Leveraging the Convergence of Embedded and Enterprise Technologies to Control Networked Devices

By Ardence, a Citrix Company

The lines between embedded and enterprise are blurring. The ongoing trend is that embedded devices are becoming networked, to improve manageability and supportability. And networked enterprise desktops are now facing increased demands for better security, reliability, and execution of specialized compute-intensive tasks that were previously only performed on standalone proprietary embedded systems.

Although the benefits are clear, these trends create new vulnerabilities for each group, which if left unaddressed, leave the system manager without the necessary control to create and maintain optimized systems. Fortunately for both sides, it is now possible to leverage the latest enterprise and embedded technologies in unison to develop controlled systems.

So what is control as it relates to these markets? The five criteria for a controlled system are: optimized performance, manageability, security, reliability, and supportability. Taking a closer look at how these criteria apply specifically to embedded systems, one could make the following observations:

  • Optimized Performance is likely to include: precision accuracy, high availability, direct access to hardware, and real-time processing.
  • Supportability is best attained by using standards-based hardware/software platforms, and ensuring compatibility with tools that simplify system development, maintenance, and diagnostics.
  • Security for embedded systems entails protection from data theft and from eliminating the possibility that malware installs via networked access.
  • Reliability involves failover protection, and reducing or eliminating downtime from corruption.
  • And Manageability requires centrally managed system delivery and upgradeability, plus re-configurability.

For enterprise systems, a different set of ingredients might be required to meet the five criteria for control, including other items such as, but not limited to: redundancy, network access, remote access, enhanced user experiences, local processing, application compatibility, OS compatibility and enterprise management systems.

In the past, before the trend toward networked embedded devices, three of the criteria (performance, reliability, and security) were strong points for embedded systems. And while the evolution toward networked deployments improves manageability and supportability, it comes at the expense of turning what were previously strong points into vulnerabilities. For example, networked industrial controllers that run time-critical motion control applications can go offline or suffer from unacceptable performance degradation due network failures, malware being installed, or from being over-reliant on a server's processor. Additionally, networked devices for healthcare, military or government offer access points for data theft and security breaches.

So how can control be attained in the new networked world of embedded devices? Ardence, a Citrix Company, with expertise in both the embedded and enterprise markets, delivers control through its software solutions that enable Dynamic Devices™. A dynamic device is a controlled standards-based hardware/software system that is delivered, not deployed, and provides comprehensive advantages while eliminating vulnerabilities. Under the Ardence model, systems are performance optimized, delivered (not deployed), compatible and connected (inclusive of diverse environments – allowing for communication and interaction), centrally managed (hardened, secure, and updateable), and productive (highly reliable, minimized downtime, and easily recoverable).

Developers of next generation embedded systems can create dynamic devices by integrating Ardence's solutions in unison to address the criteria for a fully-controlled system.

Ardence® RTX® is the highest performing deterministic control solution for Microsoft® Windows – saving developers time, reducing system costs and getting products to market faster. It is the only complete solution that supports standards-based multi-processor and multi-core platforms. RTX enhances Windows®' universally adopted look/feel with features that give developers real-time determinism, better control, and unmatched dependability.

The Ardence® Software-Streaming Platform™ enables cost reductions and productivity gains by centralizing the delivery and control of the operating system and applications. Streaming the OS and applications from the network provides devices with unmatched manageability and reliability, while reducing operating costs. PCs and devices can be operated without a hard-disk drive and be managed remotely via a local or remote server. The OS and application are processed locally on the client devices, without the need for increased RAM, and the clients maintain direct access to peripheral devices.

Ardence® ReadyOn® enables OEMs to integrate instant availability with enhanced reliability and corruption protection into their Windows-based designs. Additional benefits include reducing manufacturing costs and speeding time to market. The enhanced end-user experience of instant-on/off functionality and secure, corruption proof reliability in devices using the Windows operating system provides OEMs with clear competitive advantages and the required functionality to compete in tomorrow's markets.

Ardence® Select™ is a next-generation product (the direct result of customer feedback about ReadyOn) that provides single OS systems with the ability to boot to multiple configurations (personalities). OEMs can easily re-configure and update products remotely, and even provide multiple configurations based on boot-sequence options. This device-configuration manager enhances the user experience and provides a separate utility configuration that helps in system diagnostics and enables rapid recovery.

About Ardence, a Citrix Company

Ardence, a Citrix Company, develops software platforms for the on-demand world. The Ardence Software-Streaming Platform increases IT agility by delivering operating systems and applications on-demand from the network to desktops, servers and devices. The Ardence Embedded OEM Development Platform delivers market-leading operating system control capabilities that enable OEMs to increase system performance and manageability.

About Citrix

Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS) is the global leader and the most trusted name in application delivery infrastructure. More than 180,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to deliver any application to users anywhere with the best performance, highest security and lowest cost. Citrix customers include 100% of the Fortune 100 companies and 98% of the Fortune Global 500, as well as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2006 was $1.1 billion.

Contact Information

Ardence, Inc.
266 2nd Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451
781.693.6345 Telephone
781.647.3999 Fax