Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

DH2i CEO Don Boxley announces a new DxEnterprise (Podcast)

September 20, 2017 Comments off

DH2iDH2i CEO and co-founder Don Boxley and I had a good discussion about the new version (v17) of DxEnterprise. Don explains that this major upgrade is something you’ll want if you’re a current DxEnterprise user and something you want to consider if you’re not. DxEnterprise is a multi-platform, smart availability platform for your virtual machines. If you want to know what smart availability is and all of version 17’s new enterprise features are, listen to the podcast. Technical folks will love the new platform and its extreme availability features. I have to say that I’m impressed and if you know me, you know that’s not an easy thing to do.

Don Boxley, DH2i CEO and Co-founderThe new version gives you Linux, Windows, and Docker smart availability with reduced complexity. Business continuity, as we say in the podcast, is an essential feature of any service these days and that’s exactly what you’ll get with DxEnterprise v.17.

From a system administrator point-of-view, I can live with less complexity, more uptime, greater flexibility, and broader support for my enterprise systems.

Podcast details:

Length: 32:45 mins. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

Thanks and apologies to both Don and Nicole for being very flexible and accommodating for this interview and subsequent posting.


Damage Control: Making what’s visible in Citrix/Terminal Servers invisible

July 22, 2015 Comments off

Kurt Mueffelmann, CEO and President, CryptzoneArticle contributed by Kurt Mueffelmann, President and CEO, Cryptzone

The Citrix XenDesktop™ and XenApp™ solutions, and Windows Terminal Servers, are commonly used to provide remote access to network resources. They are typically located between the internet and the internal network, providing an entry point into internal servers—something that makes them an attractive target for hackers.

Citrix/Terminal Servers provide highly valuable functionality for session-based access from the server to the network, which must be very open to allow for all the differing user profiles and use cases. The challenge is that all traffic from every user using a Citrix/Terminal Server is seen on the network as coming from a single IP address, which might represent dozens of different user types, all with various levels of clearance.

For a traditional firewall, this means that an access rule is necessary to allow the server to access every resource that any user on that server could need. In practice, these access rules often become a permit all for the Citrix/Terminal Server. This open door to the network represents a significant security risk.

What cyber criminals can’t see, they can’t compromise.

Taking the recent Anthem breach and many other notable breaches that were the result of stolen credentials into account, it’s safe to say that nothing is out of reach. Accepting that Citrix/Terminal Server access will be compromised is the most proactive cybersecurity strategy you could take. Here’s why: hackers are, simply, the best at what they do. Research supports his theory: incident response provider Mandiant recently reported that 97 percent of organizations have been breached at least once.

Citrix/Terminal Server access rules allow users sharing an IP address to access every resource on a network segment. Once inside the network a cyber criminal who possess stolen credentials, can “see” applications and services, whether authorized or not. Enterprises need to move away from IP-centric architectures to a role-based security model, dynamically provisioning access depending on the user’s role and contextual attributes.

Once past denial, and on to acceptance, an organization can fully embrace a practical Citrix/Terminal Server security plan by focusing on minimizing risk. While the majority of cybersecurity spending historically has gone toward building up a perimeter, limiting the amount of damage intruders can do after they’re in is a powerful paradigm shift in a CXO’s strategy.

It’s time to flip cybersecurity strategies on their head.

The focus now becomes about user access and entitlements, including tight user-based controls around network access from virtual desktops. Enterprises must move away from IP-centric architectures to a role-based security model that maintains the distinction between individual users connecting through a Citrix or Windows Terminal, then dynamically provisions access on the network and application level depending on the user’s role and contextual attributes.

Dynamic access control considers factors such as, “Is the user on a laptop at home, or on an unrecognized tablet on an unsecure Wi-Fi network?” “Should access be granted in the latter case to sensitive data?”

Disruptive solutions allow organizations to limit the damage that can be done by cyber attacks (via privileged account and third-party users) by using identity and context to dynamically secure access to individual resources—essentially making the rest of an enterprise’s infrastructure invisible. They prevent the exposure of sensitive and confidential information to only allow an individual to access what they are authorized to access. This not only prevents someone from authenticating into a network if something seems amiss, but can also limit any damage a bad actor can take if they get in with stolen credentials.

