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NComputing to take on Desktop Virtualization

According to Om, who also interviewed the CEO, this guy is an old player. Maybe Dukker can tell me what he's talking about as well one of these days.

I looked up at their site and came across this:

Whether you are part of a large school system with tens of thousands of students or a small private school with just a few hundred students, you face some daunting challenges with managing PCs in computer labs or classrooms for students and teachers:

* Tight budgets result in outdated PCs or fewer PCs. Either way, the students and teachers suffer.
* PC management is a nightmare. Managing dozens of PCs per school is a daunting challenge for schools with limited IT personnel.
* Limited PC lab space and electrical wiring limit computing access to more students.

It looks good but I am not sure about the:

  • Performance
  • Does not eliminate the drama of that 1 PC with several end-users. I like Pano Logic still a lot better, unless they have something to tell me I don't know ;-)
I have spoken to several vendors across the globes who too are offering such options but actually it is like putting a server in the user-environment, that does all the work for you, so why not just put it in the server environment and:
  • Secure it centrally
  • Patch it centrally
  • Policy and Audit it centrally
  • Provision and Scale centrally (from a remote location to a remote location)
Although the option is pretty good for my Africa project where I am also considering Pano. I'll have to see which offers best security, performance and cost option.

Om's interview is here (Stacey did it BTW)


  1. I am with NComputing and might be able to answer some of your questions. Based on the quote you chose—and the fact that we are mostly selling to schools—I am going to assume we are talking about a school environment (enterprise would likely be different), and therefore talk about the NComputing X-series. You are certainly not alone in wondering about performance before seeing the product working; it is a real “see it to believe it” product, and you might want to go to the web site and fill in a form to request an eval kit. Your eval should solve your performance concerns. With any decent current-model PC, you really can run 4 users (with one kit) or 7 users (with two kits) on one PC with excellent performance, including demanding multimedia apps. (I would not recommend it for heavy 3D graphics, gaming, etc.). Now, as you say, the shared PC is the “server” and you do have to consider such things as the health and well-being of that shared resource. In enterprises, this is usually done with physical security (where it is located) as well as with system security (passwords, permissions, etc.). With an X-series in a school, the shared PC is most typically just an XP-based dual core PC with our virtualization software loaded onto it. Think of security for this shared PC the same way you would for a classroom of PCs, a PC lab, or a library—you don’t have much physical security during operational hours so you use software and policies to lock down the OS and apps. The NComputing X-series does not replace the need for centralized provisioning, image management, etc., but it does share the excess power of a $700 PC to up to 7 users for as little as $70 per added user. In addition, if your application still requires absolute physical security, our L-series products enable you to centralize the host in a datacenter any distance from the users by connecting over Ethernet. - DavidR


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