The Restore on Reboot technology secures the admin-defined state of each computer, thereby, preventing user-induced changes from affecting it. On device restart, the technology discards user inputs and reloads the desired configuration, ensuring total protection and maximum availability for public library workstations.
The importance of public libraries in the twenty-first century was aptly highlighted in a statement by Mary Dempsey, the former Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library System. It was a response to a local Chicago Fox News reporter who questioned whether libraries were necessary for this era and indicated that these institutions could be possibly wasting tax money. While this remark attracted supporting comments, it also received Dempsey’s retort.
She highlighted the fact that Chicago Public Library serves around 12 million people every year, which no other organization in the city could claim.
Her statement also revealed that the library actually provided access to 10 million informative assets and 3.8 million hours of free Internet sessions. The facilities are used for a diverse range of activities - research, job search or applications, college or university enrolment, online tutorial, bills payment, and so on.
Delivering extended service and seamless user-experience has become a necessity for public libraries. There is no scope for malfunctioning or poorly-performing computers in libraries, nor is device downtime acceptable. Hence, library IT heads need to ensure that their workstations are always in a functioning state per users’ expectations.
Challenges in Managing Public Library Workstations
Public libraries serve as community spaces where people with diverse requirements are the systems and the internet. This multi-user nature of public libraries makes maintenance and management of workstations difficult for in-house IT administrators. Broadly, there are three major challenges in managing computers in public libraries. They are:
The diversity of people’s requirements: As mentioned earlier, visitors to public libraries range from students to professionals, businessmen, and beyond. Their requirements of one can be quite different from another, and so are the expectations. For instance, researchers need to download files from the web and from the library’s own repository, for which they need to connect external drives to the workstations to import the downloaded data. People who visit libraries for online learning often access websites that require specific add-ons, which are even automatically downloaded at times.
In other words, the chances of configurational drifts are seemingly infinite. What is even more concerning is the systems’ vulnerability to malware intrusion, be it online or via external drives. This vulnerability jeopardizes the entire network of workstations installed in the library. If such an infiltration occurs even on one endpoint, the entire infrastructure is susceptible to get compromised. These events threaten the privacy of the library’s confidential data and of the users alike.
Unrestricted access requirement: IT admins at every public library face the dilemma of choosing between user restrictions and liberty. Library authorities are well aware of the diversity of their visitors and the role that these institutions play in the lives of these people. Non-restrictive accessibility to library computers and resources allow maximum flexibility for visitors to use the systems as required. That being said, it leaves the devices highly susceptible to threats and unwanted elements, which currently is only on an increase. But imposing specific restrictions for maintenance and management of endpoints has a direct impact on visitor experience. Striking the balance between accessibility and restriction is, therefore, a major challenge for library computer administrators.
Limited IT support: Unlike business organizations, public libraries do not have a commercial or profit-oriented approach to service delivery. The focus is mainly on sustainability and self-sufficiency. As a result, most libraries operate with a limited budget, which calls for optimum utilization of both IT staff and infrastructure. The IT professionals employed in public libraries, therefore, remain under constant pressure to cut down overhead costs while ensuring maximum system availability. Due to the nature of use of workstations, maintaining systems integrity and security is nothing less than, taxing. Performance degradation, system malfunction, and device unresponsiveness are common. Besides, the threat of malware attack always looms.
The relevance of Restore on Reboot Technology
Operating a public library is not as simple as it seems. Especially, the systems administrators need to have comprehensive high-end solutions at their disposal to provide an enriching experience to visitors. The Restore on Reboot technology is by far the most effective and efficient solution for maintaining and managing public-access computers. This technology protects the admin-defined state of workstations from all types of unwanted changes, whether harmful or not. It also allows troubleshooting system issues instantly.
The Reboot to Restore technology saves the system configuration immediately after deployment. It has a cache-like provision that allows people to use the devices as usual. However, the intentional and unintentional system changes made during user sessions are prevented from taking effect on the preserved configuration. These changes - installation and uninstallation of software, downloaded or imported files, and so on - are wiped out from the temporary storage each time the device is restarted. As a result, the admin-configured state of the computer is restored and all other inputs are totally eliminated from the system. This capability also acts as an effective troubleshooting tool as users only have to restart the device in case of any unexpected behavior. Hence, the Reboot to Restore technology not only ensures maximum system availability but also delivers optimal system performance in each user session. The benefits of deploying this technology can be summed up as:
Constant protection: Freezing the admin-configured state of each endpoint, the Reboot to Restore technology makes the entire network indestructible from all kinds of unwanted changes.
Zero downtime: Enabling every end-user to rollback PC to the desired state when required, the Reboot to Restore technology ensures virtually zero downtime due to configuration drifts or malware attack.
Efficient management: The extended capabilities of the enterprise solutions leveraging Reboot to Restore technology, such as auto system update and single-point management, enable the library IT personnel to efficiently manage all the workstations from their own desk.
Cost optimization: Improving the longevity of the endpoints, and eliminating the need for multiple solutions for system maintenance, the Reboot to Restore technology also reduces operating cost for public libraries.
The Restore on Reboot technology is presently the most competent and feasible solution for library computer maintenance and management. Its effectiveness is also evident from the increasing number of public libraries adopting it across geographies.