Suricatta Announces Support for LDAP (Active Directory) User Authentication Model in VeraLab 2.3

February 03, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
San Mateo, Calif., Feb. 2, 2005 —

Public access computer labs in academic institutions are rapidly switching from the counter-based sign-in model with lab assistants providing workstation access control towards more efficient self-service model where each student has an account in a directory (LDAP, Active Directory) and can freely log into a workstation of his/her choice.

Although the self-service model resolves the student authentication problem, the IT infrastructure of the computer lab is still far from complete without the following capabilities:

Monitoring and remote control. Lab employees should be able to remotely view the list of currently running processes on every workstation, take screenshots of user displays, terminate certain processes, log the user out, and lock the workstation. The infrastructure should automatically prevent certain applications from being launched.

Access log analysis and alert lists. In case unwanted activity originated from a workstation in the lab, personnel must be able to analyze access logs, identify abusers, and prevent them from accessing the facility in the future.

Occupancy and waitlist management. When demand for workstations in a computer room exceeds supply, lab assistants should be able to maintain waitlists and view the occupancy of other rooms across the campus so incoming users can be redirected to less-occupied rooms.

Software metering and concurrent license management. The infrastructure should be able to limit the number of simultaneously used instances of a certain software product. This allows the academic institution to purchase only a ew concurrent licenses of a pricey software package, install it on all the workstations in the lab, and ensure that the number of concurrently used instances does not violate the license terms. This saves license fees, makes software available on every workstation, and simplifies the maintenance by requiring only one disk image for the entire lab.

Streamlined maintenance process. Issue tracking capability will minimize paper-based collaboration between technicians and lab assistants and will allow technicians to address maintenance issues in an orderly manner, thus increasing the availability of equipment.

Up-to-date availability information accessible through the Intranet. The infrastructure should expose user sign-in and room availability data so students can find answers to the following questions:
-What rooms have workstations available now?
-Is the software I need available now?

Better supervision. Lab supervisors should be able to view the status of the lab without needing to be physically present at the location.

Managerial decision support. User registration and maintenance data can be analyzed to support informed scheduling, staffing, and budgeting decisions.

VeraLab ( is a Lab Management System designed to increase security, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of computer labs in academic institutions. Starting with version 2.3 VeraLab supports both counter-based and self-service sign-in scenarios.