Real World ThinManager | Part 1

Distribution & Logistics

• Shipping company needed real-time information from 30+ remote sites.

• Deployed ThinManager at each remote site.
• Set up a “war room” with 30 thin clients.
• Connected each thin client to a remote site via WAN.
• Single operator able to t view activity of all remote sites.

A global company with distribution centers around the world was having trouble getting real-time information from the sites to the headquarters.

The company standardized on ThinManager and deployed ThinManager and terminal servers at each site, setting up a “war room” at the headquarters with a thin client for each remote location. These thin clients boot locally and then connect to a remote terminal server via the corporate WAN. [...]

ThinManager Helps You Avoid the Stuxnet Virus

There is a new villain in the computer virus world and it is from the Stuxnet family of malware.  The Stuxnet attack exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software, WinCCConnect, which is an integral component of the distributed control and SCADA systems that facilitate production operations in many process-manufacturing companies. The vulnerability would allow the virus to extract process data and possibly HMI screens.

The director and chief economist of the independent watchdog The US Cyber Consequences Unit Scott Borg says “Either the attacker is planning on stealing very valuable information or they are going to use this access to the control system to do bad things.” The virus’s purpose seems to be what can only be termed as industrial espionage as attackers could steal information on how plants are run to possibly extort money or influence manufacturers by taking away the competitive edge with the information obtained. [...]

Use ThinManager to Shadow PCs

The other day I spoke with a company that wanted to monitor and control 400 PCs scattered around their plant.  Believe it or not, this is actually a job for ThinManager!

All that is needed is a ThinManager license and a copy of WinTMC for each PC.  In this case a single ThinManager Enterprise Server license would be the correct choice.  You would not even need a Terminal Server.  Because WinTMC also runs as a service, the administrator could use easily shadow and control each PC without even having the PC logged in. [...]

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”. [...]

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. [...]

Security Concerns Boost Thin Client Sales

A few days ago a company called Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN) announced the results of the company’s seventh annual IT Decision-Maker Web@Work study.

Some of the threats they explored:

Spyware – Hacker software that runs undetected on a PC and is usually designed to monitor and report back any data the criminal thinks will be to his advantage.

Keyloggers – Spyware that has the ability to record keystrokes and screen shots.

Bots – (short for robot) – Software unknowingly installed on an end-user’s PC and can communicate with other computers on the outside of the company. [...]