NComputing Lands Big India Deal

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On the heels of my earlier blog about adopting an agile mindset comes news of NComputing landing a big Indian deal. The Redwood City, Calif.-based start-up will be installing some 10,000 computers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, turning each into virtual servers to support five other virtual PCs. This will be part of a $100 million deal -- of which NComputing's share is about $2 million, to operate and power the labs for five years.


If you haven't heard of them yet, NComputing essentially uses a clever combination of software and hardware to leverage the power of a single PC to power between two to 30 terminals. Users will have their individual set of keyboard, mouse and display connected to a small box that serves as a virtual desktop. These virtual desktop appliances are in turn connected to the server by Ethernet.


Users on the virtual desktops basically share standard applications such as Web browsers, instant messaging, e-mail and other office productivity software. Because they have their own set of data files as well, the experience is akin to that of a dedicated machine, with the exception of steep savings where hardware costs are concerned. This is where the savings end though: On the software side, licenses must generally be acquired for each virtual desktop, including the relevant Windows operating system license.


I ran into NComputing at the recent CommunicAsia 2008 exhibition held in Singapore a few months ago. I must admit that I have initially discounted its solution as simply being too cumbersome. On second thought, however, such a setup might well make sense in an environment in which there are a large number of users performing relatively basic computing tasks.


What scenarios do you see NComputing's solution thriving in? Would you consider such an option for your organization? Agile mindset, folks.