Dan's Take

Simplifying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

NComputing updates vSpace Pro 10.

I talked with several members of NComputing's executive team, who brought me up to date on their clever use of operating system virtualization and partitioning (OSVP) to simplify workgroup computing environments for small to medium businesses, healthcare, and a number of other vertical markets. What's interesting is that their product, vSpace Pro, provides what is really a low cost, but high performance, timesharing experience on Windows.

Windows, even the desktop versions of Windows, is a multi-tasking, multi-process computing environment. NComputing added its OSVP, making it possible for different tasks to support computing requirements of workers, students and so on. Although the technology is quite different, this offers the experience that small UNIX or Linux systems provide, while running Windows applications.

Here's how NComputing describes its product:

"To provide the same desktop experience as your local host PC for your end users, a VDI solution does not need to be complex and costly. vSpace Pro 10 is an end-to-end turnkey solution that streamlines your desktop virtualization deployment management - with brand new integrated premium features and cloud services.

Combined with our thin client families, slash your acquisition costs by 65% and save 80% in maintenance costs and 90% in energy bills (compared to an all PC solution)."

Many don't fully comprehend the amazing amount of computing power lurking in desktop or laptop computers.  In a single computer per person model, much of that computing power sits idle even when a single user if flailing away on the keyboard, watching videos or updating the world's most complex spreadsheet.

As a reference to this, a long time ago, when Pentium 90 micro-processers were first finding their way into desktop and server configurations, my group at Digital Equipment Corporation (now part of HPE) ran many tests to help sales and software services staff properly configure Intel/UNIX configurations for customers.

We ran a combination of workloads, including accounting software, manufacturing automation software and even a centralized form of collaborative computing software available for UNIX at that time. We were able to get 250 timesharing users on a single Pentium 90-based system! Any more users, and the system's response would be too slow to be acceptable in a business office.

Dan's Take: Feel the Power Consider for a moment how much computing power is sitting on the desk if the system has been configured with an Intel Core i7. NComputing long ago saw that computing power as an opportunity for small businesses, educational institutions, clinics and other workgroup environments. They created technology that builds upon tools Microsoft built into the operating system to create a Windows timesharing solution.

Individuals can access the computing environments using the company's vSpace Pro client access virtualization software, its Chromebook CX110 system (which includes that software), and various vendor's thin clients to create a small- to medium-sized Windows-based computing environment.

If your company supports workgroup computing or has small remote offices/branch offices, NComputing is offering technology that could save it a great deal of money.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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