IntelliTree Strong Branch™ Linux system is a proprietary and innovative network server platform based on the Linux operating system, deployed in a hybrid, "LiveCD" environment. Strong Branch was developed by IntelliTree to address the serious problems of standard network installations and provide cost-effective, reliable and secure managed network services and IT support to Managed IT customers.
Imagine if every car that was manufactured – of the same year, make and model – was subtly unique in its components, design, and maintenance requirements. Worse, imagine if these differences were undocumented. Think of how complex, error prone and expensive it would be to maintain these cars. Different cars couldn't be maintained from one mechanic to the next and maintenance surprises, with serious consequences, would be commonplace.
This is directly analogous to the current industry standard for network services which is to have a separate installation of the server operating system and network software on each individual server at every installation site. Each of these servers must be individually and continuously maintained, patched, and upgraded.
Considering that the core needs of most networks are the same, this is an inefficient and error prone model. This model also drives up the cost of IT support as unnecessary uniqueness must be tracked and maintained. The smaller the business, the worse the problem is. Even though there are not that many different server operating systems and network platforms on the market, the individual combinations of software, versions, security patch levels and configurations make each network unique – not only in features, but in complex support requirements for what's "under the hood."
These complex differences are also what open the door to hackers, viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other malware to find and exploit network security weaknesses. To protect a network and keep it running reliably, the operating systems and all software running on all machines in the network (servers being the most vital) must be maintained, kept patched, up-to-date and locked down. To do this properly in industry standard network deployments is a time-consuming task.
Strong Branch Linux eliminates the problems of standard network architecture with greatly increased reliability and security, and lower maintenance costs for IntelliTree Managed IT customers.
A new paradigm in IT maintenance and support
The problems described above were recognized in the earliest networks maintained by IntelliTree. The need for a better system was clear, but there was no simple solution among the software and systems available. IntelliTree engineers believed that they could provide more reliable and secure systems and services at prices below competing vendors by creating a new system.
Drawing on experience and technical expertise in IT support and enterprise software development, and leveraging the power of open-source software and systems, IntelliTree spent five years developing and refining Strong Branch Linux to be one of the most scalable, secure, reliable, consistent, and feature-rich network platforms available today.
Strong Branch Linux is a hybrid "LiveCD" system because the operating system, and all installed network software, run from a CDROM rather than being installed on the hard drive of the individual server. Only data and network-specific configuration information are stored on the individual server hard drives. Thus, it is only the data and configuration – the unique information – that need to be different from one network to the next.
This allows IntelliTree to focus on refining a single "installation" that is deployed across every network they maintain. As the Strong Branch system is continuously upgraded and enhanced, new releases are efficiently deployed in the form of new versions of the Strong Branch CD. Clients do nothing more than place the new CD in the drive of their Strong Branch server(s).
Strong Branch Linux allows IntelliTree to provide comprehensive, low-cost service warranties under flat-rate Managed IT packages while other IT firms can't. For them, the cost of maintaining a dependable and secure network using standard industry solutions would be far too high. This is why "enterprise-level" networks are commonly found only in large organizations with dedicated in-house IT staff. And even for these high-IT-budget organizations, network outages and security compromises are not uncommon.
With the innovative technology and approach of Strong Branch Linux, IntelliTree is able to provide robust managed networks with comprehensive warranties under Managed IT programs appropriate for both large and small businesses – at flat-rate prices never before possible.