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New tools for thin clients: user-dependent configuration and high-availability device management

by david.nunes

New tools for thin clients: user-dependent configuration and high-availability device management


What’s new: The latest IGEL Universal Management Suite, Version 4.0, with an optionally deployable High Availability extension. It also contains an optional thin client Shared Workplace feature for simplifying multi-user scenarios.


Reading, UK, January 25, 2012 – IGEL Technology, Germany’s leading manufacturer of thin clients, has enhanced its product line with two optional functions. The thin client Shared Workplace feature, which can be separately licensed, allows user-dependent device configuration and is designed for shift worker or roaming user environments. In addition, the High Availability feature, which is a program extension of the new IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) 4.0 remote management software, brings high availability to thin client management. The optional High Availability UMS extension is primarily intended for those customers with large IT environments and scenarios in which failsafe operation of the UMS is of mission-critical importance. Available immediately, the UMS now includes five test licenses for High Availability.


The new Shared Workplace feature, which can be optionally licensed, is an enhancement of IGEL’s thin client software. It allows user-dependent configuration based on setting profiles created in the IGEL UMS and linked to the user accounts in the Active Directory. Typical applications for the Shared Workplace option are those workstations used for shift work or in call centers, where different staff members use the same device and need their own individual settings, such as for session types or mouse-button configuration for right/left-handed operation. Another common use can be found in roaming environments, where users frequently switch workstations, such as in hospitals and at service/ticket counters, checkouts (POS) and customer-reception areas. After a user has logged on, the Shared Workplace thin client automatically receives the appropriate configuration for that user from the UMS server, which itself retrieves it from the UMS database of individual and group profiles. These profiles can be easily assigned to users in the IGEL Universal Management console simply by drag-and-drop. In environments with a larger number of Shared Workplace workstations, IGEL recommends concurrent use of the new High Availability UMS extension.


The High Availability extension: providing high availability and load balancing

The High Availability extension is an optionally deployable component of the new IGEL UMS 4.0. It is intended to address the needs of large thin client environments in which new settings need to be rolled out to more than 500 thin clients at once or in which the fail-safe rollout of new settings is mission-critical for the organization concerned. The technical implementation is based on a network of several UMS management servers. An upstream UMS load balancer handles load distribution. This method ensures that every single thin client can reliably get new settings at any time, even at the start of a workday shift when several hundred or even several thousand devices are essentially simultaneously logging on to the UMS server over LANs, WLANs and WANs and searching for new configuration profiles or firmware updates. To ensure maximum process reliability and highest availability, IGEL also recommends creation of both a redundant UMS load balancer and UMS database.


“With High Availability, we’ve enhanced the coverage of our software for thin client management with a cost-effective functionality for special environments. With Shared Workplace we add an incredible useful feature to our Universal Desktop Thin Clients,” explains Florian Spatz, Product Marketing Manager at IGEL Technology. “The first option will have major impact on avoiding downtime, the second one will lower desktop costs in multi-user environments.”


Price, availability and evaluation of the new tools

The Shared Workplace feature is immediately available in the latest firmware versions and can be used with the new Version 4.0 of the IGEL UMS. Shared Workplace licenses cost £24 per thin client and can be selectively used with individual thin clients.


The High Availability extension costs £749 for a package of 50 licenses (net end-customer price). Its use requires full licensing of all managed thin clients. Each version of the IGEL UMS 4.0 contains five test licenses, so that the new function can be evaluated free of charge without needing to be registered.


About IGEL Technology

IGEL Technology is one of the world’s major manufacturers of thin client hardware and software and is the market leader in Germany. IGEL develops, makes and sells Linux-based and Microsoft Windows-based terminals in various designs, including conventional desktop thin clients and devices integrated into LCD monitors. When it comes to software, IGEL also offers its powerful, productive Universal Desktop Converter (UDC). The UDC software equips older PCs as well as thin clients and nettops from selected third party companies with the latest IGEL Universal Desktop firmware. A typical feature of IGEL is the universal access to centralized IT infrastructures. This Universal Desktop strategy allows IGEL customers great flexibility in selecting a server-based solution. To implement this, IGEL has integrated a broad range of software clients, tools and protocols in its powerful firmware solution. In addition to permitting conventional forms of access to Server Based Computing in Windows, Citrix and Linux, these services also allow direct access to virtual desktops (VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, RedHat etc.), legacy host, SAP, Java and Web-based applications as well as VoIP. For the greatest possible security, all IGEL devices also support VPN and smartcard use. All Universal Desktop models can be centrally administered in a convenient, standardized and economical manner using the IGEL Universal Management Suite, which comes standard with the management software included with each unit. Furthermore, IGEL’s collaboration with experienced, capable partners and IT-sector specialists allows it to supply fast and flexible customized solutions right on location whenever necessary.


IGEL Technology is a member of the global Melchers Group and a member of BITKOM. In addition to having its headquarters in Bremen, Germany and its R&D department in Augsburg, Germany, IGEL is represented through a subsidiary in Great Britain as well as by representative offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Peking. Beyond this, IGEL is also active through partner distributors and Authorized IGEL Partners in the United States and over 50 other countries.


Further information is available on the Internet at www.igel.com.


IGEL is a registered trademark of IGEL Technology GmbH. All hardware and software names are brand names or registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers. All other herein named or otherwise recognizable brands and registered brand names for goods and services are the property of their respective owners. Errors and omissions excepted. Specifications subject to change without notice.


IGEL Technology GmbH

Dr. Frank Lampe

Hanna-Kunath-Strasse 31

28199 Bremen, Germany

Tel.: 0421 / 52094 1300

E-mail: lampe@igel.com 

Web: www.igel.com 


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