Features

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Infinity is continuously developed and enriched with new features, often based on feedback from users. Each new Infinity update is pushed automatically and free of charge to all users worldwide. This page lists the latest features of the current version and expands with every update.

crew-calling-iconCrew calling service (PINs, registered users or both)

This is a chat card service whereby instead of users accessing a shore based platform for crew voice calls (such as Stratos’s Chatcard service), they are using pins that access Infinity to authenticate and operate. Units are decremented and once fully used they expire. Alternatively, users onboard can be “permanently” registered to have an allowance that resets at predefined periods of time (e.g. every month). Finally using Infinity, users can have the option to replenish or top up a registered user PIN.

Users buy PINs from the shipping company and not from Navarino as they are using capacity (airtime) already charged to the shipping company in the form of a monthly allowance package. Itemized statements of all calls generated by Infinity are clearly marked and separated in Navarino’s monthly FB bills, giving a split billing capability to the operators. It is also possible to have unique pins for voice and data (crew internet café service as described below).

crew-internet-iconCrew internet café service (PINs, registered users or both)

This is a typical internet café application whereby users enter a pin number and password, to have access to the internet. They can connect to Infinity either by cable or through a local wireless hub (if available). Upon opening a web browser on their personal laptops or on a shared PC onboard, users are asked for identification. If successful, they are given an allowance in denominations of 25, 50 or 100 Mbytes which can then be used at will during multiple sessions until expired. Different denominations are also available upon request, or alternatively, PINs can have a time-based denomination and operate only within specific time frames.

Alternatively, it is possible to register “permanent” users and give them a specific allowance that resets at a predetermined time or volume intervals (e.g. every month 100 Mbytes browsing that resets OR two hours per day browsing). It is also possible for permanent users to purchase bandwidth on demand, should their allowance be insufficient or if according to company policy there is no allowance at all.

With this service, a special pop-up box is always displayed, showing the current usage patterns and available Mbytes, among other things. Users can access any “internet” type traffic through this service (depending on the firewall rules and filters). Infinity solution provides compression and proxy for standard web and email access (HTTP protocol in port 80). Any other type of internet activity (unknown/unmanaged by Infinity) can be accessed, using any type of broadband connection.

Finally, with Infinity’s crew internet service different policies can be set for different categories of users

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web-surfing-icon Web surfing with compression, advertizing removal and caching proxy onboard

This is a web surfing service available to Infinity users and provides compression, caching and advertising removal features as standard. This service can be used either with PINs, or with quotas set by the IT dept. of the shipping company.

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Compression services produce ratios of 0-95% with an average gain of more than 60% with compression taking place prior to sending the pages/objects to the ships (service provided only by mainhub). Static pages are also cached, producing further benefits to the company. This service is managed by the shipping company which can set quotas per user. URL filtering and Time-based restrictions can be set on a per vessel basis.

fully-managed-icon Fully managed firewall service including “Fleet-wide Rules” capability

This is a firewall application that allows filtering of both incoming and outgoing traffic and provides additional protection to Infinity users. This service is fully managed and controlled by the customer through Infinity’s web interface. The basic characteristic is that all parameters are set onshore and are stored first in the shore based infrastructure and are then synchronized with vessels at the push of a button. Port forwarding is also offered in this service, for accessing onboard computers. Customers also have the ability to set and manage “fleet-wide” rules thus maintaining consistency whilst making the whole process very efficient.

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e-mail-icon Email service with compression (body & attachments)

This email service can apply both for business use and crew use.  Onboard users can access any webmail or any other client-server email service (provided the necessary firewall rules are applied) and use it for sending or receiving emails, including attachments.