This concept is taking hold at places like Coca-Cola, Google and others. It’s IT’s job to ensure that every enterprise, regardless of their size or resources, can reap the same benefits. In order to truly protect corporate data and resources, tighter user-based controls around network access from virtual desktops is critical.

Embarcadero Delivers Major New Release with RAD Studio XE8

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Enables Delphi/Object Pascal and C++ developers to extend existing Windows applications into solutions for mobile, cloud, and the Internet of Things

RAD Studio XE8SAN FRANCISCO – April 7, 2015 – Embarcadero Technologies, a leading provider of software solutions for application and database development, today released Embarcadero® RAD Studio XE8, the connected app platform for Windows and beyond. This major new release of RAD Studio enables Delphi/Object Pascal and C++ developers to leverage their Windows VCL applications and build expanded, innovative solutions for mobile, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).

RAD Studio XE8 delivers easy-to-add connectivity and mobile-platform support for developing distributed, connected apps – for Windows, Android, iOS, OS X, IoT gadgets and devices, middleware, cloud, and enterprise services. Featuring new iOS 64-bit and Universal App support, RAD Studio XE8 enables development teams to easily add IoT features, like proximity awareness with beacons, improve app performance and developer productivity, and better understand user app behavior. The new GetIt Package Manager provides easy discovery of source code libraries, components, and more from within the IDE.

“Our customers are developing and maintaining millions of business-critical Windows applications across a wide spectrum of industries. Today, they are driving to extend those applications with mobile extensions, cloud services, and IoT enhanced user experiences. RAD Studio XE8 delivers the features teams need to expand and enhance their customer experience,” says Michael Swindell, Senior Vice President of Products at Embarcadero. “The Internet of Things, in particular, can revolutionize customer experience, yet IoT has been complex and out of reach for most developers. With XE8, Embarcadero is at the forefront of enabling developers to easily integrate IoT in 2015 and beyond.”

New XE8 Features:

  • iOS 64-bit and Universal App Support: To deliver new apps to the Apple App Store, the XE8 version of RAD Studio features new iOS 64-bit Object Pascal and C++ compilers, including linkers and tools to build an iOS 64-bit target. RAD Studio XE8 supports Apple Universal apps, offering both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries in a single package as well as a wide range of iOS platform native controls to deliver a highly specialized iOS user experience.
  • Multi-Device Form Factor Preview: Developers can build connected apps faster with the Multi-Device Preview in RAD Studio XE8, a valuable visual tool that allows developers to see their user interface on all target form factors at once, from which they easily identify which form factors need additional optimization. The Multi-Device Preview features live previews of any number of target form factors and orientations including desktop, tablets, phones, and smart watches.
  • Proximity Awareness with Beacons: New component-level beacon support in RAD Studio XE8 makes it incredibly easy to add proximity and location-awareness to existing Windows and mobile apps.
  • AppAnalytics: To better understand user behavior, AppAnalytics captures anonymous usage statistics on how users are using applications built with RAD Studio XE8. AppAnalytics is a hosted, pay-per-use service that offers VCL and FireMonkey support to embed into existing Windows applications as well as OS X, Android and iOS apps.
  • GetIt Package Manager: Hosting both VCL and multi-device libraries and components, the GetIt Package Manager provides easy discovery, download and update of source code libraries, components, and other features from Embarcadero GetIt servers – with one-click installation. It includes all TurboPack projects.
  • Upgraded Enterprise Mobility Services (EMS): EMS is a turnkey, on-premise solution for mobilizing distributed, connected apps, and is now equipped with Push notification server support for iOS and Android. Based on open standards and technologies, EMS offers an easy-to deploy middleware server that delivers user authentication, custom REST APIs management with analytics, an embedded and server side secure database, and data access to major Enterprise databases like Oracle, SQL Server, Informix, DB2, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and much more.

Other enhancements in the XE8 version of RAD Studio include: major developer productivity boosters from the integrated Castalia plug-in with Object Pascal refactoring; Project Statistics; Code Analysis; and time-saving code editor shortcuts. The new configuration settings migration tool assists in migrating configurations of older versions of the product to a newer version or between different installations of the same version.


