Companies of every sort utilize file servers to provide central access to files and printers. But supporting a range of Mac, Windows, and web clients is not easy. That's why HELIOS cross-platform server solutions, backed by 20 years of development and experience, are the preferred way to bring true cross-platform client support to any server, with fully integrated support for Mac, Windows, and web clients.
File systems and network protocols for Windows, Mac, and web clients are complex, and difficult to integrate. Windows alternate data streams, Mac resource forks, file and record locking, Active Directory, LDAP, file system permissions, SMB/CIFS, AFP, HTTP, Windows, OS X, Sun Solaris, Linux, IBM AIX – a library of books has been written on these topics.
Well, HELIOS has written the book on how to integrate them – with HELIOS EtherShare, PCShare, and WebShare.
HELIOS EtherShare provides file and printer sharing for Mac clients, and PCShare does the same for Windows clients. Administrators use the cross-platform HELIOS Admin application to configure network volumes, printers, and security settings. Mac and Windows users can simply browse for these shared network volumes and print queues, the same as local resources. HELIOS WebShare adds remote file access and management for web users.
The real complexity of providing the cross-platform integration is handled transparently, with Mac native files, and Windows native files stored in a format compatible with the server file system. For example, hidden file resources for both Mac (resource forks) and Windows (NTFS streams) files are preserved, even during cross-platform file access. Unicode/UTF-8 file name encoding is used for cross-platform file transfers, so that file names are displayed properly on all clients. If a volume is shared by both EtherShare and PCShare, cross-platform file and record locking is used. The “HELIOS Meta” shell extension for Windows allows setting color labels from Windows clients. The HELIOS mDNS Server (“Bonjour”) enables automatic discovery of volumes and printers on IP networks. HELIOS command line utilities provide the same cross-platform compatibility for scripted processes. WebShare clients get the same file access and cross-platform support, in a highly secure manner, using any web browser.
The HELIOS advanced printing system provides a superior printing system to manage the printing needs of any size operation. Using HELIOS Admin, it is easy to set up spool directories, manage, reprint and archive jobs, and review logs. It is LPR/LPD compatible, and supports PostScript, PDF and other jobs. Its features are available to all network clients. HELIOS Create PDF Server allows high volume, load balanced, PDF generation using Ghostscript for enterprises, or Acrobat Distiller for prepress.
Flexible user authentication for HELIOS volumes and services is compatible with local, NIS, LDAP, Mac OS X, and Active Directory systems. Custom login notification scripts allow additional filtering capabilities to determine whether to deny or allow a login request. This could e.g., be based upon additional parameters such as the remote TCP/IP address, or, whether the user is already logged in from a different IP address. Access to HELIOS volumes and services can be further controlled via TCP/IP access lists.
HELIOS file server solutions are used extensively in mission-critical environments such as newspapers, where hundreds of users, high data volume, and unyielding deadlines leave no margin for failure. The HELIOS server fail safety system includes a service controller to start, stop, and monitor all HELIOS services. HELIOS master processes generate separate processes for each active user, to enforce file security and process safety. Failure of one client process does not impact any others. If any HELIOS service fails, the HELIOS Service Controller will restart the service.
This designed-in reliability and server fail safety also allows great scalability to support hundreds of users, and millions of files. HELIOS servers are relied upon in aerospace, government, retail, insurance, cosmetics, music, and other enterprises, as well as ad agencies, book, magazine, and newspaper publishers, and printers.
High performance and low overhead result from HELIOS processes refined for efficiency over many years. Users get the fastest network throughput, and indexed file searches for each volume yield extremely fast find file results.
HELIOS servers have proven reliability and performance in mission-critical environments, and continue to set the standard for the most complete cross-platform client support