  • The fastest email system on the seas (messages are exchanged in less than 10 seconds)
  • Email server on board (smtp/pop3) cooperates with email relay in the HUB exchanging emails with company’s server
  • Compresses/decompresses body & attachments before sending/receiving
  • Fetches and forwards email on board from any pop3/imap account
  • Crew email options – Crew users can access any webmail or any other client-server email service (provided the necessary firewall rules are applied) using their data pin allowance
  • No user action is required, i.e. crew email belongs to HQ mail system

Emails are forwarded instantly, using optimal compression while first checking/applying email quotas or smart filters for the specified user as defined by the administrator, to vessel’s email server and vice versa.This service is ideal for those cases in which it is the company’s policy to make vessels an extension of the office and allocate them with permanent email addresses (e.g. captain@XYZshipping.com) primarily for business use.  In such cases, email can be accessed either through any type of email client or through the use of a built-in Web interface, while messages can be stored not only on the vessel’s onboard PC but also on Infinity’s storage device (Infinity Plus only).

Infinity’s email service is also ideal for crew members who have their own email retrieving devices and want to be in a position to use their PINs or monthly quotas to access their email (e.g. gmail) and send/receive email messages whilst storing all data locally (on their own devices).

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automatic-file-icon Automatic file synchronization service with compression

File synchronization provides the ability to transfer directories/files from ship to shore and vice versa, avoiding the overhead (33%) of an email file transfer (attachment). File compression further decreases the bandwidth used.

Only new files are actually transferred. In the case of already existing files in the destination directory which have been modified in the source directory, then only the newly modified data blocks are transmitted thus avoiding the re-transfer of the whole file when only minor changes have occurred.

Since it’s a one-way synchronization service (source → destination), only when a file change is detected in the source directory does the actual data transfer operation initiate, thereby avoiding unnecessary network connections and checks. So it is possible to define very frequent checks for file changes and only when changes are detected to synchronize the remote side, achieving an almost real-time synchronization operation.

It doesn’t require any user interaction in order to operate once it is configured properly. For this service to be available, a network share (either a windows share (CIFS or NFS) is required both in the company and onboard, where the files will reside.

automatic-failover-icon Automatic failover and load balancing

When more than one provider exists onboard (e.g. two FB units or one FB and one VSAT unit), Infinity automatically balances the load between the two networks/devices for optimum web browsing performance.

In addition, in case either one of the systems fails for whatever reason, Infinity automatically swaps the connection to the next available system in operation to maintain connectivity (using a pre-defined prioritization). Automatic failover supports a very high number of simultaneous connections to different systems (unlimited in theory) meaning that customers using any combination of systems onboard can receive the benefit of automatic failover and load balancing.

full-termination-icon VoIP service

Shipping companies may choose to have the benefit of free-of-charge calling through the use of Infinity’s Voice over IP (VoIP) service. By using an additional Infinity unit in the company’s premises, all vessels equipped with an Infinity unit can call the office (and vice-versa) by consuming data out of the vessel’s monthly allowance. The on-shore unit can be connected to the company’s PBX or be directly connected to IP phones or soft phones on-shore.

Infinity is optimized for satellite use ensuring, a very high quality service using the lowest possible bandwidth consumption and allowing up to 10 concurrent calls (the quality of the voice is the same as when using the regular Inmarsat voice channel).

By using this service the company saves a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on shore-to-ship or ship-to-shore regular voice calling. The VoIP consumption is approximately 3 to 4 minutes per Megabyte.

web-services-icon Web services (SOAP and XML)

Utilizing web services in the form of SOAP specification, this service allows everyone to manage Infinity using their current Business Support System tools and without major changes to their established workflows. All Infinity functionality can be made available to other computer applications through Web Services and consequently can be integrated to existing computer applications used on-shore by shipping companies. By doing this, clients can enjoy a higher level of automation and deeper integration into their corporate infrastructures.

Virtualization capabilities

The Infinity virtualization platform works through our user friendly Infinity portal and is based on KVM. From the Infinity portal, customers can create a virtual machine (VM) and manage it, as well as all hardware and functions. This is all made possible thanks to the remote access capability of the Hub to the vessel.

Clustering management and administration tools

The Cube’s clustering capabilities are fully managed by the Hub via the Infinity portal. All hardware components of the Cube, as with all other Infinity hardware, are carefully selected in order to provide a fully redundant environment. All hardware is paired with a double for back up, and the clustering runs in an Active/Active environment, allowing for shared resources between the hardware.

