Open source remote support

Open source remote support

Summary: There are many remote systems that use an intermediary server. You’re expecting that vendor to continue to exist. With our software there’s no intermediary – the support provider can bring the full solution to bear

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Echogent logoThere's an assumption that if you're big enough to require remote support for your users, you're big enough to step up and write the fat check.

Scott Best is out to change that. His Echogent Systems has released the EchoWare Remote Support System, which includes both server and client software to deliver remote control through firewalls.

The EchoGent software is offered via a variation of the BSD license so it can be integrated with closed source packages, Best said. (A complete whitepaper on the system is available through ZDNet.) Since its initial release last spring the company has secured 100 paid customers, mainly through word of mouth (and word of mouse), Best said.

"Most of the people we’re talking to want to provide remote support for small businesses. They’re looking for low-cost software that doesn’t require monthly subscription fees. That’s what we give them. You register the code and it’s yours to own."

There are advantages to large customers in this approach as well, he said. "Our customers don’t rely on our continued existance to provide their service. There are many remote systems that use an intermediary server. You’re expecting that vendor to continue to exist. With our software there’s no intermediary – the support provider can bring the full solution to bear."

As with many small open source projects, Echogent was built by a small team, headed by Best. "I did the top level design. We had one main guy here work on it, and a couple of other contractors. We’re pretty small."

If Best's name is familiar, it should be. He has multiple patents in high performance circuits and computer systems, and is a frequent contributor to such projects as Kaboodle, LEAF and VNC.

Topic: Tech Industry

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4 comments
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  • Open Source? I don't think so.

    I fail to see how this project is open source. I downloaded echoserver-1.4rc02 for Linux. It is provided in compiled form and there is no accompanying source code. Furthermore the EULA has zero chance of being an OSI approved licensed.

    Line #1 of the EULA is:

    -begin-

    Echogent Systems, Inc. Binary Code License Agreement

    -end-

    Echogent should be ashamed for trying to capitalize on the term "open source". The author of this story should do their homework.
    jasonaaa4
  • Open Source? Follow-up...

    Seems that one particular component of the system is in fact offered through an OSI approved license. Quoting from their site:

    The echoWare DLL is open-source, and is available under the "Sleepycat license".

    The server component definately is not. So, I guess they are using a "razor blade" strategy afterall... My apologies. Perhaps if the white paper existed my confusion could have been averted - as it is, the only white paper on the site is dated is from 2001 about FTP & Firewalls.
    jasonaaa4
    • Re: Open Source?

      JBecker:

      Heya; my apologies for your feeling at all misled by the original article -- I'm the "Scott Best" mentioned in there, and I wanted to take a quick minute to address your concerns.

      You are of course correct: the echoServer software is closed-source, try-before-buy shareware. It would have been more correct to emphasize that all of the *end user* remote-desktop Viewer and Server software is all open-source (based on VNC which is GPL'd), as is the EchoWare DLL which provides the firewall-friendly connectivity. We also run a free "demo echoServer" for users who want to try it all out first. But, as you point out, the echoServer is our commercial product so while it is free to try out, it is not itself open-source.

      You're also right about that the EchoWare Whitepaper needs completion as well. Our tech-writer is wrapping up his book; we'll have something available soon after that.

      Sorry again for the confusion.

      cheers,
      Scott
      sbest
  • Or you can get this for free

    http://www.uvnc.com/pchelpware/index.html
    esalkin