StarNet Adds AIX and Solaris/X64 Support to X Windows Server
Published: January 24, 2008
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
Because of the ubiquity of Microsoft's Windows platforms on desktops and servers, a lot of business people are familiar with the embedded Remote Desktop Protocol software that allows users to log into machines remotely; others may be more familiar with the various alternatives to RDP from Citrix Systems, including Presentation Server and its ICA protocol (which is at the heart of RDP thanks to a licensing deal between Citrix and Microsoft). But if you are Unix or Linux centric and you don't want to use an open source RDP or ICA protocol to talk to these boxes, you have another alternative: running persistent X Windows sessions on machines.
That is exactly what StarNet Communications has done with its X-Win32 Live line of products, which allows for persistent connections using X servers over virtual private networks, wireless networks, and other network links. X servers are not particularly happy about choppy connections, as VPNs and WiFi links often provide. StarNet, was founded in 1989 and delivered its first X server, MicroX, in 1991, providing an X Windows client for 32-bit Windows platforms that allowed them to log into Unix hosts. The company's current X-Win32 Live product is a lot more sophisticated, but is still based on the X-Win32 core product, which is one of three key X Windows clients out there in the market--the others being Hummingbird's Exceed and Attachmate's Reflection X.
Up until now, X-Win32 has supported X Windows links into Linux, FreeBSD Unix, and Solaris Unix running on Sparc platforms. But with X-Win32 Release 9, which is also known as the Live version, StarNet has added support for 64-bit Linuxes as well as Solaris on X86 and X64 iron to the mix. The new release also allows end users working from Windows boxes to connect into AIX machines and their X sessions, too.
X-Win32 costs $270 per seat. StarNet is also selling an add-on piece of software that called X-Win32 Flash that allows a running X session to be saved to a flash drive so it can be moved to a different machine and restarted on a different machine. The whole X-Win32 product is installed on the flash drive, so you never need to install it on any particular machine if you don't want to. A preloaded flash drive costs $295, but you can download it onto your own flash drive as well.
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