First thing first – I work for Datacare, the Distributor of NComputing in UAE.
NComputing has been making news as they have become the World’s third largest desktop virtualization company after Dell and HP with an impressive YOY growth and a huge install base in Education sector.
What’s unique about NComputing .
Numberwise, NComputing is the world’s fastest growing desktop virtualization company, but numbers apart , they really have an advantage that no other virtulization hardware vendor does .
NComputing is the only end device vendor that doesn’t only provide an end device, but gives you a total solution including Virtulization application, so you don’t have to go to Vmware, Citrix or Hypervisor for your virulization layer. NComputing’s vSpace server is the virtulization application that runs on the host OS and handles the session virtualization.
Real Strength of vSpace
Apart from the fact that you don’t have to buy vSpace server ( its free and each NComputing device has a the client license built in the device), there are some technical advantages of using vSpace
First, its extremely lightweight and doesn’t demand your server to a very high specification. There are users running 25-30 desktop on a consumer i5 desktop with 16GB Ram. Even your old desktop computers can be re designated as the server.
Second, setting up and adding users is extremely easy. You don’t create multiple Virtual machines, but create only multiple users that run multiple simultaneous sessions. This is why the system overhead is so low, all the core windows binaries are only loaded once. They virtulize sessions. Think of session virtulization like running a docker or container instead of the whole VM.
Third, vSpace doesn’t only virtualize. It lets you manage your devices, view the sessions, upgrade end device firmware, optimize devices for bandwidth etc .
The potential for vSpace server is huge with compatibility from windows XP to Server 2012.
The Flagship L300
NComputing L series L300 is the flagship product that has been running for over 6 years. All you need for L300 deployment is a VGA monitor, USB keyboard and mouse and an Ethernet connection to connect to server . There are 3.5 mm MIC and Speaker jacks and 2 USB 2.0 ports in addition to KB and Mouse ports.
L300 is an end device that’s very well planned and well through. It does exactly what its supposed to do, no more and no less. Again like vSpace, this has some unique advantages
First, L300 is future proof . It has been running for almost 6 years. Apart from the firmware upgrades and minor hardware tweaks , its the same product. In a tech world of planned obsolescence it gives you the obvious advantage – Your end device is future proof. Just upgrade your server and reuse the same end devices.
Second L300 is not a Zero Zero client, it does some Video and graphics processing locally, saving both bandwidth and server resources, still keeping the power consumption below 7W. Its a great division of labor, you don’t push everything onto server for processing, but don’t become a fat client either. The advantage is that you can have a full screen hd video streaming on a 10MBPS network . It also has a flash memory to save the firmware version and the configuration .
Third, UXP ( the vSpace server protocol) clients licenses are built in each device. That means Licensing is dead simple. Download the free vSpace server and install on your host. Now connect as many L300s as you want to the network and configure them to be connected to the discovered vSpace servers. You get firmware and software upgrades for Free. This is a big advantage as the solution becomes extremely simple .
There is no license management required. Connect your L300 device to a network on which you have a vSpace server, and it discovers all your servers. The User experience can be further enhanced by configuring L300 to display the windows login screen on bootup , so the first screen the user sees is the familiar windows login screen – much like the desktop.
NComputing L300 is probably the easiest VDI ( or Session Virtualization ) you would come across.
First Download the vSpace server and install on your Host server. The host server could be anything , even an i5 system with 16GB RAM. The real server configuration would depend on the use case.
Just like Terminal Services, you would have to make those users a part of RDP group that you want to provide access to. All the programs that are installed on the windows host become automatically available to all the remote users.
Adding a new client is as easy as plugging in an L300 to your LAN. The device will get an IP address from your DHCP server, and will show all the discovered vSpace servers on the local LAN. You can configure it to automatically connect to a vSpace server ( or to a group of servers so it connects to second one if the first one is not available ) If you configure it this way, the user is taken straight to the windows login screen on bootup.
The 2 USB 2.0 ports can be used to connect peripherals like printers, flash drives, webcams or barcode scanners to the L300.
Management on the server is through nc-console . you can see all the connected devices, their firmware version, current sessions etc in the console.
Desktops : An Evergreen Market
The Dektop computers are the workhorse and are nowhere near obsolescence as many believe. Smartphone and tablets are good and have their own utility, just as the desktops have theirs.
Here is what I have always thought and maintained – Tablets are for consuming content and Desktops are for content creation. Think about creating a spreadsheet of 300 columns on your tablet, or writing an essay of 2,000 words on your smartphone.
This is where Desktops rule – for creating content , and this is the market NComputing is targeting – a Desktop for everyone.
NComputing VDI solutions are
– Future Proof : Just update your server, keep the same end point device.
– End to End : Only Solution in the market that offers both End point device and Free Virtualization application
– Works on Session Virtualization : Extremely light weight and undemanding on server.
– No complicated Licensing
– Much easier to deploy compared to VDI