According to Al Hilwa, research director, software development at IDC, “Cross-platform development is emerging as one of the few ways to effectively conquer platform proliferation. A multi-platform development environment such as RAD Studio can help developers build cross-platform native apps that are extended from their existing Delphi and C++ Windows VCL apps and connect with IoT gadgets and devices, middleware, cloud, and enterprise services.”



RAD Studio XE8, Delphi XE8 and C++Builder XE8 are available immediately from Embarcadero and from Embarcadero partners. Visit the Embarcadero online store at for pricing.


To download a free trial, visit 

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RAD Studio XE8 launched by @EmbarcaderoTech. Extends Windows apps to mobile, cloud and IoT.

About Embarcadero Technologies

Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance, and accelerate innovation. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. To learn more, please visit

Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition (Review)

April 3, 2015 Comments off

xPrintServer Home Edition from LantronixxPrintServer Home Edition

The xPrintServer Home Edition box reads, “iPad & iPhone Printing Made Easy. Print From All Your iOS Devices To Virtually Any Printer.” And Lantronix has adhered to ‘truthful advertising’ because the xPrintServer Home Edition (xPrintServer) does exactly that and it does so without any fancy setup or hassles. It couldn’t be any easier to do so, with the xPrintServer’s two-step process.

  • Connect the xPrintServer to power, your network, and printer.
  • Print from your iPad, iPhone, or computer.

In addition to printing from your iPad and iPhone, you can also print from Macs and Windows computers. However, Windows 8 seems to have a problem with Bonjour printing and my Mac mini works at first and then doesn’t print again. Windows 7, iPad, and iPhone work great with it.

xPrintServer Home vs. Office Comparison

I’ve used other print servers, from the small generic and inexpensive ones on up to the ones costing several hundred dollars and the Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition falls into the category of an individual home use unit as advertised. I wouldn’t use it for a small business unless all of my employees used Windows 7 and iPads because it doesn’t seem to work consistently with Mac and I can’t get it to work with Windows 8.x at all.

That said, I’m not sure whether the failure to print is with the Lantronix unit , the Bonjour printing software, or perhaps with my somewhat outdated HP OfficeJet J3680 All-in-One printer. Since it does print with Windows 7 and our iPads, I have to assume it is the Bonjour printing software.

The xPrintServer takes up very little space. It has the approximate dimensions of an iPhone 5, but about two to three times the thickness. It does require its own AC power source, a network connection, and a USB connected printer plugged into it. So, while the unit is small, it still requires three wires for power and connectivity. That’s not a negative statement; just a fact.

The xPrintServer does what it’s supposed to do: print. For those systems it works with, it’s never failed or hesitated to work in any way.

Why it’s Frugal: The Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition is a frugal solution for home users who need to print from a short list of supported devices to a single printer and have no other means to do so. The $99.95 price tag is a little off-putting, but still within the range of a home-oriented gadget.

Here’s how it works from an iPhone:

Open File for Printing

Lantronix 1: Open File for Printing

Share the File

Lantronix 2: Share the File

Select Print

Lantronix 3: Select Print

Printing the File

Lantronix 4: Tap Print to Send to Printer

Open an app. I’m using PlainText. In that app, select a document to print. See Lantronix 1.

Tap the Share button at the bottom center of the screen to see the options given in figure Lantronix 2.

Tap Print from the screen as shown in Lantronix 3.

Finally, be sure that your printer is listed and then tap Print to send the file to the printer.

Apple devices should find the printer automatically and display it for you. The printer might not appear immediately, but if you attempt to find the printer by running through these four steps and then try again in a minute or two, the printer should appear for you to use.

The Lantronix xPrintServer is a good device and performs flawlessly. It offloads print jobs quickly and never hesitates or loses a print job. The web interface is simple and intuitive to use–that is, if you ever need to use it, which you probably won’t. Just know that it’s there if you need it.

Overall, I like the xPrintServer. I just wish that support for Mac OS X and for Windows 8 was there, but again, I don’t think this is necessarily the Lantronix product’s fault. I think it’s with the Bonjour software.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommendation: If you have Windows 7 and iOS devices, buy it; it works.

