and deployment of Virtualization in an industrial and manufacturing environment which would speak to the concerns and difficulties specific to this industry.

Part 2: How Much Virtualization is Needed?

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the need to centralize computer resources before considering whether or not to virtualize them.  The vast majority of ThinManager customers use Remote Desktop Services (formerly Terminal Services) as their Centralization solution.  One reason for this is that RDS is included with every Windows Server installation, so there are fewer initial costs incurred when centralizing.

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From the Factory Floor to the Front Office

Over the course of the last decade, the growth of thin client computing in factories and industrial environments has continued to increase as demand has steadily risen.   In these facilities, where environmental and safety factors are often the primary influence when deciding on a reliable computing platform, there is a definite need for technology that replaces the PC.  As a machine, the PC is not intended to operate in an area filled with vibration, airborne particulates, or hazardous gases.   Such concerns and factors explain why there is constant growth in the industrial thin client computing arena.  But this beckons the question, if industrial operations continue moving to the thin client because they HAVE TO, then what is the impetus for the front office CHOOSING TO?

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The Evolution of the ThinManager Roadshow

This summer, representatives from ACP will once again embark on what has become a time-honored tradition – The ThinManager Roadshow.  For more than twelve years,ACP has been traveling across North America spreading the gospel of ThinManager everywhere they can and by any means necessary.  It is a somewhat outdated concept in a modern world filled with industry specific expos and online demonstrations, but to the people at ACP, it is just another thing that helps to differentiate them from the pack.

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Configuration and Setup for a Terminal

Here at ACP we often speak at great length about all of the amazing features ThinManager has to make your facility more secure and efficient.  But while perusing our blog archives, I realized that perhaps we have neglected explaining the basics and have placed the cart before the horse.   So I have decided to dedicate this week to explaining one of the most basic processes necessary to implementing ThinManager – setting up a ThinManager ready thin client.

Terminal Configuration Wizard

To connect a new terminal to your ThinServer, you must first set the basic configuration via DHCP or via a static IP.  Once the server and the terminal are communicating with each other, it is just a matter of clicking the appropriate selection boxes as you navigate the Terminal Configuration Wizard

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ThinManager 6.0 Launch Event Raises the Bar

Ready for Launch!
From the moment the music started and the partition wall was removed in a backlit shroud of darkness, attendees of the ThinManager 6.0 Launch Event started thinking that this was not going to be a typical expo event.  Less than 10 minutes later as the lights came up on a large room filled with rocket shaped display booths and more technology than they could shake a stick at, that feeling was confirmed.

Immediately following, Matt Crandell, CEO of Automation Control Products, took to the stage and clearly conveyed the magnitude of this event to a packed house.  There would be no product pitch or chest thumping because the ThinManager platform could stand alone without a need for bells and whistles.  There would be no “dead time” or aimless wandering because there was something for everyone regardless of the time of day.  And most importantly, there would be ample opportunity for everyone to experience a true interactive environment.  “The best way to explain the product is to put it in people’s hands and let them experience it for themselves,” said Crandell.

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TermSecure

ThinManager 6.0 What You Need to Know (#2)

Over the next month, we will be spotlighting some of the new features being introduced with the release of ThinManager 6.0, as well as improvements to existing features. With so many additions and advancements to our thin client management platform over the last year, we felt it was important to give you a detailed look at what ThinManager 6.0 brings to the table:

TermSecure

ThinManager originally released TermSecure years ago during the ThinManager 3.0 launch.  Since then, it has become a favorite of end users, integrators, and many people in the ACP office.  Originally offered as an additional module for added security, it has evolved into a “must have” feature for any industrial location or application.

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USB2VGAPRO.Clarge

ThinManager 6.0 What You Need to Know (#1)

Over the next month, we will be spotlighting some of the new features being introduced with the release of ThinManager 6.0, as well as improvements to existing features. With so many additions and advancements to our thin client management platform over the last year, we felt it was important to give you a detailed look at what ThinManager 6.0 brings to the table:

USB to VGA

ThinManager now allows you to convert a single monitor thin client to a multi monitor thin client   By purchasing a 3rd party adaptor (DL 195 Chipset), you can now convert a single monitor thin client to a dual monitor thin client.  Not only is it an inexpensive upgrade, butit also eliminates the need to purchase new thin clients to take advantage of MultiMonitor and MultiSession technology offered by ThinManager.

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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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Thin Clients Down Under

The government of Australia has clearly recognized the value of Thin Client computing.  They are in the process of looking for a Thin Client solution that can be used for 95,000 users of their Department of Defense.

The reasons they are pursuing the change is that they are convinced it will save them money.  Here is a quote from their document requesting bids from Thin Client providers:

“Defense is seeking a renewed desktop environment that delivers a reduction in hardware costs, an increase in the life of desktop hardware, improvement in existing desktop functionality and monitoring”. (more…)

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