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  • Desktop Virtualization:

    The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    1 Escherich, Meike, User Survey Analysis: Desktop Virtualization Is Top PC Investment Priority for 2011, Gartner Inc. October 2010.

    2 Information Week Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues for 2011, Bob Evans January 10, 2011

    IntroductionTechnology moves at breakneck speed. Technology upgrades typically do not. While theres no doubt that having the latest technology increases productivity, remaining competitive requires a significant capital outlay to purchase new hardware and deploy it. For small and medium sized companies that have limited budgets and IT staff, keeping up with technology can be challenging, if not impossible.

    Compounding the technology upgrade challenge is the ever increasing number of employees who need computer and internet access to do their jobs. The proliferation of workstations and lap tops that have to be maintained, secured and replaced is a growing burden on even the most efficient and well-funded IT departments.

    According to Gartner Research, as much as 20% of the total IT budget of most companies is dedicated to client equipment and associated hardware. Its no surprise that when Gartner recently polled its customers about priorities for 2011, 42% indicated that they plan to invest in desktop virtualization before the end of 2011.1

    Addressing the PC proliferation problem is not just about saving money. Its also about investing in what will make your business more competitive and more profitable. Only 20% of most IT budgets is dedicated to investment in innovation and growth according to Information Week. Thats the same percentage being dedicated to client equipment and associated hardware. Strategically, however, investing in new IT projects which can improve business agility, customer relations and employee efficiency is far more important than provisioning and maintaining a workstation for every employee.

    Recognizing the disconnect between IT priorities and allocated spending, businesses are looking for new ways to reduce their internal IT expenses and free up budget for those new and innovative projects that will give them a competitive advantage. In fact, Information Week ranked the 80/20 Budget Trap as the second most critical issue for CIOs in 2011 in their list of Top 10 CIO Issues for 2011. When writing on the topic, Bob Evans of Information Week stated,

    if you continue pouring most of your precious IT dollars into internal maintenance and status quo, then you will lose in the marketplace because you will not be able to match the operational speed and execution-side performance of your competitors, particularly with regard to how rapidly, intimately, and profitably they engage with customers in new and sophisticated ways.2

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    There is a Better Way

    Desktop virtualization can help enterprises reduce the never ending cycle of PC replacement and maintenance costs. With a reduction in hardware costs, a greater portion of IT budgets can be allocated to IT projects that help companies grow and expand their businesses. In the past, companies have been reluctant to move to desktop virtualization solutions because of cost and complexity concerns. NComputing has addressed these concerns and has designed a virtual desktop solution that can free up time and resources on business critical IT projects.

    Do high upfront costs make an overall desktop virtualization solution as (or more expensive) than a traditional PC?

    NComputings desktop virtualization technology offers the best price performance in the industry, delivering the highest user density per dollar. NComputing provides the largest number of users per host hardware at the lowest cost per seat. With NComputing desktop virtualization, there are no hidden or surprise costs. The solution is less expensive to deploy, maintain and run throughout its lifetime when compared to traditional workstations and even other desktop virtualization solutions. As a result, NComputing customers have been able to:

    Reduce up-front PC acquisition costs by 75%

    Reduce maintenance and support costs by 75%

    Reduce power and cooling requirements by 90%

    Reduce device theft and loss

    Will my employees complain about the user experience; will there be latency and poor graphics quality?

    NComputing virtual desktops meet the computing needs of any employee in your company, whether they are task based/data entry, office workers or more demanding power users. In fact, most users wont experience any difference between an actual desktop PC and the NComputing solution in terms of performance or quality of graphics.

    Will deployment and maintenance require dedicated IT staff skilled in virtualization technologies?

    NComputings desktop virtualization technology is simple and easy to deploy. In fact, many of our customers have been able to complete deployments in a single day that would have taken a week or more with other solutions. Though NComputings solution is based on virtualization technology, it doesnt require your IT team have expertise in this area. To simplify deployment, NComputing and its partners have designed the Office in a Box Solution which includes everything a small or medium sized business needs to rapidly deploy a virtualized office.

