Zee What? ZeeTim Endpoint Solution components explained
Our main objective at ZeeTim has been to secure endpoints designated for virtual workspace, VDI, and DaaS access, simplify management (no more patch management or security tools necessary), and provide admins and end users with an amazing experience. Our naming conventions fall in the same spirit of simplicity and ease of use.
So let’s go through the components that make up ZeeTim’s Endpoint Offering!
The physical endpoint and the operating system
1. ZeeOS – The Operating System that runs on the endpoint
ZeeOS is a Linux-based, read-only Operating System. This Thin Client/ Zero Client Operating System that follows the strictest security principles. Each application works from its dedicated sandbox. Therefore updates can be done in a very granular way, reducing potential attack surface during the update process. Users cannot make any configuration locally on the device, all configuration actions are done centrally via the Thin Client remote management tool that we will talk about below. The OS is tuned for a variety of peripherals and drivers, with optimizations with commonly used applications like Zoom and Teams. ZeeOS is hardware agnostic and can be placed on any x86 64bit hardware thanks to ZeeTransformer.
2. ZeeTransformer – The tool to repurpose any PC into Thin/Zero Client in 15 minutes
ZeeTransformer is an executable allowing you to run the ZeeOS Operating System on any PC of your choice. Create a USB key containing ZeeOS and plug it into the PC that you want to boot from. Then adjust the BIOS sequence, and boot into ZeeOS. Your ZeeTim Thin Client is ready! You can either transform your PC temporarily or on a permanent basis by repurposing the device completely. To transform a large number of devices at the same time, you can also boot through the network.
As described above, there are two flavors of Zeetransformer:
ZeeTransformer Imager USB – Can be found on the Product Trial page – Allows you to create a USB from which you will boot. You will insert the USB into a PC of your choice and boot from the USB itself. Hence the PC acts as a ZeeTim Thin Client as long as the USB is plugged in as shown below. With ZeeTransformer Imager USB, you are not flashing the hard drive of the PC in question.
- Testing out the software,
- Temporary workers or remote workers using their own hardware.
ZeeTransformer Full – Can be found on the Download page – Allows you to create a USB from which you will boot. Once you boot from the USB, you will be prompted to choose the hard drive of the PC to load the operating system there. This process completely erases the former operating system that was present on that PC.
Of course, for production environments where there may be hundreds or thousands of devices, we can load the OS using network PXE boot to multiple devices at a time and can do away with the USB.
3. ZeeTerm – The endpoint that runs the ZeeOS Operating System
Any device running ZeeOS is called a ZeeTerm. This can range from PCs to laptops, to all in one devices, and thin clients. The main purpose of a ZeeTerm is to connect a user to their cloud workspace (i.e. Citrix, VMware Horizon, Nutanix Frame, Microsoft RDS / Windows 365 / AVD…) in the simplest way possible and allow it to work effectively. ZeeTim does provide a future-proof ZeeTerm Thin Client/ Zero Client hardware option.
The management of the endpoints
4. ZeeConf – Endpoint management solution
ZeeConf is the management solution used to manage centrally and remotely all ZeeTerm devices, whether repurposed through ZeeTransformer or directly purchased at ZeeTim.
This endpoint management solution ZeeConf comes complimentary with the purchase of ZeeTransformer or ZeeTerm hardware. It has several components that are described below.
a. ZeeConf Client – GUI Client of ZeeConf to remotely configure and manage the endpoints
All configuration actions of the ZeeTerm endpoints are done via a ZeeConf component called ZeeConf Client. ZeeConf Client is a GUI (Graphic User Interface) that can be installed on any Windows machine and offering a wealth of configuration options. With ZeeConf Client, you can for example create templates that can be applied to a group of devices. You can also choose between Zero Client or Thin Client mode, select the connection protocol to VDI or DaaS platform, set up certificates or printing options, configure VPN, update packages, etc… The tool also allows for remote control of the devices for troubleshooting purpose.
b. ZeeConf Server – Backend of the solution
While ZeeConf client provides a UI to make all of the configurations, the communications flows go through the ZeeConf Server. ZeeConf Server keeps track of the communication across all of the solution components. ZeeConf Server is connected to the Active Directory and can grant different levels of administrative rights. Just like ZeeConf Client, ZeeConf Server can be installed on any Windows machine. ZeeConf Server also acts like a trust base, checking the package list on the operating system at frequent intervals and automatically replacing suspicious files when detected.
c. ZeeConf Web Management Console – Web-based reporting and support
Support teams find ZeeConf Web Management Console particularly useful. This web application gives visibility of all endpoints including information on their last heartbeat, IP address, applications they are running, and various other statistics. The Web Management Console allows admins to shut down, restart, or remote control endpoints. All of the data that is pulled can be communicated via APIs to other reporting and monitoring tools.
d. ZeeConf Gateway – Virtual appliance allowing secure access to devices outside of the company network
With users located in different networks, or working from home, the ZeeConf Gateway allows a secure method of accessing devices wherever they may be. This allows exact same configuration options than for the endpoints located in the company network. ZeeConf Gateway is a virtual appliance and can run on Microsoft Hyper V, Citrix Xen Server, and VMware ESXI.
Learn about all of the configuration options in ZeeConf Management.
Last but not least, Licensing
5. ZeeLicense Server – Centralized License Server
Unlike the hardware directly provided by ZeeTim, all endpoints transformed via ZeeTransformer require a license to run and must check into the ZeeLicense Server, that you can install on the same Windows machine than ZeeConf Server. Licensing of repurposed devices through ZeeTransformer is by concurrent device, meaning you only pay for the devices that are on and accessing the license server at the same time. Customers can repurpose as many devices as they want and license only the number that will be active at the same time.
Hopefully, this rundown of the components is helpful in understanding what makes up the ZeeTim Thin Client Endpoint offering. The good news is that when you buy the ZeeTim solution, everything is included! So you do not have to worry about missing anything. At ZeeTim we pride ourselves on our support and will assist you the entire way through.
For a more detailed architecture description, you can check here.
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