Product of the Day: ShaoLin Aptus 2.0

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Product: ShaoLin Aptus 2.0Manufacturer: ShaoLin Microsystems LimitedAddress: Unit 324, Tech Centre               72 Tat Chee Avenue               Kowloon Tong, Hong KongTelephone: +852 2352 5568URL: www.shaolinmicro.com

ShaoLin Aptus 2.0 - Makes Linux on the Desktop Easy and Cost Effective

Overview

ShaoLin Aptus is a simplified Linux desktop deployment and management solution. You just simply install ShaoLin Aptus on a Linux server and deploy Linux on your current desktops in minutes without installation on individual desktops at all. Keep using your existing hardware and easily dual-boot back to the Windows on your hard drive. Use Linux with the added benefit of zero-administration on your desktops and central management.

ShaoLin Aptus is a middle-ware for Linux that turns fat client PC network into a "Fit Client" network architecture. By ShaoLin's truly distributed independent processing technology, fit clients have the central management and reliability of thin clients with the performance and flexibility of fat client PC's. All data, application software, and operating system files are stored on the server, processing and execution of programs are kept on the client desktops. Since OS and applications are run on the clients, they can run most Linux applications and even high-demand applications.

ShaoLin Aptus incorporates ShaoLin's Intelligent Union Architecture (IUA) technology to manage configuration files and utilize shared system resources. It is a file system technology that works in the kernel space and transparent to all user space applications, which means it required no change to current program binaries and even configurations. As a cluster-like network, ShaoLin Aptus enables to centralize management and keep data consistency across all workstations; and the system is flexible and scalable while delivering high performance.

Features and Benefits of ShaoLin Aptus

Fast Linux Deployment

Install ShaoLin Aptus on a Linux server, adding each desktop as an Aptus authorized client, then placing the Aptus boot floppy into the desktops, the desktops will be able to load Linux from the Aptus server and run it locally on the desktop. After ShaoLin Aptus turns your desktops into fit clients, all applications that were installed on the server are immediately available to every client. There is no need to plan and figure out which workstations get what software. Users can log in at any workstation and have their own specific settings and home directory access.

Diskless Client Remote Booting

ShaoLin Aptus clients work without the local hard drive. Since client desktops simply start-up from a boot floppy or boot ROM, connect to the Aptus server and load Linux OS files into the client machine memory over the network. Therefore, no hard drive is required on desktops.

Easy Dual OSes Booting

Using ShaoLin Aptus to deploy Linux to your desktops means there is absolutely no interference with the current OS residing on the client local hard drive. Users can start-up the desktop either with the existing operating system on the local hard drive or Linux via ShaoLin Aptus, which makes desktops dual boot into both Windows and Linux with ease.

Use Standard Linux Distributions, Applications, and Drivers

Aptus is transparent to applications and runs Linux desktop applications without any change. Whether you are running your own home grown Linux application, downloading and compiling any one of the thousands of open source programs, or just installing a pre-built binary, Aptus won't get in your way. Install the application on the Aptus server, and clients will have instant access.

Run Applications from Multiple Platforms

Want to migrate to Linux on the desktop but can't part with Microsoft Office or the traditional Lotus Notes client - use CodeWeavers CrossOver Office to run them on your Linux desktop. Aptus Linux clients can also use VMWare, WINE, Win4Lin, or connect to a Microsoft Terminal Server via ICA, effectively eliminating the barrier to any Windows application on Linux. ShaoLin Aptus and Linux gives you seamless access to the large number of applications running on Java technology, other UNIX platforms, and even legacy mainframe and terminal environments, such as IBM 3270, 5250, DEC VT100, and VT200.

Support Mixed Client Hardware

With ShaoLin's Intelligent Union Architecture (IUA), ShaoLin Aptus supports mixed client hardware configurations with ease. With a shard-disk setup, each host has its own profile with host specific configurations for specific hardware drivers and software settings, even optimized Linux kernel. ShaoLin Aptus support mixed x86 CPU architecture, including Intel Pentium, AMD, Cyrix/VIA, and other Pentium compatible hardware. This means that while your desktop hardware was purchased at different times and has different components, ShaoLin Aptus can still centralize desktop management and lower the time you need to spend on Linux deployment.

Client Side Zero-Administration

Only one copy of the OS and applications is required to be installed on the server; no installation of any software, or even network configuration is needed on the client. ShaoLin Aptus detects new clients on the network automatically; multiple clients can be configured on the central Aptus server with a few clicks.

Fast Software Installation and Upgrade

Linux is improving faster than ever, but the frequent software updates that come with these improvements, along with installing new software, is very time consuming. With ShaoLin Aptus, you upgrade and install software at a single point, the Aptus server; updates are then available to all Aptus clients on the network instantly. Since the installing or upgrading of most applications or OS components on Linux does not require the computer to reboot, these applications are immediately available to the clients. No longer will there be different versions of software on different computers.