The Sixth Flag Launches a Highly Secure Desktop As A Service for the Enterprise

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Raleigh, N.C. – March 25, 2015 – The Sixth Flag, Inc. (TSF), an emerging new technology firm, today released its web-based, HTML-rendered Desktop-as-a-Service that requires no dedicated hardware. The offering provides a unique solution specifically designed to address the increasing challenges faced by today’s distributed workforce. With nothing more than a browser, users can access their cloud-based corporate desktop, whether from a laptop, PC desktop or tablet.  Because user data is not stored on the local device, loss of a device does not represent compromised sensitive company data.

According to Pete Kofod, co-founder and CEO at TSF, “Our solution targets mobile users, contract, seasonal and temporary personnel as well as select employees that are targeted for corporate espionage.”

“Taken together, those groups of corporate technology users consume disproportionate resources to prevent security breaches and mitigate data risk. When you include the compliance requirements and  capital costs associated with asset management, organizations of all sizes face serious challenges when dealing with the complexities of managing the desktops of a globally distributed work force.”

“The prevailing ‘solutions’ today are limited to one-offs,” Kofod explains. “Corporate technology departments need to be flexible in resource allocation, yet a significant part of the overall budget is the capital outlay towards corporate desktops, forcing IT staff to continuously support one-off solutions for these emerging requirements, which are neither practical nor cost effective.”

Unlike other vendors offering Desktop-as-a-Service solutions, The Sixth Flag is specifically designed to serve the remote enterprise user.   “What we do is pretty straight forward,” Kofod continues. “we offer secure, easy-to-manage desktops to remote users without breaking the bank.”

According to David Kinghorn, co-founder and chief technology officer, by using TSF’s solution, organizations can manage the configuration and software installed on the desktop, including popular office productivity and line of business applications. TSF supports a complete Microsoft-based desktop user experience, including print and file management and more.

“With our offering, all you need is a current web browser,” he says. “This includes all desktops as well as tablets, because we do not rely on any plugin or download.”

At the end of every computing session, all user information is encrypted, stored and the desktop is, in effect, destroyed. Subsequently, every time a user logs in, they receive a fresh desktop with their data and settings intact. Kinghorn points out that any persistent threat that has found its way on to the desktop is deleted along with the desktop at the session’s end.

Exclusive to the TSF offering is a patent-pending “watermark” function. The unique pattern is overlaid on the screen session, discouraging users from leaking sensitive data by photographing or capturing desktop screen shots.  “We received requests for this feature from firms that have been significantly harmed by unauthorized leaks,” says Kofod.

TSF supports Active Directory authentication.  System administrators can implement traditional desktop group policies.  Additionally, the administrators can also restrict uploads/downloads, Internet access, printing, copy and paste, as well as other functions using the TSF administrative console.

In its most restrictive configuration, TSF is comparable to a “clean room” in biotech. What happens on that desktop cannot leave. It can’t be sent via email or saved to cloud-based file storage.

“When high-risk groups collaborate using The Sixth Flag, they are in essence fenced off, without any meaningful drop-off in productivity,” he says. “Even if they pick up malware, it disappears when they sign off.”

No capital investment or long-term commitment is required.  From service costs, to desktop licensing, TSF rolls all those costs into a monthly fee.  For organizations that have seasonal, temporary or contract workers, there is no need to make a long term investment to meet short term requirements.

With today’s increasing demand for “bring your own device” (BYOD) working environments, IT departments face the challenge of maintaining internal controls through a standardized corporate platform. TSF enables full BYOD, eliminating the need to provide and manage end-user physical desktops, while facilitating standardization and significantly reducing capital expenditures on desktop hardware.

“Best of all,” Shane Yocum, Vice President of Business Development notes, “TSF can be deployed for an organization in as little as 20 minutes.  A recent use case is a customer wanting to set up a disaster recovery environment.  There is no way to do that cost effectively using traditional DaaS licensing,” he notes, “but we have a DR licensing model that allows organizations to maintain a Desktop DR environment very economically.”

About The Sixth Flag, Inc.

