In our first post of this series, we covered the things that make Ivanti Velocity enterprise-ready. This segment will continue on the enterprise mission critical theme in the areas of enterprise supportability and security. We will focus on standard network protocols, encryption, system reliability and sustainability methods, all of which are important to IT departments and network administrators.
Legacy versus modern networking
Over 20 years ago, proprietary protocols and server/gateway based methods were frequently used to address challenges that arose from the use of wireless technologies. Over the years, as technologies have evolved and matured, those are disappearing as methods to support mobility improve and mature. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was common to expect to install a network controller or server in order to provide basic mobile services like wireless terminal emulation to workers.
Each of these products employed proprietary protocols and had a tendency to lump all their functions on the one part of the enterprise they could control – their required, network-based server. No real architecture was involved. It was all stored on the server. Unfortunately, this created a single point of failure situation. That has not changed today for server-based telnet systems.
At the turn of the 21st century, network equipment providers became much more mobile-aware and offered much more stability and better wireless connectivity to mobile workers. Most of the proprietary or highly customized products have disappeared from the market as the functions they specialized in are now included in the devices, or are built into the network components.
Devices are now much better suited to operate on standards-based wireless and mobile networks using only standard protocols. Our Velocity and Terminal Emulation can support multiple sessions with multiple types of hosts, allowing you to create a backup and failover plan to meet your needs. Ivanti’s installed base of over 10 million devices with many, many more over the last three decades is proof that our solution is up to the task.
The importance of industry standards
The beauty of the Ivanti TE architecture is that it is plug and play. It does not require an additional server application installation, additional open TCP or UDP ports, additional host resources to accommodate a server application or access to a host systems engineer.
Our system can typically be managed with minimal or no interaction with the host systems engineers, network administrators, or IT department in general. Devices can be provisioned in minutes requiring only a wireless IP connection, host IP address and emulation type while still providing the flexibility of a feature rich environment.
Ivanti TE leverages only TCP/IP whereas other solutions may use a combination of UDP/IP and TCP/IP, which create the need to use antiquated networking techniques like tunneling. The use of multiple and proprietary protocols add complexity to the system.
To accommodate those that may need session persistence, Connect Pro has been offered for over a decade as a value add option involving an intermediary server. It may be optionally added to the Ivanti TE environment if there are issues in a customer’s operational environment. Poor wireless coverage, improperly set inactivity timers, and mobile devices that suspend while in session due to inactivity make Connect Pro a viable solution. We have found session persistence to be required in less than 10 percent of our installed base. It is offered in flavors for Windows, Linux, and for the AS/400.
In conclusion, security, supportability and availability should all be considered when making mission critical product decisions. Any one of the areas discussed here should make you pause to consider only solutions that are really ready to meet the demands of your enterprise.