Thursday Sep 27, 2007

Stateless FUD

CLAIM:  We are stateless too!  All RDP or Citrix Connections are stateless!

This is all about how you choose to define statelessness.

To Sun and many of our customers who deal with highly sensitive data, being stateless means only transient, cached state (such as frame buffer content) is permitted in Sun Ray devices ; the servers maintain the true state at all times. No userland applications run on the Sun Ray.  Thus, the user is isolated from desktop failures and may move freely between terminals.  In our implementation, users can simply present a "token" (i.e. smart card or NSCM Login) at any desktop, and the screen is returned to the exact state at which it was left.

The first sentence in our definition merits a deeper look, best explored by what is stored in the Sun Ray.  This is something the competition can't back up, not even with their thinnest OS.

Sure RDP and Citrix connections are stateless, but the client used to access them is not.  Review Letters of Volatility (LoV) and see what registers get zeroed out on a power reset.  If any information about the network, servers, or users is left over the device is not stateless.  

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