The Indian IT Scenario
In a country like India, hardware in the field must face all kinds of extremities. From the vagaries of Indian weather, which can range from sub-zero temperatures to fifty degrees centigrade, to erratic power supply, which, when it does get supplied, is rarely at the correct voltage or frequency. These problems are often compounded by the hostility of the users to the device. IT is usually used to monitor the people who use it, which does not auger well with them.
The other major problem is the lack of connectivity. While the world is moving to a web based, centralised computing model, India still does not have reliable Internet or WAN connectivity in most parts of the country.
Our Hardware Solution
It is these precise problems that Thinvent addresses. We work on hardware such as thin clients, hand-helds and ruggedised servers, which can withstand the environments our customers work in. We address the power, heat and dust problem, by making our devices consume very low power. This enhances battery life. Lower power consumption leads to lower heat dissipation, leading to heat resistant and compact devices. Dust proofing is also achieved because heat dissipation eliminates the need for cooling fans that suck dust.
Our devices have no moving parts. All the storage is done on solid state media. This greatly enhances the life of the product, and leads to lower downtime and less servicing. Since the deployment area of these devices is diverse, higher MTBFs mean significantly reduced traveling times for service personnel.
A reduction in moving parts and size has a very advantageous affect- a reduction in cost of the product.
Our Software Solution
We create Linux based operating environments under the brand name of Thinux. Thinux is designed to derive maximum processing from the low power components used in our hardware. The OS provides 24x7x365 uptime, remote management and monitoring, remote application upgrades, support for various peripherals, Indian language localisation, small footprint, etc.
The freedom of open source gives us the power to customise the operating environment to unique needs of the customer. Often projects don’t demand general purpose computers. They require single-purpose devices focused on achieving the business goals of the project.
A major problem in deploying dispersed IT systems is the lack of guaranteed bandwidth. Thinvent works around this problem by providing multi-modal transport of data between the client and the server. Our systems support DSL, Ethernet, VSAT, WiFi, packet radio, leased line, cable, dial-up, GPRS/EDGE/3G, CDMA, and other forms of data connectivity. We even provide limited connectivity over SMS.
Thinvent provides its customers, the ability to run “on-line” applications in a connected-disconnected environment, by replicating the entire server side database and application stack on the client device. The local and central databases are kept in sync through the intermittent connectivity available. This mode has been favoured by many government agencies, such as the Indian Railways.