Main Services

*Mouse wheel over the image above

 

Infinity, through version 2.0, offers the following services:

Main Services

 

Crew 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 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 either by cable to INFINITY 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 e-mail 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.

 

 

Web surfing with compression, advertizing removal and caching proxy onboard
This is a web surfing service available to INFINITY Full version 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 (in case it is used with PINs then the same rules as per section (ii) above apply).

 

 

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 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.

 

 

 

E-mail service with compression (body & attachments).

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

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

E-mails are forwarded instantly, using optimal compression while first checking/applying e-mail quotas or smart filters for the specified user as defined by the administrator, to vessel's e-mail 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 e-mail addresses (e.g. captainofmotorvesselABC@XYZshipping.com) primarily for business use.  In such cases, e-mail can be accessed either through any type of e-mail 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 e-mail service is also ideal for crew members who have their own e-mail retrieving devices and want to be in a position to use their PINs or monthly quotas to access their e-mail (e.g. gmail) and send/receive e-mail messages whilst storing all data locally (on their own devices).

 

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 e-mail 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 on-board, where the files will reside.

 

 

Automatic Failover and Load Balancing
When more than one provider exists on-board (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.

 

 

Ship-to-shipping company free of charge 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 (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.


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
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
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.

 

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


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


 

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).