Lower your customers’ TCO and improve device management by integrating Argon’s Managed PC Boot Agent® (MBA) into the BIOS of your embedded system.
MBA is client-based firmware that works with the LAN controller to enable client devices to access and boot from boot image files located on a network server.
You can dramatically reduce the build cost of your embedded systems by integrating network booting technology into your system BIOS. At the same time, you’ll add value for your customers by simplifying upgrades, improving security and lowering admin costs.
Network booting enables thin clients, network appliances, factory floor equipment, data acquisition tools, and other embedded devices to boot over a LAN, using files located on a network server.
How do manufacturers of embedded systems benefit from network booting?
- Lower build cost. Network booting reduces the need for high-cost components like local hard drives or flash, at the very least, it shrinks the flash footprint and simplifies flash requirements.
- Flexible storage capacity. With network booting, even if the OS and application grow in size, flash requirements don’t increase.
- Pre-OS®. Device administrators can setup a “Pre-OS boot” in which devices are booted from a network server before the operating system is loaded from the local hard drive.
- Disaster Recovery. With the proper controls designed into your management application, the Managed PC Boot Agent can permit devices to boot from the server in a “network safe mode” if local boot-up fails.
- Security. To secure data and eliminate unauthorized programs, administrators can use network booting to search a hard disk, or to prevent a local boot from a hard disk or diskette.
- Compatibility. Managed PC Boot Agent is compatible with PXE, RPL, NetWare, TCP/IP (DHCP, BOOTP) network boot protocols and client management software.
- Increased device reliability. Replacing local had drive booting with network booting increases reliability by eliminating the need for rotating media.
- Rapid remote updating. Software updates and reconfigurations are quicker and easier, and don’t require direct access to individual devices.
Many manufacturers of embedded devices turn to Argon Technology® for their network booting needs. A world leader in this technology, Argon’s range of licensing options, along with quick turnaround, make us the supplier of choice for some of the biggest names in networking. Our comprehensive in-house test lab ensures support all major boot protocols, client and network operating systems.
Embedded devices incorporating Argon’s technology can be remotely monitored, configured, controlled and diagnosed over Local Area Networks using standard network management protocols.
Using MBA, administrators can have embedded devices perform a Pre-OS boot and accomplish a comprehensive range of management tasks or repairs from a central station. For example, they can deploy OS and applications, back up and restore critical files, update BIOS, and scan for viruses. Once these tasks are completed, the device can continue to boot from its local hard disk.
Network booting is particularly useful for booting diskless systems such as thin clients and embedded systems that might otherwise have to boot form flash. MBA makes it possible to boot the entire target Operating System from the server.
MBA gives administrators the tools they need to improve manageability and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), without requiring major network infrastructure changes or wholesale upgrades to thin client networked devices.
Built-in tools and utilities simplify device setup for a network booting environment. These include a Windows based Boot Image Editor to create and edit boot image files, tools to enable Pre-OS, a configuration utility to setup advanced MBA options.
Argon provides a range of products for designers of embedded systems, including PXE Boot Agent® and Client Management Services® (CMS). Like MBA, they offer rich feature sets, wide compatibility, and extensive testing and industry acceptance.
For more details on integrating Managed PC Boot Agent® into your device or embedded system BIOS, please contact us