Reflection 2008 Adds Desktop Virtualization, Security

Attachmate is looking define the next-generation terminal emulation platform with Reflection 2008, an upgrade which blends desktop virtualization and support for any-to-any integration projects (such as SOA), with strong support for policy enforcement, security and SLAs.

Tags: Desktop Virtualization, Security, Reflection, Support, Mainframe, Security Features, Miller,


Attachmate is looking define the next-generation terminal emulation platform with Reflection 2008, an upgrade which blends desktop virtualization and support for any-to-any integration projects (such as SOA), with strong support for policy enforcement, security and SLAs.

Reflection 2008 extends support for web services and Microsoft's .NET Framework and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). But, Attachmate's new offering also employs desktop virtualization and security features to better enable wider sharing of mainframe data -- without compromising needs for security of SLAs, Michael Miller, Attachmate's director of product marketing and management told IDN.

Reflection 2008's key upgrades include:

  • Virtualization OptimizationAdds support for leading application and desktop virtualization platforms, including Microsoft, Citrix, VMWare and HP. Added features means Reflection 2008 can be deployed via server or client-based virtualization technologies.
  • End-point SecurityAdds support for data encryption, authentication and user-level security features, including privacy filters and trusted locations. In addition, Reflection 2008 is now validated for FIPS 140-2 and certified for DoD PKI, (the U.S. government's top security standards).
  • Customization and AutomationAdds support for desktop customization via .NET, VBA or Web Services, as well as Microsoft Office 2007's Ribbon interface

  • Inside Reflection 2008
    Next-Gen Terminal Emulation for Mainframe SOA?

    While the current economic conditions may be putting a crunch on large-scale SOA projects in some large F1000 accounts, Attachmate is finding its approach to desktop virtualization is gaining traction with many large enterprises looking for cost-effective and secure ways to extend their ability to safely share mainframe data with various enterprise users, and even those outside the firewall.

    "Unlike hype trends, we actually saw customer interest in support for desktop virtualization go pretty quickly into budgeted projects. And, while some of those projects may now be deferred due to the economy, others are very alive and rapidly moving along," Miller told IDN.

    It's important to note distinction between data center virtualization and Attachmate's focus, which is 'desktop virtualization' Miller describes it this way:

    Desktop virtualization provides many of the advantages of a terminal server, but (if so desired and configured by system administrators) can provide users much more flexibility, Miller said. With easier-to-use features and better security, Reflection 2008 allows each sysadmin (or user group) "to install and configure their own applications, and use of mainframe data. Users also gain the ability to access their server-based virtual desktop from other locations, he said.

    Miller described to IDN how early customer conversations about desktop virtualization proceed. "With virtualization, we talk about it as a connectivity product from the client to the mainframe, and in fact we find that when we enter an account Attachmate's offerings can broaden the scope of desktop virtualization discussions with enterprise IT." Miller offers the following example.

    "A lot of folks looking at virtualization are not really that familiar with tying in mainframe or connectivity products to their desktops. So, when we talk about desktop virtualization, we discuss it as a connectivity product from the client to the mainframe, and that type of discussion triggers a lot of interest in security, privacy and filters."

    Based on these pieces of customer feedback, it's not surprising Reflection 2008's upgrades include expanded virtualization support and added security features.

    "Security is top of mind for customers now, and their need to ensure regulatory compliance is heating up," Miller said. "That's why we have features that offer customers security at the end point level, not just at the network level." Reflection 2008 also supports the latest data encryption, authentication and user-level security features, including 'privacy filters' and 'trusted locations.' In addition, Reflection 2008 is now validated for FIPS 140-2 and certified for U.S. Department of Defense's DoD PKI, (the U.S. government's top security standards).

    Reflection 2008's 'privacy filters' allows an administrator to define data and the fields that need to be secured from unauthorized access or reuse, such as copy-and-paste into other systems, Miller said.

    Reflection 2008 uses an algorithm that pattern matches against common privacy data (such as credit card number of social security numbers) and prevents such data from being accessed outside the desktop. Similarly, Reflection 'trusted locations' feature prevents unauthorized (or rogue) macros to impact trusted business processes implemented from the mainframe when traffic or data flows to downstream systems or outside locations.

    To evaluate Reflection 2008,

    Reflection 2008 can work collaboratively or as a stand-alone tool along with the company's host access, security and management products, enabling companies to extend the use of existing IT investments while adopting valuable new technologies to improve their business.



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