Home Applications Provision Networks Releases Version 5.5 with Over 30 New Features and Enhancements and Outlines Version 6.0 Developments

Provision Networks Releases Version 5.5 with Over 30 New Features and Enhancements and Outlines Version 6.0 Developments

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November 2, 2005 – Provision Networks, the global provider of virtualized access infrastructure solutions for the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Terminal Server platform, released today version 5.5 of the Provision Management Framework.

The Provision Management Framework (PMF), Enterprise Edition is a full-featured access infrastructure solution that leverages the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 platform, and delivers anywhere, anytime access to applications and network resources. Enterprise features such as Seamless Windows, Application Publishing, Load Balancing, Access Control, a Web Portal and an SSL Gateway embrace the RDP protocol and enhance the deployment, manageability, performance, and security of Terminal Services environments of all sizes.

Version 5.5 of the Provision Management Framework represents an interim release with over 30 new features and enhancements, including:

  • Block-IT – Application and Host Access Control rules can now be categorized for improved management.

  • Manage-IT – Improved management of Windows print servers.

  • Manage-IT – The “Delete Pre-Existing Start Menu Shortcuts” option has been added under “Additional Customizations”.

  • Max-IT – Enhanced CPU management features. CPU allocations can now be specified in terms of “shares” or “percentages”, and on a per-user, group, or application basis.

  • Max-IT – CPU and virtual memory management support for VMware GSX Server and hosted “guest” machines. CPU percentages/shares can now be dynamically allocated to virtual guest machines hosted on VMware GSX Server. CPU percentages/shares can also be dynamically allocated to users and processes running within each running guest machine.

  • Max-IT – CPU and virtual memory management support for “application servers.” CPU percentages/shares can now be dynamically allocated to multiple instances of server-class applications running on Windows application servers (i.e., Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server).

  • MetaProfiles-IT – Automatic reconfiguration and re-initialization of socket interface. Changing the TCP port of a MetaProfiles-IT storage service no longer requires that the storage and associated agent services be restarted.

  • MetaProfiles-IT – user profile elements can now be categorized for improved management.

  • Print-IT – new site-to-site relay service allowing organizations and ASPs with disparate customers and locations to leverage Print-IT’s benefits to satisfy the most complex printing requirements. By using Print-IT to access and manage a distributed environment, print streams destined to remote print servers can be reduced in size (by as much as 90 percent) and throttled over the WAN connection at an arbitrary transfer rate.

  • Print-IT – Improved management of Print-IT print servers.

  • Provision-IT – Enhanced configuration of workload evaluators whereby a Terminal Server can now be reported as fully saturated if at least ONE of the configured performance counters reaches its specified upper limit.

  • Provision-IT – Logons to Terminal Servers can now be enabled and/or disabled from the PMF console.

  • Provision-IT – The Provision-IT AppPortal client now reports file version information of all associated executables and DLLs.

  • Redirect-IT – Rules can now be categorized for improved management.

  • Secure-IT – Enhanced functionality of the Secure-IT SSL VPN service. This service is designed to use three “plugs” to intermediate three distinct connection types: 1) RDP connections to the Terminal Servers, 2) HTTP connections to the LLM servers, and 3) HTTP connections to the WEB-IT servers. Previous versions of the service required three distinct IP addresses, one for each plug. This new version allows a single IP address to be shared by the “RDP connection” plug and ONE of the other two “HTTP connection” plugs.

  • USB-IT – Granular debug logging: the DebugLevel (DWORD) flag can be set under HKLMSoftwareProvision NetworksUSB-IT to enable detailed logging of particular events and processes.

  • Cross-Module – Tighter integration between published applications (Manage-IT, Provision-IT) and Block-IT’s Application Access Control sub-module. An Application Access Control file group can now be automatically created during the application-publishing process. Upon granting an assignee access to a published application, the associated Application Access Control file group is automatically assigned as well.

  • Cross-Module – Multiple applications (Manage-IT, Provision-IT) can now be simultaneously published to, or unpublished from, a PMF-enabled Terminal Server.

  • Cross-Module – Improved management of User Policies (Manage-IT, MetaProfiles-IT): policy templates can now be specified on a per policy basis. Previously, the policy templates were global to all user policies.

  • PMF General – The PMF console status bar now displays the current data source, database, console version, and logged-on user name.

