ICT Sustainability with DeepFreeze Software from Faronics
In places where Internet access is hard to come by but computer viruses spread like wildfire, protecting a single PC or an entire computer lab is a huge challenge. When files are shared between friends and colleagues, so is malware. This is not necessarily a problem if the user has taken proper measures against viruses and other types of malicious programs. However, in the developing world many computer owners are either unable or unwilling to purchasegood anti-virus/anti-spyware software, and even with the proper software installed, limited Internet access means less frequent download of the critical updates. Without these updates, anti-virus and anti-spyware software are essentially useless.
To mitigate this problem, Inveneo has adopted the Faronics DeepFreeze software. DeepFreeze is a software program that creates a “frozen” snapshot of a workstation’s configuration and settings. It can freeze entire drives or select files, allowing a computer to boot to a pristine Operating System every single time.
Viruses can be malicious, disrupting the current session, modifying the registry, destroying user content, but when the system is restarted the effects of the virus or malware are wiped away. This is the only solution that Inveneo has found to be bulletproof in low resource settings, keeping the computers up and running over an extended period of time.
The Cisco Community Knowledge Centers (CKCs), scattered in eleven locations across Kenya and Ethiopia, are a great real-world example of Inveneo desktop installations utilizing DeepFreeze. The CKCs are community centers, places where locals from a village or region can gather to learn, explore the Internet, print or copy documents and socialize through events like movie nights. Even after two years, the CKC computers are still up and running with little to no maintenance from Inveneo or our local partners. This is a huge accomplishment considering the harsh environment and number of infected external media constantly cycling through the centers, all a testimony to the effectiveness of DeepFreeze.
DeepFreeze is valuable because it is both flexible and secure. Here are a few of the key features:
- Password protected software so that non-administrators cannot access the software to make changes or thaw a drive
- Choose which drive(s) to freeze. Further, the administrator can take a more granular approach, freezing/thawing only specific directories and files.
- Create up to eight thaw spaces, leaving frequently updated program files or system files thawed.
- Schedule a maintenance window so the system will reboot thawed for a specific time period, possibly synched with automatic system maintenance.
- Specify a WSUS (Windows Software Update Server) and batch file for scheduled maintenance period.
- Create embedded events schedules, like scheduling the system to reboot everyday at a specific time. Configure network settings, security options, and administer License Keys.
- There are many other more advanced options available with the Administrator Console. Examples include pushing configurations and installations from a centrally located or remote console.
We are grateful for the generous donation that Faronics has made to our efforts in Haiti, contributing complimentary licenses for use in the 40 rural schools participating in the “Haiti Connected Schools” program. This contribution is already making a great impact on the sustainability and longevity of the technology Inveneo is deploying, ensuring use by deserving Haitian schoolchildren for years to come.
For more information on DeepFreeze, please see the Faronics DeepFreeze Enterprise product page. From there you can see more product details, screenshots, read user reviews, and download user guide/tutorials.