Eircom Connect 7.3

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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. We want to cover what’s been going on since then.

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:

Multi-datacenter

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.

Cloud Readiness

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.

Multi-tenancy

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.

Client Features

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.