The last time we covered Ericom, they'd renamed their flagship product to Ericom Connect along with their 7.0 release. That release brought about a complete rewrite of their platform that focuses on scalability, ease of use, and reporting. It relies on an in-memory grid that is spread across multiple Connect servers that can support 100k concurrent users with room to grow. Brian wrote in more detail about the initial release in March, so you can check that out for more details. Today, I want to cover what's been going on since then.
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Yesterday, Ericom released Ericom Connect version 7.3 which represents the most significant update to this point. It adds some features that you'd just expect a desktop virtualization platform to have, like delegated administration roles and client updates, but it also includes things like multi-datacenter support, multi-tenancy, and better cloud integration and automation. While multi-tenancy might be aimed at service providers, support for multiple datacenters and better cloud integration are good for everyone. Here's a quick rundown of what's new:
Their multi-datacenter features are aimed at making it easy to manage Ericom Connect environments from a single installation console. This applies to both standalone environments and to branch offices that are part of Ericom Connect Grid. Terminal Servers and desktops at each location can be tied to individual Ericom Secure Gateways so that users always go through the gateway closest to the server/desktop.
Ericom tests their platform on Azure and has customers that leverage both Azure and AWS, so they've put a lot of effort into the integration process to make it as easy as possible to deploy and use. While this was possible before by standing up your own systems manually, they've added support for the SQL APIs from both Azure and AWS. (Ericom Connect uses SQL as a failsafe, but the database that it uses in real time is in-memory on the grid.) This integration with PaaS offerings means that you can quickly stand up an environment without having to stop to set up your SQL environment. For example, with AWS you can create a Cloud Formation Template that sets up the entire environment for you.
We don't need to explain multi-tenancy, but it's worth noting that Ericom has put in the effort to make Connect into a multi-tenant product that service providers can use to build their DaaS offering. This same multi-tenancy can be used by companies to isolate critical applications or environments as well, or to maintain separate (but still centrally-managed) contractor environments.
Ericom has put a lot of weight behind their HTML5 client AccessNow, but they also continue to develop AccessToGo (a mobile client) and AccessPad (a traditional client). Each has had features added to it recently. AccessNow supports an offset mouse cursor, which isn't new to those of us that have used mobile clients in the past, but when you consider that this is all done in HTML5 it's impressive. AccessToGo now has the ability to print and transfer files, and AccessPad has new pre-configuration options and support for SSO using the local Windows user account.
You can get access to demos from Ericom's website, and if you haven't yet tried their HTML5 client you can try a live demo of it at an.ericom.com. They are very proud of the short amount of time it takes to stand up an Ericom Connect environment, so if you're bored in the next week maybe you should give it a shot. They have an excellent set of documentation to get you started, which you can find at guide.ericom.com. If you've got some time now, check out their Getting Started Guide. I'm told you can have it running in under an hour. If you want to know everything there is to know about Ericom Connect, the Deployment Guide goes into detail on every aspect of the system, including clients and cloud integration.
If you're an Ericom customer using Ericom Connect, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments. I've got some downtime next week leading up to Thanksgiving. I might give it a shot.