The Sixth Flag Inc, is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based  Desktop-as-a-Service firm for global teams and organizations in need of Remote Desktop Management solutions.  Launched in 2015, TSF provides a web-based, cost effective and secure throw away desktop for today’s global, mobile teams. Its cloud-based, HTML-rendered Desktop-as-a-Service requires no dedicated hardware, thereby eliminating the need for organizations to spend on capital outlay. With nothing more than a browser, users can access their corporate desktop from anywhere in the world, whether from a laptop, desktop, or tablet.  Because user data is not stored on the local device, loss of a device does not represent compromise of sensitive organizational data. For more information, visit

Absolute Software Expands Support for Device Enrollment Program, Introduces InstallEase 2.0

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Absolute Software



Vancouver, Canada: December 2, 2014 – Today, Absolute® Software Corporation (TSX: ABT), the industry leader in persistent endpoint security and management solutions for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, announced full support for Mac OS X Yosemite, with the release of Absolute Manage® 6.7.

This release of Absolute Manage includes full support for Mac computers within the Apple Device Enrollment Program (ADEP), an automated device enrollment process. This seamless experience enables Absolute customers to remotely provision employer- and employee-owned Macs as part of the standard device setup process, ensuring all new Macs are registered and compliant from the very first moment they are put into use.

Absolute Manage is the leading cross-platform endpoint management solution, singled out by Gartner, Inc. for providing the best Mac management among tools that manage Mac and Windows devices.

“Our customers depend on Absolute to deliver a cross-platform solution that promotes user productivity from the moment employees get their hands on a device,” said Peter Frankl, Vice President, North America VAR Program & GM Lifecycle Management at Absolute Software. “By expanding our ADEP support, we can integrate more Absolute Manage features into a consistent and single workflow that IT can leverage to better manage the relationship between end users, applications, companies and the device ecosystem.”

Absolute Manage 6.7 offers extended functionality that highlights the new management features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. These features include:

  • Yosemite Compatibility – Full support for new OS X Yosemite features and security requirements.
  • Zero Touch Deployment – Enablement of a best practices approach for deployment of new Mac computers, permitting enrollment profiles to be established at the time of purchase. This adds to the existing ADEP support for iOS devices.
  • MDM for Mac – Enhancements to the MDM enrollment of Mac computers and related commands
  • Absolute InstallEase 2.0 – The newest version of this complementary software packaging tool, InstallEase allows IT to create and deploy customized software packages


Absolute Manage 6.7 is available now. The release also includes additional enhancements as well as compatibility with the newest operating systems. The popular InstallEase software repackaging tool has also been updated to support the latest Mac and Windows operating systems, available as a free download on

Supporting Resources

About Absolute Software

Absolute Software Corporation (TSX: ABT) is the industry standard in persistent endpoint security and management for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Company, a leader in device security and management tracking for 20 years, has over 30,000 commercial customers worldwide. Absolute’s solutions – Computrace®, Absolute Manage®, Absolute Service, and Absolute LoJack® – provide organizations with actionable intelligence to prove compliance, securely manage BYOD, and deliver comprehensive visibility and control over all of their devices and data. Absolute is positioned on three Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrants – the Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools (CMT), the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and the Magic Quadrant for Content-Aware Data Loss Prevention. Absolute is one of only four vendors to be recognized on both the CMT and EMM Magic Quadrants. Absolute persistence technology is embedded in the firmware of computers, netbooks, tablets and smartphones by global leaders, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motion, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba, and the Company has reselling partnerships with these OEMs and others, including Apple. For more information about Absolute Software, visit

MediaFire Launches Native iOS 8 Update With “Power Upload” Feature

November 18, 2014 Comments off

MediaFire on iPadHOUSTON, TX–(November 18th, 2014) – MediaFire, a leading provider of consumer online storage solutions, today announced the release of MediaFire for iOS 8, our latest and greatest cloud storage application for iPhone and iPad users.

Available today for free on iTunes, MediaFire for iOS 8 adds a variety of new features that make it easier than ever to access, and share all of your files on the go, including new photo and video playback options, a new “Power Upload” mode for faster data syncing, and a new optimized interface designed to take advantage of the extra screen real estate offered by the iPhone Plus.

To download MediaFire for iOS, 8 visit:

MediaFire’s newest feature, called “Power Upload” allows iOS users to effectively double their upload speeds. The feature can be toggled on and off as needed, in order to quickly and easily upload all of your photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad.

Now iOS 8 users can use MediaFire to access, protect, and share all of their mobile photos, videos, automatically. Files are safely stored in the cloud, and can be automatically synced and accessed on your home computer (via MediaFire Desktop), or the web via MediaFire’s online interface. MediaFire Desktop is currently available as a free download for both OSX and Windows users.

