tarantella Tarantella

Web Enabling the software applications you use now






Why Would You Want This?

1. You can deliver all your Windows, Unix or Mainframe applications from your central office to mobile users or remote offices at extremely low cost over the Internet. Performance will be adequate even over slower Internet connections (yes, even modem connections are supported).

2. With just one location, you can still save gobs of money on support, because the applications are loaded on just one computer, the server. When changes are made, they are made only on the server, not trotted around to each and every workstation.

When Windows goes south on a PC, the user can just sit down at another PC and they'll have everything they had on their old one (except their secret stash of porn pictures). You can reformat their old PC, reload Windows, reload the Web Browser, and it's ready to go again.

The user doesn't even need a full (or up-to-date) PC. A "thin client" will work just fine. No additional software is required at the client end, just a Java enabled Web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera, etc.). No terminal emulation software is required to access Unix or Mainframe applications. Everything is served up to the Web browser.

This is a really great way to set up remote offices, or serve traveling employees. You can also support kiosks, and other non-traditional devices from your office. All this cheaply and efficiently, even over $20/month Internet connections.

Q. Why not just use PC Anywhere? - A. With remote control software you have to have a PC available for each remote caller to take over. That's two PCs per user, and all fully Windows configured. If you use the Internet you'll need to set up a VPN. Otherwise you need a separate phone line for each dial-in PC, and will be hit with per minute phone charges.

Q. Why not just use the VPN software that comes with Windows and network the remote computers over the Internet? - A. have you seen how a Windows accounting package runs over this setup? Your users are not going to stand for this.

Q. Why not use Windows Terminal Server and/or Citrix Metaframe? - A. If you really want to lock yourself into an "All Windows" solution at this late date, we will be happy to pass you on to a highly experienced Citrix / WTS integrator we work with. They can get you set up right, but it may cost a bit more than Tarantella.

How Does It Work?

When a user logs on to the Tarantella server (just like accessing any other Web page on the Internet), Tarantella looks to see if s/he has the client Java application. If not, it is automatically downloaded to the workstation (only about 280K). The company's Web applications menu then loads into the browser screen. The user can start any applications offered by the company by simply pointing to the icon and clicking.

Another big plus is how a user can simply suspend a session, then go to another computer, perhaps at home, and log right back into the same program just where they left it. This can be really great for traveling workers. All they need is a device with a Web browser and an Internet connection.

Q. What about security? - A. If you have workers outside the company firewall, a low cost security add-on package is available for Tarantella that sets up an ad-hoc VPN connection. Both 40-bit and 128-bit encryption are available.

How Do You Implement It?

Network Diagram First, you do your planning. What applications do you really want to offer over the network and who do you want using them? What kind of equipment will the users have? Will you have users outside the company firewall and what level of security will they need?

Next, you add a Tarantella server to your network. Note that if your server is Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 it must have Windows Terminal Services enabled. Unix and Linux servers support both text and X11 graphic terminal services. These services may require some additional configuration.

Tarantella Menu While the technical folks are configuring the network, the design person can set up the Web menu screens the users will see. These screens load into the Web browser just like any other Web page.

These menu screens are configured using an easy to use "point and click" graphic control center environment. It's similar to making shortcuts on the Windows desktop, but with a lot more control.

Here we're shown a typical Tarantella menu screen. This screen is completely customizable - it doesn't have to look anything like this one. Users simply point to the icon for the program they want to run and click on it. The program's normal screens come up within the browser and behave just like they normally do.

Case Studies

Tarantella Inc.'s Web site includes several case studies showing how Tarantella is being deployed successfully. These case studies are of very large organizations, but don't let that convince you Tarantella is not for a small company like yours. Tarantella deployment is completely scalable (in both capability and cost) from "mom and pop" to megacorp.


Costs are highly variable, but a system able to support 15 simultaneous users would run around $7,500 for hardware and software. Integration costs (configuring your particular applications for Tarantella) would be additional, and can only be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Versions of Tarantella

  • Tarantella Express is for modest sized organizations that do not have a mainframe. Express is very low in cost and can be deployed on an inexpensive Intel based server. It supports up to 4 applications servers (Windows, Linux, Unix) and can present applications to as many as 45 simultaneous users.
  • Tarantella Enterprise II is for larger organizations. It can cluster up to 4 multiprocessor Tarantella servers supporting an unlimited number of application servers (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mainframe) and present applications to a number of users limited only by the power of the server cluster.
  • Tarantella ASP is for Application Service Providers who serve applications over the Internet to multiple customers.

AAxCall Automation Access to discuss how Web enablement fits your company's unique needs and be sure to visit Tarantella Inc.'s Web Page for more information.

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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