 Cyber Security

This feature extends the existing powerful networking and firewalling features of the Infinity platform, which offer advanced traffic control and fine-grained network segregation.It consists of a lightweight but comprehensive traffic analyzer which monitors any traffic that traverses the vessel-based Infinity server and, upon detecting a potential threat, instructs the Infinity firewall to activate appropriate counter-measures, (such as blocking all traffic from any IP address that performs a scan/attack for a specified amount of time).Besides acting on identified or suspected threats, it also records its findings and provides detailed information. This Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS) will help to protect vessels from external threats, and it is all managed from the centralized management console incorporated in the Infinity HUB interface.The management console is part of the Infinity platform administrative backend and is the central location where administrators enable/disable/configure the service and browse collected information. A carefully selected number of configuration options are available and there are options for whitelisting IPs/networks, enabling/disabling detection rule categories and even individual detection rules. Blocking/unblocking actions are recorded along with useful information (time, description of threat etc).

Supplementary Features

light-versus-icon Light versus normal surfing on demand

Users have the option to switch between “Light” and “Normal” sites. When “Light” sites are selected the consumption is greatly reduced as Infinity is effectively recognized as a mobile device. In case “Normal” is selected then the full content of the web sites is downloaded. For registered users (not Pins), the “last saved” setting is used when logging on each time.

web-accelerator-icon Web accelerator

Specialized accelerator software has been developed, enabling much higher download speeds, improving the user experience

access-control-icon Access control lists (Filtering of email and websites)

This service gives users the capability to define parameters to allow or deny internet access (in terms of URL patterns (blacklist/white-list) and time-based restrictions for web access). It also enables the shipping company administrator to blacklist/white-list email domains or set maximum email size limits on a per vessel basis.

All parameters are set on-shore and at the push of a button, vessels’ Infinity boxes can be synchronized to implement the same parameters.  This service not only works on a “per vessel” basis (meaning that different parameters can apply to different ships) but also can set different parameters for each user group or individual on the same vessel.

file-type File type filtering for email and web, including smart email filtering

With Infinity, the IT administrator can set smart filtering both for email and web use to align the service with the company’s policy.  Filters can be set on the basis of file types (e.g. block .jpg files) and/or on the basis of providers used.  Different priorities can be set to different providers and it is possible to allow different files to pass through different providers using different conditions.  For example, it is possible to set Infinity to route all internet traffic through VSAT and all email traffic through FBB, but IF an email is urgent or FBB is down, to automatically re-route that e-mail using VSAT.

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In addition priorities can be set based on keywords or file types.  In general, Infinity’s filtering capabilities are very advanced and unique, and can accommodate the vast majority of any customers’ requirements.

advanced-icon Advanced content filtering including antivirus

Shipping companies can choose which categories of websites should be blocked onboard. Infinity Advanced Content Filtering uses various methods to block content including phrase matching, picture filtering and URL filtering. At the same time, the antivirus software scans all incoming and outgoing traffic (web objects and email) automatically.

In addition priorities can be set based on keywords or file types.  In general, Infinity’s filtering capabilities are very advanced and unique, and can accommodate the vast majority of any customers’ requirements.

what-icon “What you see is what you can query / download / execute” with automatic notification capability

All logs of Infinity can be queried using logical operations. All retrieved information can then be downloaded as excel files. All logical queries can be saved, configured to be executed at pre-defined time intervals and the results to be sent automatically by email to predefined email recipients.

virtual-icon Virtual LANs

The network manager can split and isolate a vessel’s single physical network into 4096 network segments, applying different firewall rules to each. This feature is particularly useful in cases where there are physical network limitations onboard vessels.

vessel-icon Vessel live position, speed and heading calculation and status reporting

The home page of Infinity’s portal displays a Google map depicting all vessels of the company equipped with Infinity and showing parameters such as direction, speed and longitude/latitude. Infinity boxes located on the vessels contact the main hub at minimum once every 17 minutes and send updated information. In case no network traffic is observed from the vessel for 20 minutes, the status of the vessel on the map turns red indicating there may be a failure with the Fleet broadband unit. There is an option to automatically send emails to the shipping company (generated and submitted by main hub) indicting that there is a problem with the vessel. Instant polling is also available with a right click of the mouse.

