Betting Economic Slowdown

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Stephen Dukker
Chairman & CEO, NComputing

Imagine the schools that do not have adequate budget for buying Computers. Imagine the schools that have computers in their lab, but keep investing  to upgrade their computers in few months or years. Imagine the running cost they bear on  electricity bills. 

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There is no second say to the fact that users tap only 4-5% of a computer's processing  power for their requirements which are limited to office applications, browsing, entertainment,…etc. Whereas the PCs available today are capable of delivering more, adding more to this minimal power. Now imagine, if the PC is used to its fullest! Imagine, if the power wasted can be banked on for
productive use!

'Aligning ourselves with this fact, we  are committed towards enabling affordable access to computing; computing for education, which is one of the national priorities for India. We are continually looking for innovative and affordable technology solutions that can sustain social and economic progress.' Stephen Dukker, Chairman and CEO was sharing the bright, innovative thoughts of NComputing with the Digital Learning team, while visiting India recently.

Dukker has spent his entire career driving down the cost of computing. He brings more than 30 years of experience in computer manufacturing and retailing to NComputing. Prior to NComputing, he was the founder and CEO of eMachines, a company dedicated to making computers affordable.

NComputing's shared computing solution taps the unused capacity of a PC so that it can be simultaneously shared by many users. NComputing uses only 1 watt of electricity and is rugged, durable and easy to maintain.

'NComputing is a great complement to the desktop computer business as it enables budget-strapped schools and business to maximise their PC infrastructure,' Dukker explains. In addition to lower up-front purchase costs, the NComputing solution also significantly reduces ongoing costs. NComputing access devices only use 1 watt of electricity compared to 110 watts or more for typical PC. This massive reduction in energy consumption is especially critical in places where electricity is limited and expensive.

The X-series desktop virtualisation kits are needed to enable a PC to serve 11 people at once. The kits come with NComputing access devices, a PCI plug-in card and vSpace virtualisation software. And users need their own mouse, keyboard and screen. Dukker says, NComputing created the software and access  devices to turn that excess capacity into an ultra-low cost computing system for schools, businesses and other organisations.

11 users sharing one PC

This leading provider of shared computing technology, recently has been chosen to supply a massive computer education programme in the Indian state, Andhra Pradesh. The programme is slated to provide computing access for the first time to 18 lakh school children throughout the state. Each of the 5, 000 secondary schools will have a 10-seat computing lab with 2 desktop PCs and 8 NComputing systems.

'The decision to deploy NComputing's low-cost and eco-friendly solution will establish the Andhra Pradesh government as an innovator in educational computing and as a model for other governments considering similar projects', Dukker hopes.

'NComputing is proud to have been chosen by Andhra Pradesh to fulfill its vision to improve learning and computer literacy throughout the state. By leveraging NComputing, the government will save nearly INR 80 crore in up-front and ongoing costs. The government will also use 90% less electricity compared to a traditional all PC solution. At about INR 4,500 per seat, our solution is the ideal platform to enable schools, business, and government to maximise their PC investment. We are the world leader in desktop virtualisation and the scale of this deployment further extends our leadership position,' Dukker comments on being chosen for this pivotal role of bridging the digital divide in government schools.

The Andhra Pradesh programme is based on an innovative outsourcing model developed by the Andhra Pradesh government. The model is referred to as Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) and requires outsourcers to install, staff, and manage the labs for a five-year term. This arrangement helps ensures that the labs are installed quickly and strict performance benchmarks are met.

The other best technologies and the qualified educational IT companies that are associated with NComputing's shared-computing solution to help secure the deal, includes NIIT, ECIL, Educomp, Everonn, IEG, Terasoft, and Social Computers.

NIIT will be responsible for managing 2,005 of the schools. The NComputing solution will be integrated with desktop PCs which will be supplied primarily by Acer and HCL. These computer makers have tested and endorsed the NComputing solution and will integrate the NComputing hardware and software at their factories.
'Desktop virtualisation is the solution that spins the old technology for a new revolution. It takes those 95% otherwise wasted cycles and shares them among multiple users at a fraction of the cost of buying more PCs. It's like the old dumped terminals and mainframes, except today's PCs are the mainframes,' Dukker discusses on some more technicalities.

NComputing can deliver high-end computing to more users compared to  traditional PCs by turning a single computer into a shared network. Each additional user shares the CPU and memory of the host computer. This  enables superior  savings towards outlay of  hardware and software maintenance. Computers normally use more than 250~ 300Watt. NComputing products can dramatically save electricity with a maximum of  1Watt consumption per terminal.

'You load the virtualisation software onto the shared PC. It allows multiple user accounts to be used simultaneously. The hardware is called an access device. It is a simple box that each user's monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headphones plug into.

Then you run a cable from the access device to a PCI card (also included) in the shared PC. Each advanced X-series kit delivers a rich multimedia computing experience to an additional five users on one PC for a list price.

You can install 2 kits into one PC, so that gives you 5 + 5 + 1 users, or 11 total on one CPU. The kids even notice that an NComputing station is faster than the old PCs used in the labs,' Dukker says.

In less than two years, NComputing has shipped more than one million seats, making it the largest provider of ultra-low-cost computing solutions. NComputing's simplicity and ease of use have contributed to rapid worldwide acceptance. Anyone with basic PC skills can install an NComputing solution and the savings are immediate. Over 25,000 organisations in 100 countries have deployed NComputing to slash their computing costs and electric consumption.

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