The zStation endpoint operating environment is a fourth generation, fully 64-bit Linux variant. zStation differs from other monolithic Linux distributions in that it is completely modular. This modularity, when coupled with the dynamic capability of policy based computing enables a highly specialized end point environment that is as much as one thousand times smaller than other Linux instantiations.
Because of its reduced size, the zStation, and its associated application workload, operates completely in volatile random-access-memory enabling system performance simply unachievable by systems executing from persistent storage. As part of its highly specialized boot and dynamic construction methods, only the required device drivers and kernel objects are present; fully supporting locally installed devices. This device support includes both OpenGL and OpenCL to fully utilize the capabilities of modern GPUs and yields stunning graphics performance.
As zStation is completely stateless and perishable, it is brand new for every session. Furthermore, the operating system itself is read-only. This combination effectively eliminates attack vectors that are typically exploited by bad actors to inject viruses or malware. By eliminating the end point as a source of ingress, external threats and attack vectors are significantly reduced and overall enterprise security is enhanced. Internal threats are mitigated through limited access to the underlying kernel and through detailed auditing and logging. In fact, as the end points are composed at runtime based on policy, an end user has no ability to install and execute any unapproved software on a zStation.
Unlike traditional VDI solutions, Beacen vSeries utilizes one hundred percent (100%) of the endpoints hardware resources for processing and memory. As such, the vSeries-based enterprise enables elastic scalability required by today’s challenging information technology environments. Each device that is added to the enterprise increases its overall capacity.
The Beacen vSeries platform is not just for desktops, this advanced operating system technology is also applicable for cloud server and Internet of Things (IoT) implementations. zStation’s size, performance, security and dynamic provisioning make it ideal for IoT devices. Its development and deployment environment and architecture make it ideal for Continuous Integration Continuous Delivery (CICD) software development lifecycles. Enterprises can be guaranteed that the running versions of applications are completely consistent across all running instances enabling true elasticity across the cloud.
The Diagram below depicts the order which the operating elements are installed. There are three phases of installation, the capability of the system improves with each phase.
The boot phase provides core functionality Modularity is key to zStation construction and boot, all the required boot elements are loosely coupled modules that are dynamically fused together at boot to form the running image. These modules start with the requisite boot loader, kernel and root image to boot a base system. Once the base system is booted it takes an inventory of all hardware present and sends a request to the vServer policy engine to provide the required Platform Modules (PM) required for that endpoint, this is the beginning of the Device Determination Phase. First the vServer identifies and packages the required device drivers for the hardware platform and ships them to the endpoint though our secure encrypted protocol. The zStation installs the device drivers and performs any required kernel reconfiguration.
The balance of the PMs are grouped into Graphics Engine, Window Manager, Desktop Experience and Audio Modules. These modules can be defined by device type and/or Peer Group providing the end user with a specialized system that is customized for the device they are using, and only the required device drivers and associated software are present, meaning the system knows exactly what software is present and what should be executing at every step of the boot process.
The graphics engine modules provide foundational graphics software allowing the administrator to select the type and version, these modules also fuse any specific configuration requirements obtained from the device modules. Window Manager modules define how the user will interact with the system, desktop and tablet (touch screen) systems have different requirement, decoupling the window manger allows for dynamic delivery based on the system in use. Desktop Experience modules provide the user interface these can be tailored to both the device and the application.
It is at this point the end user is presented with a login screen, indicating the beginning of the Identity Determination Phase. From this point forward all system elements are delivered based on the user’s identity and location. The user’s session is executed within a secure container, in fact the user’s identity is only known to the vServer Policy Engine and is completely transparent to local zStation kernel.