Web-based Remote Administration Interface

ShaoLin Aptus uses a web-based management interface for central administration. Administrators do not need to learn a new administration interface or worry about security on another web interface. The ShaoLin Aptus Webmin plug-in, Aptus Configurator, enables administrators to manage desktops as a whole, in separate groups, or even as individual desktops. Administration is centralized without loss of flexibility. From anywhere with a browser and authorized access, administrators can securely connect to the Aptus server to manage any computer in the network.

Run High-Demand Applications

Since ShaoLin Aptus does not change how your desktop PC uses its separate processor and memory, it can run all Linux desktop applications (eg. office suite, e-mail client, web browser), as well as scale up to demanding applications such as multimedia, streaming video, graphics design, and industrial-grade CAD/CAM software.

No Extra High-Power Server Needed

Because PC's with ShaoLin Aptus still use their independent processing power, once the programs are loaded from the server, they will run the same as they do on your PC now. In addition, the client's network connection to the server is stateless; therefore, ShaoLin Aptus does not require a large amount of server processing power because it does not require the server to maintain any active client sessions.

Highly-Scalable Network Expansion

Aptus server works as an intelligent file server to share program and data files to clients. As long as the server hard drives are large and fast enough, Aptus server is able to handle a large amount of clients without definite limitation. Stateless design makes Aptus server very scalable.

Local and Network Virtual Memory Swap

ShaoLin Aptus on the client detects if there is a local hard drive for virtual memory swap automatically. If the Aptus client is diskless (no local hard drive), it also supports virtual memory swap with the server hard drive through the network.

Resistance to Unknown Viruses

Linux with ShaoLin Aptus takes protection even further, ShaoLin Aptus uses ShaoLin's IUA to store all OS and application files at the server, a read-only resource to the clients. Even an infected client with an unknown virus will have almost no chance of infecting read-only shared resources, these minimizing the chance of the virus spreading to other clients. Users simply wipe out the virus by rebooting the client desktop; a fresh clean session will be started up again.

Improved Data Protection and Security

With all data residing at the ShaoLin Aptus server, only the server needs protection equipment. Backup is only needed at the server, saving you from backing up individual PCs. Valuable data are always stored on a secured server with UPS protection, instead of on a local desktop hard drive where data could be corrupted or easily virus inflected. With no hard drive at the client side, even a sudden power down at a client computer will not cause data corruption.

While the main data may be stored on a file server, most programs store temporary files locally which can be accessed by any user who is able to turn on the computer or remove the hard disk. For sensitive data, such as financial or customer records, ShaoLin Aptus provides the high security needed, maintaining valuable data in safe custody.

Stateless Connection and Fail-Safe Design

ShaoLin Aptus uses stateless connection design, so the server does not have to maintain client sessions in memory. This not only brings server scalability, but also means client workstations can continue to operate even with a network disconnection, provided no file system operation is needed during the disconnection. Aptus fit clients maintain the client session at the client itself; data loss is minimal in cases of server crash, server reboot, or network disconnection. This stateless connection design makes it easy to configure Aptus for a high-availability and mission critical working environment.

Easy Software License Control

Linux is a multiuser OS which has built-in high security. Normal users have no permission to install software on the system by themselves. Only if allowed by administrator can users install applications into their own user home directories. ShaoLin Aptus helps administrators in the control and audit of software licenses, and protects the system from users installing unauthorized programs.

No Proprietary OS Back Doors

Open source Linux can be trusted much more than proprietary operating systems. Proprietary operating systems have well known back doors that allow access for those in the know, but Linux is open source code where secret back door access is not possible. This is why the US National Security Administration and the Chinese government have moved to Linux.

Reduce Indirect Cost and Improve Reliability

ShaoLin Aptus enables the elimination of the hard drive on the client, removing the major failure point (it is the most likely hardware to fail). Since the hard drive generates a lot of heat, using Aptus will lower the costs of air conditioning and power consumption. It also makes the work environment quieter, and extends the life of the power supply by reducing its load, further improving reliability.

Use Existing Hardware and Extend its Life

Linux via ShaoLin Aptus can run on older x86 compatible machines. You don't need to throw them away and buy new hardware as required when upgrading to other operating systems. ShaoLin Aptus can run Linux on older computers.

Linux based office applications run just fine on processors from a couple of years ago. Desktops running Linux via Aptus can still perform adequately running on older Pentium III, Celeron, or AMD processors. More important is the amount of RAM available. This means that while you may need to add some additional RAM to existing desktops, you don't have to replace them yet. With Linux and Aptus, adding inexpensive RAM can extend the life of your desktop PC's significantly.

Increase Return On Investment

While ShaoLin Aptus provides the zero administration and central management, it does not require additional powerful servers to deploy. Since applications are executed in the local desktop machine, ShaoLin Aptus enables users to take advantage of the processing power of existing desktops. It leverages existing computer infrastructure, extends hardware life, and increases the return on investment.

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