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06/30/2006 - Triangle Welcomes Back SafeDesk Solutions

Watching Terabyte Triangle companies grow and change is both fun and rewarding. The growth of SafeDesk Solutions from tiny Class 101 with two employees, to a worldwide software distributor, has passed through many phases with accompanying ups and downs. SafeDesk has moved into the Sirti Technology Center (STC), Suite 162, so recently that their offices are still under construction.

SafeDesk Enterprise 3.0 is the name of their core product, and is a bundled server based on Linux and thin client technology. The original SafeDesk server was heavily focused on education and ran exclusively on a SUSE Linux platform. The bundled software included Open Office and other Open Source software, GIMP Open Source graphics package, and assorted education software for all age groups. Using Linux and thin client technology kept costs down by reducing acquisition and maintenance costs, reducing the need for expensive licensing, and has a high degree of security. SafeDesk has a simple and easy to use GUI, and maintenance is simple. SafeDesk bridged and integrated Microsoft and Novell applications into Linux.

“All this is still true,” says Phil Autrey, SafeDesk president, “but with the release of SafeDesk Enterprise 3.0, the product has morphed into a much more powerful and robust server-based computing environment.” Enterprise 3.0 is both an administrative tool and a virtualizing system. Virtualization is used to deploy the image of an environment that is not actually the host operating system, but allows the client to run whatever environment and applications that he is accustomed to. That is, the host operating system is Linux, but the image on the desktop looks like Windows, Solaris, or any number of other popular operating systems. This is useful for businesses with diverse individual desktops that want to integrate and standardize using SafeDesk and Linux server stability and ease of maintenance, but still give the end user a typical PC experience.

SafeDesk Enterprise 3.0 is more robust in many other ways. It will serve what are called “hybrid-clients”. Such terminals do not have hard drives; however, they are not entirely “dumb”. They will support local multimedia, and will allow streaming audio and video. The client can use peripheral devices like iPods and local devices such as CD players. The client can save data locally to external devices, and has secure access, and remote access if desired. If a setting gets out of kilter, SafeDesk comes with ‘reboot to restore’ technology.

SafeDesk Solutions now sells worldwide using a lot of re sellers. They sell to small and medium sized business, health care organizations, and government, in addition to educational institutions.

SafeDesk Solutions was a Sirti off-campus “accelerator” client before moving into the STC. “We strategically have benefited from what Sirti has to offer,” says Autrey. “Sirti has been beneficial with marketing and sales, and has provided mentoring and guidance with lots of give, take, and feedback – and lots of constructive criticism. SafeDesk is growing. It’s an exciting time because our product development is very leading edge. It’s nice to be downtown again.”

For more about SafeDesk, visit

Billie Moreland
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