News

Rocket Software is offering free trials of its next-generation terminal emulation (TE) solution, Rocket BlueZone, to show government agencies the benefits of switching to modern TE for security and compliance. The trial will be available until December 1 for organizations to experience Rocket’s best-in-class, flexible licensing solutions.

Prized for their reliability, low cost of ownership and ability to efficiently handle large transaction volumes, mainframes and other host-based systems continue to power most government IT infrastructure. Rocket BlueZone improves on the terminal emulators in use at many agencies with automatic updates and centralized distribution, which keep all customers up-to-date with new security regulations while protecting them from constantly-evolving cybersecurity threats.

“Evolving regulatory compliance requirements — including encrypted communications and technical certifications — are among the leading technology triggers for re-evaluating legacy terminal emulation and host access solutions,” said Derek Brink, vice president and research fellow for Aberdeen Group. “On top of that, the good news is that the latest solutions can also be easier, more flexible, and less expensive to manage.”

“People who stay on an older platform may be putting themselves at risk for security breaches and compliance violations,” says Jennifer Nelson, senior director of engineering and head of Rocket’s Austin Center of Excellence. “Some vendors don’t update their TE solutions often enough to comply with regulations, and some don’t even update their emulators at all. That’s why we’re offering this trial period to agencies — we want to show them that they can get all the functionality of their current emulator and more at a competitive price while staying in compliance.

“Many customers are also subject to licensing practices from their current vendors who constantly audit them and force them to upgrade. Essentially, they’re paying more without getting any new functionality. Rocket doesn’t do that: BlueZone customers get automatic upgrades with the latest security and features in perpetuity, without paying more for their licenses.”

BlueZone flexible licensing mimics the way government agencies work, allowing for changes in employee roles as well as new contractors without additional charges. Improvements over first-generation terminal emulators include a more modern user experience that offers features such as spell-checking, screen history, drag-and-drop/copy-and-paste, customizable mouse actions, auto-complete and auto-expand, and customizable skins. Additionally, centralized distribution makes for drastic reductions in deployment times, manual administration and overhead.

Even organizations who have been with their current vendor for decades are able to migrate to BlueZone with minimal effect on their users. As with any organization that has used the same application for long periods of time, government TE users tend to have extensive customizations – which is why Rocket offers automated tools that simplify the conversion of macros, scripts and configuration files. BlueZone’s robust suite of APIs allow the program to “speak the language” of other terminal emulators, meaning agencies can in many cases preserve 98 percent or more of their current script’s code.

BlueZone terminal emulators run on most Windows machines, with support for Window 7, 8 and 10 as well as servers running Windows Server 2008 or later. Terminal types emulated include 3270, 5250, VT100, Linux, Unisys and more. Unlike previous-generation terminal emulators, BlueZone includes industry-standard security out-of-the-box, with support for SSL v3.0, TLS v1.2, SHA-2 and FIPS 140-2-certified cryptography provided with the Windows operating system (MS-CAPI/SChannel), and is regularly updated to address evolving security requirements. BlueZone terminal emulators are also fully compliant with Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act.