“Everyday, over a Million iOS users choose MediaFire to access, share, and safeguard the files that matter most to them,” said Derek Labian, president and CEO of MediaFire. “Whether you are looking to simply share a file, or to back up and access all of your media from the cloud, MediaFire is the simplest and most affordable cloud storage service on the market today.”

Starting at just $2.50 per month, or 24.99 a year for one terabyte of online storage,

MediaFire on iPhone 5In addition to paid accounts, MediaFire continues to offer users up to 50 gigs of cloud storage for free.

In addition to today’s launch, MediaFire’s complete mobile SDK for iOS has been updated with additional support for iOS 8 devices, enabling developers around the world to easily integrate cloud syncing and storage into their mobile applications.

For a full list of resources and tutorials, visit

MediaFire iOS 8 Features:

  • Automatically backup your camera photos! – MediaFire for iOS lets you automatically upload and protect all your photos and videos.
  • Power Upload -A new selectable mode that allows you to harness the full upload speed from your iOS Device.
  • Stream music and videos – Stream your music and video collection anywhere and anytime.
  • Share documents and media directly from your mobile device – Easily share through email, sms, or your favorite chat app!)

About MediaFire:

MediaFire is an online storage and collaboration company focused on providing regular people with a complete and easy-to-use solution for managing their digital stuff. Available for iPhone, Android, OSX, Windows, and Web, MediaFire is the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free. Every month, more than 150 million people use MediaFire to quickly and securely store, organize and share all their personal and work data.

For Developers

MediaFire’s API solutions enable developers to quickly and easily integrate cloud storage and file sharing into their applications.  For information on how your organization can use MediaFire to enhance your business, visit, or contact for more information.

2X ApplicationServer XG version 11 (Review)

December 2, 2013 Comments off

2X_ApplicationServerXG2X ApplicationServer XG version 11
2X Software
The 2X ApplicationServer is an application and desktop delivery system, similar to Citrix XenApp or Microsoft’s App-V and RemoteApp solutions.
Pricing: $75/concurrent user/1 year subscription; $93/concurrent user/2 year subscription; $109/concurrent user/3 year subscription. Licensing available in 15 user packs. Support at various levels available at additional cost.

If you’re thinking of using Citrix, or some other product, to deliver virtual desktops or applications to your users, you should hold off until you read this review of the 2X ApplicationServer XG (XG) version 11. XG is a complete Citrix alternative for desktop and application delivery.

It’s rare for me to give such high marks to any product that I review but I really like the 2X ApplicationServer. XG is easy to install, setup, and manage. It supports a wide range of clients and the price is attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. The price is a real treat for larger companies too.
I first looked at the 2X ApplicationServer in 2011 over at Linux Magazine (now defunct), where I showed readers how to connect Linux clients to its published applications via Linux clients.

For this review, I focus mostly on application publishing because to write extensively on every aspect of XG would require that you read 50 or more pages of material. For that level of detail, you can read the product manual. This review is an independent assessment of the product, its features, its pricing, its licensing, and my overall impressions.

I’ve recommended the 2X ApplicationServer product to clients, colleagues, and associates in the past, and I’ve never had anything but praise for the product–especially its extreme ease of use and speed of setup.

Download and Installation

The first thing you need to do is to download XG. You have to fill out the online form to receive your free license key for the product. The evaluation license provides you with the capability of testing 25 concurrent users for two terminal servers or virtual hosts. You can also manage ten devices with the 2X ClientManager application.

After the initial 30 day trial, the software scales back to three concurrent users and three devices for the ClientManager.

The XG download is approximately 95MB and is delivered in the form of a Windows MSI file. Once you download the 2X ApplicationServer XG installer file, double-click it to begin installation. Click through the install wizard, accept the license agreement, and allow the program to install to your system.

The only prerequisite for your XG host system is that it must be configured as a Terminal Server or that you have a Terminal Server available to configure for use with XG.

For my evaluation, I used a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition on a physical server system. You can install and configure XG on virtual machines. I used a regular server because I already had it setup for another project and it was handy for me. Otherwise, I would have used the virtual machine option.
My server hardware consists of a 2.0GHz dual-core AMD with 4GB RAM and standard SATA II HDD.