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Office in a Box: At a GlanceOffice in a Box is an all-inclusive, pre-tested, easy-to-deploy end user solution that provides everything you need to set up an office with virtual desktops. NComputing has designed the Office in a Box solution, which combines NComputings world class desktop virtualization technology with products and services offered by our partners. This solution can be right-sized to fit your current needs and expanded through modular add-ons. Office in a Box includes the following components:

    Host server(s)

    vSpace virtualization software

    OS licenses (as needed)

    NComputing virtual desktops

    Peripherals (monitors, keyboards and mice)

    Solution add-ons are available for scaling larger deployments including virtual desktop failover, storage, and server virtualization infrastructure. Assessment and deployment services are also available through NComputings experienced partners. Figure 1 below shows the various configuration options and their solution components.

    Figure 1: Configuration Guide

    Solution Components Office Workgroup

    (Direct Connect)

    Office Workgroup

    (Network Connect)

    Branch Office

    (Network Connect)

    Host Server(s) PC Class Hardware Server Class Hardware Server Class Hardware

    vSpace DV software

    OS Licenses Win/Linux Win/Linux Win/Linux

    NComputing Virtual Desktop X550 L300 L300

    Basic Peripherals Monitor









    Desktop Failover +

    File Storage + NAS NAS SAN/LAN

    Server Virtualization

    Infrastructure +Microsoft






    Data Back-up +

    Assessment Service +

    Deployment Service +

    + NComputing has a global network of partners and resellers who offer add-on components and services worldwide.

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Office in a Box: BenefitsOffice in a Box meets your primary need to provide greater technology access to more employees at a lower cost and with less obsolescence. NComputing delivers these immediate benefits:

    Turn-Key: Eliminates the complexities of deploying desktop virtualization by providing all the necessary components (keyboards, monitors, host PCs or servers, mice, etc.) for an easy deployment.

    Pre-Tested & Validated: All components in the solution have been pre-tested and validated to ensure they will work together. This means no surprises when it comes to your deployment. Office in a Box can be up and running in hours instead of weeks or months.

    Modular Configurations: Flexible configurations ranging from 11 to 33 seats are provided. Install a configuration that works for your needs and expand it at any time when user growth requirements change.

    Virtual Desktop Flexibility: Depending on your needs, NComputing offers workgroup or network connect virtual desktop solutions. Existing computers can be retrofitted in hours to utilize the Office in a Box solution.

    Lowest Cost Per Seat - NComputings award winning virtual desktop solutions reduce the per seat cost of a PC by more than 75%. The entire NComputing solution typically costs between $70-$250 per seat (prices vary by model and region). Many sites choose to reuse existing monitors and peripherals to further reduce expenses.

    Simplified Support & Maintenance: NComputing virtual desktops are much easier to access, update and maintain than a traditional desktop PC. IT administrators have 24x7 access to the virtual desktop environment to monitor, back up, recover, patch, or upgrade an end user system. Additionally, the number of operating systems being managed can be dramatically lowered. IT staffs can centrally manage one operating system instead of 30 or more in an office.

    NComputing also delivers a green solution in an age of heightened concern about the environment:

    Green Computing: NComputing virtual desktops draw less than 5 watts of electricity (compared to 110 watts for a typical PC). Companies can reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 90% per user, which translates into considerable utility cost savings. NComputing has won numerous, prestigious awards for its eco-friendly approach to computing.

    Minimized e-Waste: A typical PC weighs roughly 10 kg (about 22 lbs.) which generates significant e-waste when it reaches its end-of-life and is discarded. In contrast, NComputing virtual desktops are very small and weigh less than 200 grams (under 0.5 lbs.). And since the virtual desktops dont have any moving parts, their expected lifetime is typically twice as long as a desktop PC. So replacement cycles can be extended.

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Desktop Virtualization Technology: How it WorksVirtualization technologies have been used for many years to simplify server infrastructures and reduce capital and operating expenses. Now, the same concept is being applied to end-user computing by virtualizing desktop PCs in the enterprise. The concept behind the NComputing virtual desktop solution is simple: Todays PCs are so powerful that only a small fraction of a PCs power is typically utilizedthe rest goes unused. Why not harness the computing power of these underutilized PCs to the benefit of more users? For most businesses the total cost of acquiring, managing, and replacing hundreds (often thousands) of desktop PCs is prohibitively high. Figure 2 illustrates typical underutilized computing power by an end users PC.

