Victoria does open source justice

To meet its high security needs, the Victorian Department of Justice (DoJ) has deployed 120 Linux-based TrimClient systems with image servers.

TrimClients provide a totally locked-down desktop environment with all the advantages of thin clients.

The infrastrucutre was deployed by Melbourne-based open source consultancy Cybersource.

Cybersource products manager Ron Fabre said the goal of the rollout was to prevent users from making any changes whatsoever to the system or applications. This includes no new drivers, no Internet access, and complete safety from all malware.

"Their in-depth risk analysis led them to understand that our TrimClient solution was the best option for giving their users a fully-featured desktop experience, but within a totally managed, zero-administration and locked-down environment," Fabre said.

The network was built on commodity hardware, incorporating a load-balanced/redundant array of system image servers.

New TrimClients can be added to the network in minutes, even by non-technical staff.

Also by basing the architecture on Linux and open source, Cybersource was able to fine-tune support for very explicit sets of hardware add-ons and peripherals, allowing some but blocking others.

Because of the highly sensitive nature of the deployment environment, Fabre said DoJ needed a solution which reduced on-site maintenance.

"TrimClient is designed to be a near-zero administration platform, where 90 percent of the effort and cost of maintaining desktop systems is removed and the remainder can be done remotely," he said.

Unlike thin client technologies where the application server and network must bear the load of application execution, Fabre said this system leverages the power provided with commodity desktop hardware in front of the user, to run applications locally within a secure operating environment.

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