The download to completed installation was less than 10 minutes.

Resource Publishing

Publishing an application is quick too. I published Notepad, a classic test application, in less than five minutes. I installed the product and published my first application all without reading a single word of documentation. Try that with any competitive product. Now, for advanced configuration options such as printing, scanning, reporting, and Active Directory integration, I suggest that you read the manual.

But, like all things 2X creates, XG is simple to use, quick to setup, and painless to administer. And the application’s server footprint is extremely small and unobtrusive. The fact that you can run XG on virtual machines proves how lightweight it is.

I like that 2X has setup a menu of sorts for publishing resources. I say resources because you can publish more than just desktops and applications. You can publish applications, folders, desktops, predefined applications, and documents with a few simple clicks.

Predefined applications are applications that you can deploy by simply selecting them from an existing list. Included in the list are control panel applets, network configuration, Windows Explorer, or the Windows desktop as a folder.

Never before has centralized resource publishing been so easy to do.

How to Publish a Resource: Internet Explorer

From anywhere in the 2X Console application, click the Application icon located on the far left of the toolbar. See Figure 1.


Figure 1: The 2X Console.

This launches the Publish New Application Wizard and the first screen you see is the Select Server Type screen where you pick the type of server from which you want to publish your application as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Select the source server type.

Figure 2: Select the source server type.

I chose Terminal Server because I want to publish Internet Explorer from the local system. Click Next to continue.

Figure 3 prompts you to select the application type to publish: single application, installed application, or predefined application.

Figure 3: Select the type of application to publish.

Figure 3: Select the type of application to publish.

I selected Single Application. Click Next to continue.

On this final screen, you’ll give your application a familiar name, select your application (browse to its executable), enter its description, and choose a server from which to run the application. Optionally, you may also select an icon and various application parameters. By default, if you browse to your executable, the optional parameters automatically fill in for you. See Figure 4.


Figure 4: Supply the application details for publishing.

Click Finish to complete the wizard and publish your application. Your published application will appear in the Console window under Published Resources and is ready to be accessed from remote systems that have the 2X client software installed.

Client Access

Download and install the 2X client software appropriate for your device.

Setup the client software to connect to your 2X server by entering an alias (familiar name) for your connection, the server name or IP address of the 2X server, the connection port (default is 80), a username, a password, and the servers “mode.” The mode can be Gateway, Direct, Gateway SSL, or Direct SSL. If you don’t know, try Gateway first. If you aren’t the 2X system administrator, ask the administrator which type you use.

There might be other optional parameters that you can select and tweak but for testing, I suggest leaving everything default. When you’ve finished your client setup, test it by attempting a connection. You should automatically logon to the Windows system and see a list of published resources to which you have access.


Everyone wants to know about security and 2X has it in spades, which means there are so many security options that you can really lock down access to your published resources. For example, in the 2X Console, in the Connection section, you can select domain authentication from the Authentication tab. You can specify the domain, all trusted domains, workgroups, and you can also require authentication before a user can see the list of published resources.

On the Second Level Authentication tab, you specify a provider (Deepnet, SafeNet, or RADIUS) and then you enter exclude list details by IP address, client, or MAC address. Additionally, you can select specific gateway servers to service clients using second level authentication.

If you have a bring your own device (BYOD) program in place but only want to allow certain types of devices to connect to published 2X resources, you can exclude users by the device or client type. For example, if you only want to allow Windows and iOS-based systems to connect, you can exclude all other clients.

There are other security options that you can configure but they require more advanced setup than what I have available to me in my limited lab but I want you to be aware of their existence. You configure groups, 2X client policies, and other options via the Client Manager section of the 2X Console.

Nikolaos Makris, 2X CEO, had this to say about ApplicationServer XG version 11:

“This is a significant release for 2X as it enables businesses of all sizes the ability to scale their virtualization infrastructure according to their organizational demands. We have achieved this through the development of a feature-rich, yet flexible virtual desktop and application delivery solution. Our focus was to provide companies with a cost-effective solution to easily implement and manage a Private Cloud infrastructure. Now that we have released, I’m excited to say that we have achieved our objectives.”

