AbsoluteBoot™ & AbsoluteBoot™ 2000

AbsoluteBoot AbsoluteBoot2000
Synopsis
 

- The need
- The AbsoluteBoot™ / AbsoluteBoot™ 2000 solution
- Key benefits
- Typical applications
- Operation of AbsoluteBoot
- Conditions of implementation
- Download an evaluation version

The need

Does your IT service spend too much time reinstalling Windows NT or 2000 and the applications following a false user manipulation, or as a result of the installation of software which makes the machine hang, or following slowing down or malfunctioning of the computer? The proper functioning of workstations is even more crucial in educational establishments or training centres, where machines are used by a large number of inexperienced users but where they have to always be in an operating condition.

Beyond a concern for control of the total cost of ownership ( TCO ) associated with the use of a large number of PCs and laptops in the company, the IT personnel in-charge are confronted with problems of reliability and complexity of configurations. Indeed, even if the 'plug-n-play' technique makes the installation of PCs increasingly easy, the operating systems and the applications offer such a variety of configurations and options that this flexibility is rendered counter-productive by a more difficult and expensive management of the pool.

Additionally, increased risks are to be taken into consideration when the non specialist users install a new application on their PC altering the integrity and the safety of the computer system. Indeed, Windows is such an open and complete system that the installation of new applications and certain peripherals become much simpler and therefore impossible to control.

The AbsoluteBoot™ and AbsoluteBoot™ 2000 solution

AbsoluteBoot™ is a unique and innovative solution developed specifically to meet these needs of reliability and simplification of workstations, while securing the operating system and the applications.

Launched in 1998, AbsoluteBoot™ enables you to 'boot' (start) Windows NT and 2000 on any computer, with or without a hard drive ('diskless'), from either the server of a local network, a CD-ROM, a CompactFlash card or the hard drive, and to execute the OS and applications in RAM memory, thereby making any system writing 'virtual'. The OS/applications file contains all that the user needs to execute the applications immediately, without reconfiguring the local system or touching the network.

AbsoluteBoot™ is based on a unique technology, VMA ™ (Virtual Media Architecture), developed by APCT to guarantee the proper operation of PCs under all circumstances. VMA™ architecture differs from a traditional architecture by the re-direction, during the execution of the programs, of the access to the C: drive (or any other boot media) towards a virtual disk which gets installed in RAM memory. Thus, the media is only accessed in Read mode and any modification of the configuration (which includes the registry) will only be effective until the next loading of the system. A simple ' reboot' of the machine is enough to restore the clean configuration.

Thanks to the execution of programs from a protected and stable image, AbsoluteBoot™ makes the work environment secure and reliable. Calls to the maintenance team are practically eliminated, reducing thereby one of the principal costs of TCO.
More than 25000 AbsoluteBoot™ licences are used today by major accounts or State organisations to develop and secure their computers, and to guarantee their proper operation.

Key benefits

Security: AbsoluteBoot™ brings a new solution in terms of hazard control by increasing safety at both user level, since its applications are ' unbreakable ', and system level since the administrator is the only one to have the power to modify the configuration of the machines.

Reliability: AbsoluteBoot™ guarantees a reliable and invulnerable configuration

Optimisation: AbsoluteBoot™ enables you to install recent OS versions and applications on first-generation computers, thus optimising the performances of your existing PC park.

Flexibility: AbsoluteBoot™ offers the unique possibility to start Windows NT or 2000 from any boot media: CD ROM, CompactFlash™ card, network server or hard drive. This flexibility is due in particular to the considerable reduction of the size of the image compared to the size of the original system (an AbsoluteBoot™ image comprising Windows NT and IE weighs only 32Mb).

Maintenance: AbsoluteBoot™ facilitates the task of the administrators responsible for the installation and the maintenance of a computer park by 'simplifying' the machines. Indeed, the machines function from an image of the configuration; in case of false manipulation or an awkward installation of the user, or should the least system breakdown occur, the user only has to switch off and re-boot the machine to instantaneously find the original clean configuration.

Costs Reduction: AbsoluteBoot™ generates a significant fall (between 30 and 60%) of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by the significant reduction of support and maintenance requests: elimination of help-desk calls, elimination of maintenance interventions, total availability of the systems and applications critical to the good operation of the company, maximum productivity, etc.

Typical applications

Secure and enhance the reliability of Windows NT, Windows 2000 and soon Windows XP working environments on any INTEL PC.

Complement Server Based Computing solutions to reduce the network traffic while stabilising the client PC

Ensure the good operation of a fleet of portable PCs under all circumstances (with an AbsoluteBoot™ image on CD-ROM in backup)

Transform passive machines, terminals under high mechanical constraints or diskless stations (no hard drive) into 'Thin PCs'

· Enhance the reliability of self-service interactive kiosks (or any exposed machine)

Enhance the reliability of a machine dedicated to a single application (games, Internet, etc.)

Execute Windows NT4.0 or 2000 from a local CompactFlash™ card. Indeed, the Spy tool allows to withdraw any unnecessary file or program from the operating system. An AbsoluteBoot™ image including Windows NT4 and IE weighs only 32Mb.

Operation of AbsoluteBoot

The administrator creates a reference PC, on which Windows NT or 2000 and the desired applications are installed and parameterised, and installs AbsoluteBoot™. The latter generates a compressed image of the configuration according to parameters fixed by the administrator. This image, which can be of a very reduced size compared to the real size of NT or 2000, is then transferred on the selected medium (CD, hard disk, Flash card or boot server), and the target machine is ready to start with the 'OS' image'.

AbsoluteBoot™ and AbsoluteBoot™ 2000 comprise 2 applicative tools:

Wimagen™: the files generator Wimagen™ creates the image(s) from the selected files, and compresses the image. The image file is then transferred on the selected media, and the target machine is ready to boot from the image.

Pattern Editor: user interface dedicated to editing the image models in order to not be limited to the only examples provided in AbsoluteBoot.

These applicative tools use notably the following programs:

MarDev™: at the heart of VMA™ architecture, this 32 bits driver makes it possible to execute the image in RAM memory.

Spy™: once the reference machine is set by the administrator, the latter starts the Spy™ program. Spy™ literally 'spies' the system to detect the files really necessary for the execution of the chosen applications and selects them, leaving aside those which are not necessary in order to generate an even smaller image.

Pagemas™: in order gain space in RAM memory, AbsoluteBoot™ can off-set a major part of the volatile area used towards a file (Pagemas) on the hard disk. This solution makes it possible moreover to use a far more important memory capacity.

Conditions of implementation

Have a valid Windows NT or Windows 2000 licence(s)

Have a sufficient knowledge of the installation and maintenance procedures of Windows NT or Windows 2000.

Format the hard drive of the 'reference' (source) system in FAT16.

Client computers can be either PCs, Network Computers (NC) or NetPCs that have an INTEL x86 (Pentium recommended) processor and a minimum of 32 Mb of memory.

Client computers must have the possibility to choose the boot sequence (CD-ROM and/or network) and have either a network card or a CD-ROM drive.

Downloads

Download an evaluation version of either AbsoluteBoot or AbsoluteBoot 2000

 

For any additional information or to receive the list of our resellers, do not hesitate to contact us.

Products | AbsoluteBoot | AbsoluteBoot Pro | MediaSafe |

Copyright (C) 2001 APCT - Legal Notice - Update: 23/10/2001 à 02h40