    Figure 2: PC Utilization

    NComputing provides each end user with an individual computing session without the need for a dedicated user PC. This is accomplished by virtualizing a PC session and hosting it on a single (or few) shared PCs or servers. Depending on the configuration, a single PC-class machine can host up to 33 simultaneous users and a dedicated virtualized server can host hundreds of users providing their own PC sessions as illustrated in figure 3.

    Single users do not utilize fullperformance or capacity of a PC

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Figure 3: Virtual Desktop

    Office in a Box supports up to 33 virtual desktops for each operating system with a single PC class machine. Also supports

    hundreds of users when using a virtualized server.

    The NComputing system consists of virtual desktops that connect an end users monitor and other peripherals to a virtualized shared computer via USB, PCI or Ethernet. NComputing virtual desktops are small, durable devices that can be mounted on the back of the users monitor or under the desk. These desktop devices have ports for the users peripherals (such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse) as well as a port to connect to the host computer. Since all the computing is done at the host computer, the virtual desktops do not need PC-based processors or run a local operating system, so they use very little electricity (fewer than 5 watts). All of the primary functionality is integrated into a single chip that has an optimal set of resources that work with the NComputing vSpace software.

    The Power of vSpace Software

    vSpace, NComputings patent pending software supports multiple versions of Windows and Linux including Windows Server 2008R2 64-bit and Ubuntu 10.0.4., to virtualize the host computer and create multiple sessions vSpace software is included with the virtual desktop so there is no additional virtualization software to purchase. vSpace loads onto the host computer and virtualizes it so that its resources are efficiently divided to support many independent virtual desktops.

    The vSpace management console allows an IT administrator to set up, configure, remotely monitor and, if necessary, control a users session. Virtual desktop settings can be configured centrally from the administrator console, including the ability to lock out connections of USB devices. The vSpace console is easy to use and requires no special training. The virtual desktop utilizing vSpace technology delivers a full-motion, no-compromise user experience while reducing acquisition and support costs by up to 75% and electricity use by 90%. vSpace can also selectively virtualize only the necessary elements of the OS and hardware. Combined with session management this approach provides a greater user experience with the system resources applicable to the user. vSpace provides session mobility to enable a user to logoff and roam from one client

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    workstation to another and have their session follow them. This allows complete flexibility for users that need to connect to your network from multiple workstations during the day.

    Office in a Box: Delivering ResultsNComputings Office in a Box solution has been installed in businesses around the world to serve the needs of employees whether they are performing basic data entry or are power users requiring more advanced graphics and computer capabilities. NComputing, along with its partners, has helped companies to reduce hardware costs, limit greenhouse emissions, provide wider computing access in tight work areas, and simplify the support and maintenance burden. The following real examples highlight how Office in a Box has been deployed and the impact it has had on business success.

    Office Workgroup

    NComputing Office in Box is ideal for office workgroups where efficient and reliable network and computer access is required. Office in a Box can be deployed in hours to provide computer access to up to 11 users, all connecting to a single virtualized PC. Figure 4 illustrates a typical office workgroup configuration.

    Figure 4: Office Workgroup solution with a single virtualized PC

    M Y F I L E . A B C

    M Y F I L E . A B C

    M Y F I L E . A B C

    M Y F I L E . A B C

    M Y F I L E . A B CA B C

    M Y F I L E A B CM Y F I L E . A B C


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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Case Study:

    Chiropractors straighten misaligned computing costs Chiropractors, like all medical service providers, need technologies that improve the quality of service and office efficiency. Software company e-nate provides a web-based chiropractor patient record and billing system that is completely paperless.

    Ready to build on the success of their web-based practice-management solution, e-nate wanted to take the next step in office automation by delivering a complete hardware and software solution that would help their customers cost-effectively migrate to a paperless office. Such a system would streamline patient flow and management and improve user-friendliness by incorporating a touch-screen interface. They needed a hardware solution that would be easy to deploy since many of their customers were chiropractors in private practice and didnt have onsite IT staff that could wrestle with complex software and hardware deployments.

    With NComputings Office in a Box solution, e-nate designed a complete, easy-to-deploy solution that allows their customers to streamline chiropractic office management by providing access to e-nates web-based patient record and billing software from every room in the clinic. e-nate customers utilizing this combined solution can maximize the power of their existing PCs immediately.

