Managing Network Zero-Client Stations

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Copyright © 2016 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2016.02.23)



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Introduction

UCC Network Stations.png

Network zero-client devices, also called "network stations", use network cabling (e.g. Cat-5e and above) to connect zero-client devices to host PC/server. TCP/IP signals are used to communicate between station and host PC/server; each zero-client device has a unique hardware identifier, the MAC address, and also a standard IP address in the format (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX).

The IP Address can be assigned dynamically or statically through the Control Center, from the "Network Stations" section of the Control Center. The Control Center > Network Stations page also makes it easy to give network stations user-friendly names and location tags to make managing large numbers of stations easier.

View All Network Stations

On the Network Station page is a list of all network stations, with a summary of information about each station. The icons show network station status at-a-glance:

Station Available.png Network Station, Available
  • Stations that have not been assigned to the any host PC/server have black station icon.
Station Unmapped.png Network Station, Unmapped
  • Assigned Stations that have not been mapped to the any session container have black station icon with station id.
Station Online.png Network Station, Online
  • Assigned network stations have blue station icon with station id.
Station Orphaned.png Network Station, Orphaned
  • Stations that are assigned to a offline host PC/server appear in yellow color. Orphaned stations can be viewed but cannot be edited (such as applying firmware updates, or changing the name, or applying the server's DPMS settings) until you lock them to an online host PC/server.
Unsupported Device.png Network Station, Problem
  • Assigned Stations that have unsupported device attached appear in red color.




Zero-Client Configuration

Zero-Client Configuration specifies how new zero-clients are assigned to host PC/server (i.e. automatic or manual assignment) by selecting:

  • Automatically assign new zero-clients to this Host PC/Server, or
  • Manually assign new zero-clients to this Host PC/Server

By default, administrators have to manually assign zero-client devices to the host PC/server. To assign zero-client stations, check Assigning and Releasing Network Stations section.

Assigning and Releasing Network Stations

Assigning Station

Network zero-client devices must be assigned to a host PC/server to function. This can easily be done with the Control Center. To the right of the station icons is the "Locked to"" column; stations can be assigned to or released from the host PC/server with the check boxes in that column. Once assigned the "Host" column displays the hostname next to the assigned station.

Assign/Unassign individual stations

  • To assign a station, click an empty check box (a check mark will appear), then click the "Apply" button
  • To release a station, click a checked box (the check mark will disappear), then click the "Apply" button

Several stations can be assigned and/or released simultaneously by clicking multiple check boxes

To assign/unassign all stations

  • Click the radio button next to "Assign All" or "Un-assign All"
  • Click "Apply" button to complete the action


Setting Station Name and/or Location

Edit Name

It is possible to edit the name and location of the network station by clicking the station name and station location. A text input box will appear in place of the existing entry; simply type in a new entry. To cancel editing, refresh the page. Changes will not be saved until the "Apply" button is clicked.

Configure Network Settings for Station

UCC Network Settings Station.png

Clicking on the network station's IP Address opens the network settings configuration box for that station.

By default, Network zero-client devices automatically retrieve their network settings and IP Addresses from the router or DHCP server. It is possible to manually override this setting and manually assign a static IP Address(es) to a specific (or all) zero-client devices.

To use DHCP to get an IP Address automatically for the network station, ensure there is a check mark in the "Use DHCP" check box.

To assign a static IP Address to a network station, clear the check mark from the box; the IP Address and Subnet text input boxes will become editable. Enter a valid IP Address and Subnet mask, then click "OK".

Please Note: Even if using static IP settings for network devices, a router is still recommended for two reasons:

  1. A DHCP server (which is provided by a router) is needed to initially connect to network stations, in order to configure settings (including static IP Addresses).
  2. A router serves to isolate the rest of the network from the (potentially) large volume of traffic between host PC/server and stations.


Reset a Station

Occasionally, it may be necessary to reset an individual zero-client device. If the display is frozen in an abnormal state or part way through an operation, the solution is to reset that device.

Note: Resetting a zero-client device will reset the entire video wall if it is part of the video wall configuration.

Firmware Updates for Network Zero-Client Devices

Network Firmware Update.png

Occasionally new firmware updates are released to improve the performance of network zero-client stations. Having the correct firmware version is essential to proper functioning of network stations.

If network zero-client devices have firmware that is not up to date, "Update Firmware" button appears to notify administrators.

Firmware updates can be applied both to unassigned or assigned stations. If an assigned network zero-client device has firmware that is not up to date, the firmware update process will automatically unassign the station, update the firmware and restarts the device and lock the device back to the primary host PC/server.

To update firmware for individual devices, click in the "Update Firmware" button for each station that should have firmware updates applied, then click "Apply" to confirm the action.



Failover

Failover is an exciting feature with network zero-client devices. Failover requires two host PC/servers to be located on the same subnet; if that is the case, then if one host PC/server fails, "backup" host PC/server can "take over" the network zero-client devices that were assigned to the "failed" host PC/server.

Please Note: Each host within a "failover group" must have enough licenses to accommodate all stations in the group. For example, if there are 10 stations assigned to Host A, and 10 stations assigned to Host B, then each host PC/server should have at least 20 licenses.

Under normal circumstances, all devices on the LAN (subnet) will be listed in the network station list including network devices that are assigned to the host PC/server being used, free (unassigned) stations and devices that are assigned to a failed host PC/server.

Either select individual devices to assign to the host PC/server by clicking in the checkbox, or assign all available stations at once by clicking "Assign All". Confirm the operation by clicking "Apply". In order to assign stations that are assigned to failed host PC/server, use the failover setting mentioned-below to define the failover relationship (add the host PC/server, to whom stations can be assigned).



UCC Failover.png

The first step in configuring failover is to define the failover relationship; that is, the relationship between the primary host PC/server and the secondary "backup" host PC/server. To do so:

  1. Open the Control Center of the host PC/server (to be configured as backup host PC/server)
  2. Click System Operations > Failover Settings
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, select the hostname of the primary host PC/server from the drop-down
  4. Click "OK"

To test failover:

  1. Ensure that the primary host PC/server and backup host PC/server are both connected to the same subnet and have identical session containers
  2. Unplug the network cable from the primary host PC/server
  3. After about 1 minute, the stations that were assigned to the (failed) primary host PC/server should come back online with the default session container. These stations are now running off of the backup host PC/server

To reassign stations back to the primary host PC/server from the backup host PC/server:

  1. Unplug the network cable from the backup host PC/server
  2. After about 1 minute, refresh Control Center of primary host PC/server; all stations should come back online