customers' total cost of ownership and improve device management by
integrating Argon's Managed PC Boot Agent (MBA) into the BIOS of your
MBA is client-based firmware that works with the LAN controller to
enable client devices to access and boot from boot image files located
on a network server.
You can dramatically reduce the build cost of your embedded systems
by integrating network booting technology into your system BIOS. At
the same time, you'll add value for your customers by simplifying
upgrades, improving security and lowering admin costs.
Network booting enables thin clients, network appliances, factory
floor equipment, data acquisition tools, and other embedded devices
to boot over a LAN, using files located on a network server.
How do manufacturers of embedded systems benefit from network
- Lower build cost. Network booting reduces the
need for high-cost components like local hard drives or flash, at
the very least, it shrinks the flash footprint and simplifies flash
- Flexible storage capacity. With network booting,
even if the OS and application grow in size, flash requirements
- Pre-OS. Device administrators can setup a "Pre-OS
boot" in which devices are booted from a network server before
the operating system is loaded from the local hard drive.
- Security. To secure data and eliminate unauthorized
programs, administrators can use network booting to search a hard
disk, or to prevent a local boot from a hard disk or diskette.
- Compatibility. Managed PC Boot Agent is compatible
with PXE, RPL, NetWare, TCP/IP (DHCP, BOOTP) network boot protocols
and client management software.
- Increased device reliability. Replacing local
had drive booting with network booting increases reliability by
eliminating the need for rotating media.
- Rapid remote updating. Software updates and reconfigurations
are quicker and easier, and don't require direct access to individual
Many manufacturers of embedded devices turn to Argon Technology for
their network booting needs. A world leader in this technology, Argon's
range of licensing options, along with quick turnaround, make us the
supplier of choice for some of the biggest names in networking. Our
comprehensive in-house test lab ensures support all major boot protocols,
client and network operating systems.
Embedded devices incorporating Argon's technology can be remotely
monitored, configured, controlled and diagnosed over Local Area Networks
using standard network management protocols.
Using MBA, administrators can have embedded devices perform a Pre-OS
boot and accomplish a comprehensive range of management tasks or repairs
from a central station. For example, they can deploy OS and applications,
back up and restore critical files, update BIOS, and scan for viruses.
Once these tasks are completed, the device can continue to boot from
its local hard disk.
Network booting is particularly useful for booting diskless systems
such as thin clients and embedded systems that might otherwise have
to boot form flash. MBA makes it possible to boot the entire target
Operating System from the server.
MBA gives administrators the tools they need to improve manageability
and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), without requiring major
network infrastructure changes or wholesale upgrades to thin client
Built-in tools and utilities simplify device setup for a network
booting environment. These include a Windows based Boot Image Editor
to create and edit boot image files, tools to enable Pre-OS, a configuration
utility to setup advanced MBA options.
Argon provides a range of products for designers of embedded systems,
including PXE Boot Agent and Client Management Services (CMS). Like
MBA, they offer rich feature sets, wide compatibility, and extensive
testing and industry acceptance.
VersaLogic products which support Argon's MBA
* Argon does not provide a boot agent in the form of a BIOS extension for the EBX-12d, but does provide a PXE on Disk option that will work.
Useful KB article related to using the MBA: How to Boot from the Ethernet Controller
and Using Argon's Managed PC Boot Agent
For more details on integrating Managed
PC Boot Agent into your device or embedded system BIOS,
call Argon Technology at 905-673-9978, or visit www.argontechnology.com/mba.
You will also find information on the advantages of network booting.