Posted by Dietmar Schmidt on Monday, 31. May 2010
HOB has created a flexible complementary operating system platform which can be added to the HOB server and security products called HOB Secure Communications Server (SCS).
For quite some time HOB has thought about supplying a secure and stable operating system with their high quality, specially developed products.
In 2006 the HOB Operating Systems department was founded with this goal in mind. HOB Operating Systems predominantly deals with open source operating systems, primarily GNU/Linux and FreeBSD.
Although FreeBSD has some advantages over GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux is used as the basis for SCS because it has more driver support (alternatively the FreeBSD application is currently being considered).
During the initial development of HOB SCS, there were thoughts of customizing an existing Linux distribution. Several Linux distributions are available. DistroWatch lists over 600 varieties which are almost all customized to existing distributions.
Thoughts of customizing an existing distribution were quickly thrown out because the distributions either looked too broad or too inflexible for our use. The well-known Linux builders like SuSE Studio or rPath do not offer the amount of flexibility that we desired either. For this reason HOB SCS was completely redeveloped by using the available source codes. The process of creating a standalone operating system without including an available distribution is certainly more tedious but for HOB the decision won’t be regretted because we have managed to get the maximum possible influence over our operating system.
HOBmin was developed for administration and configuration of HOB SCS. Managing the HOB SCS operating system using a browser is an option because of HOBmin. This way the connection to the administration interface is encrypted with SSL.
After a good two years of development, in November 2008, the time had come. It was possible to deliver HOB SCS together with HOB RD VPN, the HOB software solutions family for remote connectivity access.
The reaction on the market was absolutely positive. HOB SCS combined with HOB RD VPN become a software appliance which can be used just like any other SSL VPN solution with the advantage of being free of choosing which hardware to use. HOB SCS with RD VPN, unlike all other SSL VPN appliances, isn’t a hardware solution but instead just software based. Another advantage of software appliances is the ability to be a virtual machine. This is why HOB SCS is offered with VMware tools to import for VMware vSphere in Open Virtualization Format (OVF).
The availability of the operating system SCS provides HOB (and thereby also its customers) with many advantages such as nearly eliminating problems caused between the operating system and the application. The customer receives patches, updates, and add-ons all from one source.
At the moment HOB SCS is actively being further developed. The next version (which should be made available in a few weeks) along with the updated packages are going to be integrated with other HOB products (HOBLink VPN, HOB RD VPN Compact etc.). Additionally, HOBmin, our administration service, will have significantly broader functions making sure to grant every wish.Translated by I. Peterson on Monday, 19. September 2011