    One of e-nates customers, Dargis Charesta large chiropractic practice in St. Constant, Quebecdeployed NComputing access devices throughout their office and exam rooms utilizing just one PC. This resulted in immediate and substantially lower hardware costs. Dargis Charest also realized savings because NComputing devices were so simple to set up and maintain. Its so easy. We had the office up and running in the time it took to plug in the devices and turn on the machines, said Dr. Poulin of e-nate. Because Dargis Charest only needs to maintain one PC, they have also realized huge savings in support costs.

    By freeing up existing computing resources, e-nate has been able to assist its customers in building out IT projects that improve the quality of care offered to their customers. NComputing has enabled us to bring even more innovation to our customers, added Dr. Poulin. Additionally, by connecting cameras to the system via the NComputing access devices USB port, each doctors assistant can upload patient x-rays for viewing on monitors. E-nate also connected a large plasma TV to the network so that educational videos could be shown in the waiting room.

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Branch Office

    Since Office in a Box can be configured and expanded using a modular architecture, it can be readily adapted to meet the more demanding requirements of integrating larger office deployments that connect hundreds of employees while still delivering a high quality user experience. Figure 5 shows an architecture illustration of a branch office deployment.

    Figure 5: Office in a Box can be scaled to power several branch offices.



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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    Case Study:

    Canon Pictures a Clutter-Free Office in Thailand Canon Marketing (Thailand) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. Japan, sells and markets its digital imaging and office automation equipment to businesses and consumers in Thailand. Best known for their popular cameras and printers, Canons Bangkok headquarters employs a team of over 400 employees including a direct sales team that supports a nationwide network of 160 dealer locations and 11 service stations.

    When preparing their IT purchasing budget for the coming year, Canon took a closer look at the way it was providing computer access to its employees and realized two things. First, a large number of their users utilized only a small fraction of their computers capacity. These users only needed basic office applications and access to the internet. Replacing these users aging desktop computers would consume most of the years IT budget and provide devices that were far more powerful than needed. And secondly, Canon realized that the existing computers occupied most of the employees limited desk space. Replacing them with new machines would do nothing to alleviate their employees crowded workspace. Canons current PC replacement model no longer made sense and the team began to search for a new solution.

    Working with one of Ncomputings strategic partners, Siam Network & Computer, LTD (SNC), Canon was introduced to the Office in a Box. Canon was impressed by the fact that their users did not notice any difference in the computing experience when comparing their large desktop computers to the NComputing L-series virtual desktops. The L-series was the perfect solution for Canons space and cost problems. Users were able to enjoy the same computing experience while reducing desktop clutter.

    The cost savings were used to replace old CRT monitors with space-saving LCD monitors, further reducing the clutter on the desktop. Canon met its original goals of increasing the efficiency of its computer resources and enhancing the office workspace for its employees.

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    Desktop Virtualization: The SMBs Answer to Office Productivity

    1 Lagoon Drive, Suite 110, Redwood City, CA 94065 | Phone: 1-650-594-5800 | Fax: 1-650-594-5801 |

    Copyright 2011 NComputing, Inc. All rights reserved. NComputing, vSpace, and UXP are the property of NComputing. Other trademarks and trade names are

    the property of their respective owners. Specifications subject to change without notice. Performance may vary, depending on the configuration of the shared computer.


    ConclusionStaying current with hardware and technology is a challenge for any organization and especially for small and medium sized businesses with limited budgets. Because of the rapid pace of technology many companies have been forced to look for alternatives to update end user hardware less frequently and at a lower cost. Virtualization solutions have often been perceived as too complex, too expensive or too slow to address the desktop challenge.

    Virtualized desktop technology and specifically NComputings Office in a Box solution is making it possible for businesses to change the way they allocate their IT budgets and support their end users. Office in a Box reduces end user hardware expense and allows small and medium sized businesses to focus their financial resources on innovative projects that will give them a competitive advantage.

    NComputing Office in a Box delivers a cost effective yet powerful desktop alternative that delivers all the security, performance, and manageability required by todays small and medium sized business to remain globally competitive. NComputing is todays answers to tomorrows next upgrade.