traffic-icon Traffic measure and reporting

This service captures IP traffic in real time for both inbound and outbound traffic and stores it both on the shore-based server (hub) and onboard. The two databases are then synchronized at regular intervals and are saved to a fully managed database (in the main hub unit) that is accessible and managed by the shipping company. Various types of reports that depict both business and crew traffic are then produced using real-time information (with a slight time delay).

vpn-iconVPN Connectivity

VPN connectivity between ship and office can be provided on demand to any users requiring such a service.

remote-icon Remote monitoring and notification of critical hardware functionality

Infinity continuously monitors all critical parameters associated with the hardware and software used onboard, such as temperature, hard disk status, processor status, etc.  In the event of failure or of observing a value outside the normal range for each of the parameters, Infinity sends such information to Navarino’s support unit.  Repair or replacement can then be arranged.  As, often, hardware malfunctions are not critical and do not render the Infinity units non-operational, this tool is very useful for preventive maintenance and repair purposes, and reduces the possible down-time of the service.

security-icon  Security and audit trail

With Infinity, there are different levels of authentication allowing different operations and all changes applied to the system are logged for security purposes. Any information related to such changes can also be downloaded at any time for further use.

kill-all-icon Kill all – Kill any

The IT administrator or captain onboard can monitor which user is online at any time and decide to terminate any particular user’s session. Alternatively it is also possible to terminate all users online connections, for example in case of emergency or in case of hardware failure that would result in reduced speed/functionality, in order to save bandwidth and use it only for business purposes.

n_File-to-Email--Email-to-File File to Email / Email to File

You can simply define any folder, file or group/pattern of files up to any depth of your file system to be used for generating an email which will be sent to an Infinity either on board or on shore and be extracted on the predefined destination.

AddressBook-Replication Addressbook replication

Address book replication is the ability to connect to any LDAP server, among them MS Exchange, and collect all contacts from the Office and replicate it on vessels, thus eliminating the need for the Captain to search for email addresses as they are already on his pc, synched from the office.

QoS QoS

This gives the option to tag traffic with different priority levels (low, medium, high and critical), A simple example here would be that business email will always have priority over crew traffic.

Areas-of-Interest Areas of interest

Finally is the ‘Areas of Interest’ feature. This allows you to define areas and then define actions to be taken when the vessel enters or leaves such an area, for example disabling the crew internet network if the vessel enters pirate waters.

IPv6 IPv6

Infinity fully supports IPv6, which is the latest protocol in IP addressing and has not been fully deployed globally.

MulticastMulticast

Infinity can now provide the ability to ‘push’ any content from a single place to multiple destinations.

Firewall per provider

This allows different firewall rules to be implemented across multiple providers and use different firewall zones for each of those providers (VSAT/FBB/Wifi). This gives the ability to change the behavior of the firewall based on the provider.

One crew calling PIN for multiple networks

This is a billing platform for multiple voice networks which gives you the ability to use different tariffs per Voice provider. For example, charge one price for the crew to use the FBB Voice service and another price for using the Iridium voice service

VPN with time restricted login

VPN with restricted login period is the option that Infinity provides to allow access to third parties to a specific vessel only at a predefined time period. This allows for example the Manufacturer of the engine of the vessel to connect only on Monday from 13:00 to 15:00 (vessels time) to maintain the engine and be sure that this access will be revoked after that period has passed. It is also possible to make this a repeating rule, to allow the window of access every Monday or every 1st of the month

Cluster-aware file system and volume management

The File System used in Infinity Cube is Cluster-Aware and uses LVM (Logical Volume Management) to provide flexibility in the Shared Storage.

Virtual desktop infrastructure support

Both Infinity Plus and Infinity Cube have full support for VDI either using Microsoft Terminal Services or multiple VMs running Windows hosts that can be accessed from Thin Clients.

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