I have blogged previously about the advantages of a Linux Server for such things as virtual private networking , web servers , file and backup servers etc.
Centos Linux server , produced by Red Hat, is free and in my 15 years of using Linux reliable and can run on low powered hardware.

In the blog today I am going talk about a client , a graphic architectural designer , who uses software called Graphisoft Archicad. This software uses USB dongles to ensure copyright protection and the software that controls the dongle is made by Codemeter a German company.

The client phoned me saying he wanted to purchase windows server software for  2 IBM rack servers he had purchased which had the following specs;

  • 2 6-core Xeon 5600 series processors
  • 72GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC memory provide speed, high availability, and a memory capacity of up to 288 GB.
  • High-performance 6 Gbps SAS RAID controllers and 15K RPM 6 Gbps S
IBM X3550 Server

IBM X3550 Server

The initial requirements were that one server was to be for graphics rendering which was no problem once we put a suitable graphics card in the server and a server by which remote users could login and download  work from a secure location. The server also needed to be a license server for Graphisoft Archicad software and the dongles were to remain on the IBM server but could deliver licenses to any remote user.

After some research that indicated;

a)   That  the USB dongle protection software Codemeter runs under Linux.

b)  The software Archicad allows network access to the USB dongles and therefore allows network access to the licenses.

 

I have blogged previously about the benefits of Linux over Windows for simple server tasks such as VPN , File Sharing , Backup and database servers and needless to say I did not run into any difficulties the only caveat to that being that you need to be careful in which mode SELINUX is running.

I will make the assumption you know what SELINUX does and how it operates , if not see this link Selinux running in enforcing mode can block any shares that are created on directories under the HOME directory.

The are plenty of posts on hot to setup VPN , remote users and setting up the appropriate shares for the remote users so that there access is limited. You will also need to know how to setup SAMBA which allows remote windows computers to access a Linux file system as a share, this also apples to a remote user who logins to  a Linux Server via VPN.

It is very important that when configuring the share access for remote users and limiting to just the folders they need.