New Features

Sites Management: A farm can be divided into multiple sites with each site representing a single location infrastructure. All sites share the same settings and are isolated. Sites can forward users to other sites if an application or desktop is not available on the current site, if the user is already running sessions on a different site, or if a user is geographically closer to another site.

Role Based Administration: Multiple administrators can modify farm settings at the same time. Different administrators can also have different roles and levels of authority within the system. The settings are stored at the master site, then distributed and activated to the others when the settings are applied. Auditing of who made changes to the system, and when they did so, is also available. If two users try to edit the same object, the second user will find the object locked. If a user adds, edits or deletes an object, the change is shown immediately in the second console. When a user starts the console application they will need to enter their credentials.

Task Menu: The task menu behaves more efficiently when items are selected. On right click in the list control, a context menu can be used. This provides more space for information and makes it easier to add new actions.

Replicate Settings in All Sites: A standard button is used throughout the console so that the same set of settings can be replicated in all sites.

Notifications to Multiple Administrators: Since multiple administrators can be managing the system, it’s possible to send notifications to more than one user depending on the settings used. New types of notification have also been introduced.


Start-up Speed of 2X Publishing Agent: When system settings are changed, it has no effect on the agents in use, as the publishing agent will not be restarted but rather it will refresh the actual setting which was effected.

Restructuring of the Console Page: With the addition of Role Based Administration, the console page was structured in a more logical manner, creating a new category for administrator roles.

iPad Client running Internet Explorer and displaying the options menu.

iPad Client running Internet Explorer and displaying the options menu.

Client Accessibility

You can connect from a wide range of clients to 2X resources. This list is current as of this writing:

  • 2X Windows client
  • 2X Cloud Portal
  • 2X Java client
  • 2X Android client
  • 2X iOS client
  • 2X Linux client
  • 2X Mac client
  • 2X HTML5 client
  • 2X Blackberry client
  • 2X Wyse client
  • 2XOS client

The range of available clients means that users will be able to connect to published resources regardless of which device they use. This is very good news for companies who participate in BYOD programs.

Why the 2X ApplicationServer XG product is frugal: XG is frugal because of its low barriers to implementation. The pricing is low. The installation and setup are very easy. The management is relatively simple. The security is comfortably high and easy to configure. And you can connect any currently available device to published resources. XG is a lot of bang for the buck and that’s the definition of frugal for me: value.

iPad Client running Internet Explorer and Notepad.

iPad Client running Internet Explorer and Notepad.

Pricing and Licensing

The 2X ApplicationServer XG is licensed to you as a subscription in one-year, two-year, or three-year increments and by number of concurrent users. The three-year subscription is the most cost effective option at $109 per concurrent user. You have to purchase license packs in increments of 15 users.

The 2X license model is a bit hard to follow. I find it somewhat confusing. The licensing document (link below) attempts to describe several scenarios to help with understanding but the examples aren’t very clear. I don’t understand the expiry terms, upgrade insurance, or the timing when purchasing new licensing.

In my opinion, the licensing could be made simpler. I also don’t really like having to purchase licenses in 15 user increments. But, the license pricing is so good for those 15 that it might matter less to you than purchasing a competitor’s product at a much higher cost. In other words, I can deal with some licensing idiosyncrasies if the numbers are right.

For full pricing and support options, see the 2X Licensing Guide in US Dollars.


The 2X ApplicationServer XG product can have you up and running published applications in minutes instead of hours or days. You need little to no training to install, setup, publish, and manage a 2X ApplicationServer system.
The price is low enough to where even the smallest companies with the tightest budgets can withstand its pricing model.

And for those really tight budgets, just about anyone with very little training can setup and manage the XG product. For those who don’t want a full-time IT person on staff, you could hire someone to take care of your needs remotely. Publishing an application is so quick an easy that your support costs should be minimal as well.

For my money, the 2X ApplicationServer XG product is the most cost-effective and simplest application and desktop delivery product on the market.

My assessment on a 10-point scale, with 1 being low and 10 being high:

Ease of installation: 10
Speed of installation: 10
Easy to publish resources: 10
Easy to access published resources from remote clients (Windows, Linux, Mac, tablets): 10
License Model: 7
Price/Licensing: 10
Support options: 10
Security options: 10
Client accessibility: 10

You can also check out my ZDNet version of this review.

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