  • PMF General – Upon upgrading to a new PMF version, the PMF console now warns the Administrator of the impending database schema update, allowing the Administrator to opt out of the process if so desired.

  • PMF General – The PMF “service account” is now automatically created and configured on each PMF-enabled Terminal Server.

  • PMF General – The PMF console now reports version-related information of all associated executables and DLLs.

  • PMF General – The PMF console now automatically enables/disables and starts/stops the “Load and License Manager Service” on a particular server according to that server’s configuration.

  • PMF General – Enhanced encryption of “service account” credentials stored in the PMF database: stronger algorithms and longer keys are now employed in the encryption process.

“These are major improvements to further enhance the ease of management and administration of our solutions, and are based on input from clients and partners,” said Michael Moore, VP of Worldwide Sales with Provision Networks. “Additional features such as the Print-IT site-to-site gateway and the Max-IT module support for VMware GSX and application servers such as MS Exchange and SQL, further elevate our solutions to the largest enterprise level deployments and scalability.”

Concurrently with the release of the 5.5 version, Provision Networks outlined the major features to be delivered in the next point release of the Provision Management Framework version 6.0, scheduled for 2006. The following will be released as feature releases over the next several months, culminating in a final release rolled up into version 6.0 which will include the following:

  • Provision-IT – Support for User Principal Names (UPN).

  • Provision-IT – The ability to publish the entire desktop as opposed to individual applications.

  • Provision-IT – Bulk application publishing engine for enumerating installed apps and publishing multiple applications simultaneously.

  • Provision-IT – Anonymous user logon.

  • Provision-IT – Propagation of published application shortcuts to the client’s Desktop and Start/Programs menu.

  • Provision-IT – Content publishing whereby content such as a URL or a server-based document would be published on the server side and opened using a client-side application. For example, accessing a published URL would cause the client-side Web browser to be launched.

  • Provision-IT – Content redirection whereby specified file types (i.e., .doc, .xls, .htm) are downloaded to the client, instructing it to open any associated content/documents using a corresponding server-side published application. For example, when the client accesses a Microsoft Word document residing on the client PC, a connection to the “Microsoft Word” published application is automatically established.

  • Provision-IT – Support for two-factor authentication via integration with RSA and Secure Computing. Clients are prompted to specify a hardware-based password (token) along with their domain credentials as a means to authenticate.

  • Provision-IT – PKI support. Clients are prompted to specify a client certificate as a means to authenticate.

  • Provision-IT – Java-based Provision-IT client.

  • Provision-IT – Provision-IT client for Windows CE.

  • Provision-IT – Enhanced AppPortal client interface allowing users to display their application sets with or without the folder hierarchy.

  • Provision-IT – Introduction of the “site” concept whereby a site is defined as one or more IP networks. Each site represents a unique geographical location and encompasses one or more servers. When a Provision-IT client requests to be connected, the connection is established with the least busy server residing in the same site in which the client belongs.

  • Provision-IT – Multi-monitor support.

  • Max-IT – Additional memory management features. Dynamic working set trimming.

  • Monitor-IT – New resource-monitoring module for logging, archiving, and reporting on historical performance and usage data for servers and applications.

  • USB-IT – Support for Pocket PC (ActiveSync).

  • USB-IT – Support for TWAIN-compliant devices.

  • Web-IT – Wizard-based configuration tool.

  • Web-IT – Integration with Microsoft SharePoint.

  • Web-IT – Enhanced support for Web browsers other than Internet Explorer.

  • Project Titan – Support for Windows XP workstation-based desktop and application publishing. Users are able to access their office computers remotely over SSL and receive a full desktop experience or just the authorized applications.

  • Project Titan – Support for virtual Windows XP workstation services on VMware ESX Server (similar to above item).

  • PMF General – Support for the 64-bit version of Windows.

  • PMF General – Globalization – Support for Spanish, German and French.

  • PMF General – Enhanced software installation features (hands-free installation using a config file, remote server installation)

  • PMF General – DemoShield-driven software installation for improved setup experience (to include wizard-based server configuration).

  • PMF General – Help System to be built into the PMF console and client components.

  • PMF General – Online access to the PMF Help System.

  • Cross-Module – Unified client update service for all client components – The ability to upgrade any client component (Print-IT, Provision-IT, USB-IT) without requiring administrative privileges on the client PC.

  • Cross-Module – Unified client system tray utility to service all Provision client components including Provision-IT, USB-IT, and Print-IT.

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