The "ThinMan Gateway" is a tool that allows the management of the thin clients that are installed in remote offices. It also optimizes the bandwidth utilization between the main office and the branch offices.
It is a companion software of the ThinMan Server.
It is available in three different formats:
- a Microsoft Windows software (model G1000W)
- a virtual appliance (based on a Linux kernel) (model G1000V)
- a hardware appliance (model G1000A)
The typical architecture will have:
- A single ThinMan Server installed in the main office. This ThinMan Server has to be published on the Internet. See Port Utilization for more information on which ThinMan Server ports has to be published on the Internet.
- Multiple ThinMan Gateways installed at branch offices. One ThinMan Gateway for every remote office.
A ThinMan Gateway will manage the devices at the specific branch office where it is installed.
The first scenario will use the ThinMan Gateway as a pass-through for the device notifications. It allows sending notifications to the ThinMan Server through the Internet. In this case, the ThinMan Server needs to be "published" on the Internet; you can forward the HTTPS port of the ThinMan Server on the firewall/router (see Port Utilization for more information).
The communication also works from ThinMan Server to a device. In this case, the ThinMan Server sends a command to a device using the ThinMan Gateway "pass-through" feature. This scenario is useful for all the commands based on ThinMan Scheduled Events like an upgrade, power-on/ power-off/reboot commands, etc.. Remind that you don't need to publish the ThinMan Gateway on the Internet.
The second scenario avoids that all devices in the branch office are upgraded contacting the ThinMan Server. In this case, all the ThinMan Gateways synchronize their Package Repository to the ThinMan Server Package Repository. When an upgrade occurs, the device will use its ThinMan Gateway Repository to upgrade itself. This scenario reduces bandwidth consumption and needed time because the ThinMan Gateways in the network will download (aka sync over the Internet) the packages files only once (from ThinMan Server Repository to ThinMan Gateway Repository). All the devices requests of packages will be satisfied by the local ThinMan Gateway Repository in the local environment (LAN). This feature is named "Repository Replica" and has to be enabled on the ThinMan Server (see Manage the ThinMan Gateway from the ThinMan Console for more information on how to enable and disable this features).
Another scenario is the ability to power on the devices at the Branch Office using a local Wake On Lan (WOL) Magic Packet. In this case, when needed, the ThinMan Server sends to the ThinMan Gateway a command through the Internet to power-on a device. The ThinMan Gateway will then send on its network the correct WOL Magic Packet to power-on that device. This feature is named "WOL Relay" and can be disabled/enabled on the ThinMan Server (see Manage the ThinMan Gateway from the ThinMan Console for more information on how to enable and disable this features).
Internet or WAN?
Usually, the branch offices are not connected to the central office, and so you need the ThinMan Gateway to manage the devices over an Internet connection.
In some cases, you can also use the ThinMan Gateway when branch offices are connected to the central office by a WAN (VPN or similar) connection. In this case, you will also have benefits regarding bandwidth consumption and the ability to power-on devices. In this case, read the recommendation in the Configuring the ThinMan Server Address chapter carefully.