Archive for the ‘Activity monitoring’ Category
Learning a new and complex software, like SCB, is difficult, even if it has a fantastic documentation. I started learning SCB this way, reading the docs from page one. Then I learned, that we have just finished preparing a brand new e-learning based training material, which also includes webex consultations and an exam at the end (commercial, available for customers and partners, register here). And instead of using rdesktop from my laptop, I got a chance to use a real thin client to access servers through SCB: a small PC which fits in a hand.
Of course, course using the e-learning training does not mean, that one does not need to read documentation. But it means, that not all documentation needs to be read. Each chapter gives a good overview of an important aspect of SCB and at the end there are pointers to further reading in the administrators guide. One can find there additional details if necessary.
There are also some screen casts of SCB, so one can see how to use the software even without starting it. And as setting up a good test environment is often difficult, these examples are more life like than a simple test environment with one or two connections.
While learning SCB I met with a friend who is specialized in miniaturized computers. When he found, what I’m doing, he pulled out something looking like a power supply out from his pocket, just a little smaller. Looking at it more closely, it turned out, that it’s a complete computer, which can be used for many things, but used primarily as a thin client.
SCB was running as a virtual machine on my laptop, and I could also simply use rdesktop or ssh from it to create connections through SCB. But using a separate machine as client has some advantages other than being fun. I could do four eyes authentication while watching what happens on the client side. Or follow in real time what is happening on the screen of the thin client using the Audit Player.
It’s still difficult for me to believe the size of the machine. Even my ARM systems are larger in size, but it’s an x86. The machine is using a Vortex86 system on chip, which is somewhere between i486 and i586. This of course means, that not all Linux distributions run on it, but I have seen XP on it and used Debian to build a thin client.
The machine is powered using a standard USB cable, has Ethernet, video, audio, three USB pots and an SD card slot. It boots from USB or an SD card, which is emulated as an IDE HDD. There are no moving parts inside, so it’s completely silent. It has VESA mounting holes, so it can easily be attached to the back of modern LCD monitors. This way it is not visible at all, or takes any precious desk space.
If you are interested in, how your thin client infrastructure could be secured and audited, please read our SCB thin client white paper.