A multi-user shared computing environment is quite common in schools, libraries, and hospitals. These systems are widely used for downloading and running unverified files and executables which might make changes to system configurations and can cause the computer to malfunction. There is also a possibility of malware and other harmful programs entering into the network.
Windows SteadyState is a freeware tool developed by Microsoft that enables IT administrators to combat such situations with efficacy. The primary function of Windows SteadyState is to reset configurations of a system to a previously defined state with every reboot, or when desired by the IT admin. However, Microsoft discontinued this freeware tool at the end of 2010. This essentially meant that SteadyState was no longer compatible with Windows 7, or the versions introduced thereafter.
Replacement for Windows SteadyState
With the discontinuation of Windows SteadyState, Windows users often struggle to find an alternative to SteadyState. Although third-party solution providers have been introducing several replacements for Windows SteadyState, none proved to be a comprehensive solution. This is especially true for addressing system issues encountered in the latest Windows versions by end-users.
Deep Freeze by Faronics is one of the most comprehensive workstation protection solution. It leverages the patented reboot-to-restore technology that allows Windows systems to be restored to a predetermined configuration upon reboot. The technology protects the saved or ‘frozen’ configuration by redirecting information being written to an allocation table. After a reboot, the data on the allocation table is no longer referenced, and to restores the system back to its original pristine state.
Deep Freeze – A robust alternative to Windows SteadyState
Deep Freeze by Faronics is not just a replacement for Windows SteadyState. The solution provides distinct advantages over the regular functions of Windows SteadyState. The following lists out the key benefits of the Faronics solution:
Interoperability on all major operating systems
Deep Freeze is supported on Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X 10.4 and higher versions. On the contrary, SteadyState does not support versions that came after Windows Vista. Deep Freeze, being compatible with all major Windows operating systems, can be seamlessly implemented on a network of computers including both Mac and Windows systems. This indicates that the technology is an impeccable solution for public access computers running on Windows OS.
Centralized management console for Easy System Management
Deep Freeze offers IT administrators with a central management console that makes it easy to configure, update and manage all Windows workstations connected over a network. This Reboot to Restore solution also enables system administrators to develop a customized console with specific features that suit the needs of an enterprise. Deep Freeze Cloud provides a simple web based console to manage, secure and control Windows workstations, allowing IT admins to access them anytime from anywhere.
Automated Software update
By deploying Deep Freeze, IT administrators can schedule different maintenance periods to run Windows updates automatically, or by running a batch file workstation task, or via other third-party management solutions. This Reboot to Restore solution can download Windows updates automatically when the computers are in a frozen state and apply the updates as per the scheduled Thawed periods. Once the update installation is complete, it returns systems back to frozen state without the need to set any completion time in the maintenance Windows. This offers greater flexibility to IT admins and boosts up their productivity levels.
Provision of protected virtual partition: ThawSpace
Deep Freeze allows the users to create a virtual partition or ThawSpace to retain important data. Any data saved in this virtual partition is not affected by a reboot. In other words, while the system is reverted to its pristine state on restart, the data stored in the ThawSpace is retained.
With the help of Deep Freeze’s power management options, administrators are capable of scheduling a shutdown, restart or Wake-on-LAN (WoL) on a network of systems. Aside from scheduling power management actions, these can also be done on demand.
Using the Deep Freeze Enterprise Console, IT admins can remotely launch existing applications on all or selected computers.
Deep Freeze is easier to implement and offers great ease of use. Packed with various features to resolve IT challenges plaguing multi-user computer environments, Deep Freeze has a clear advantage over Windows SteadyState.
Why organisations across the globe rely on Deep Freeze
Ensuring 100% workstation availability, Deep Freeze is the preferred choice of organizations across the world. By implementing its reboot to restore technology, organisations are able to eliminate possibilities of zero day threats and prevent changes to baseline configurations. Deep Freeze provides unrestricted access to the web and enables users to save information securely in ThawSpaces. Organizations have reported a 63 percent reduction in IT tickets after deploying Deep Freeze. This undoubtedly boosts productivity and reduces maintenance costs.