Managing your Windows Embedded PCs and devices with Goverlan.
“With CPUs becoming smaller and smaller, it is getting easier to run embedded systems and SOC, or “System on a Chip” devices. Learn how Goverlan can help you manage these devices.”
Windows Embedded is an operating system developed strictly for simple devices such as Point of Sale systems and Kiosk computers. These types of devices are growing and account for a large number of distributed network communications. Think of the last time you went to the airport and checked into a flight or went to a movie and skipped the long teller line. Perhaps the last time you took public transportation? Many of these systems are running Windows Embedded. The current iteration of WE is Windows Embedded 7. This is a simplified version of the Windows 7 kernel designed to be power efficient and lightweight. With Goverlan you can manage these devices just as if they were standard Windows computers. Let’s go over some of the features that Goverlan offers to IT administrators dealing with these unique systems.
Configuring Windows Embedded to work with Goverlan
Thin clients in general are not designed to save much user data locally. A typical configuration of a Windows 7 Embedded client is to have a default image stored on a flash ROM. When the system is booted, the BIOS loads the flash ROM to a RAM drive. This ram drive operates as the system drive while Windows is running. However, since a RAM drive is in use, any changes made such as software installs or user-configured data are erased when the system is restarted. This presents a challenge since we need to install the Goverlan agent and have it persist on the thin client after reboots.
Most thin clients offer a tool to accomplish this. This tool allows you to make system changes and save them to the default image.
Though the procedure may vary between vendors, the basic idea is this:
- Find the configuration tool in the start menu of the Windows Embedded device.
- Put the system in edit mode and install the Goverlan Agent.
- Finalize your changes with the configuration tool.
At this point you should have the Goverlan client installed and ready for work.
Features for Windows Embedded Clients
Imagine you are the administrator for some kiosk machines in your network. You get a call about an issue with one of the systems and you need to work on it remotely.
- Start Goverlan Remote Control and enter the systems hostname or IP address in the connect box.
- Once the remote control session is active, you want to make sure that no one at the kiosk interferes with your actions or even sees what you are doing. Goverlan has a special feature for this called Admin Mode:
Once you enable Admin Mode, the remote screen is masked and the keyboard and mouse controls on the kiosk are disabled.
NOTE: The Admin Mode screen can be branded with your corporate logo.
Now you can work on the system using Goverlan’s full toolset like to schedule reboots nightly in order to reset the RAM drives to your corporate configuration, or query all the point of sale systems for all login and logout events as required by PCI Compliance standards.
Disconnecting from the Kiosk machine automatically releases the screen, keyboard and mouse of the remote machine, allowing normal operation to resume.
Many Windows Embedded systems are configured to use the Windows Auto-Login feature. With Goverlan Remote Control Version 7.01.56, you can now configure Windows Auto-Login settings. This will allow administrators to intercept the auto-admin logon process so they can login as service accounts to perform administrative tasks.
Here you can Enable\Disable Auto-Login or Configure Auto-Login account settings.
With CPUs becoming smaller and smaller, it is getting easier to run embedded systems and SOC, or “System on a Chip” devices. Since the Goverlan Agent is less than 5MB, it works well with systems that have limited resources such as thin client devices. The Goverlan Remote Administration Suite or Goverlan Remote Control gives you the tools you need to expand your IT reach to these systems.