NComputing vSpace 7.1: A different approach to VDI for SMB

NComputing combines OS virtualization, access virtualization, and management technology to simplify VDI and offer support for today's intelligent devices.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

NComputing's CEO, Raj Dhingra, stopped by to discuss the new version of NComputing's vSpace, version 7.1, and how the company is positioning itself for the future.

In short, NComputing believes that market pressures, budget constraints and a mobile workforce are increasingly driving organizations to desktop virtualization as a viable alternative to traditional PC computing. Furthermore, the company believes that its combination of simplicity, performance and value removes the barriers and accelerates the adoption of desktop virtualization for today’s high priority IT initiatives, including mobility, BYOD and migration to new Windows operating environments. That's quite a mouthfull, but the company's technology could make a big difference.

What's new in vSpace?

Here's how NComputing describes vSpace 7.1:

Support for the Latest Microsoft Windows Desktop Environments

The new vSpace Server software extends application and desktop virtualization capabilities for the latest Microsoft Windows desktop environments, including Windows Multipoint Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. This ensures a richer user experience with improved graphics performance and expanded USB peripheral support.

Quick and Easy Scalability to Manage Large Scale Deployments

With this new release, vSpace Management Center support for vSpace Server 7.1 software enables IT administrators to easily manage and scale virtual desktop deployments to tens of thousands of users through a simple web-based management console. Using vSpace Management Center, IT administrators can remotely manage vSpace Server software instances on PCs, servers and client devices, such as NComputing L300 or M300 thin clients. These management capabilities extend to vSpace Client for Windows on PCs, laptops and also BYOD, whether deployed at a single site or multiple sites. The vSpace Management Center dramatically reduces the administrative overhead for IT managers to easily maintain and control their virtual desktop environment. Adoption of vSpace Management Center is growing rapidly: 60 percent of customers represent corporate environments, while 17 percent are in education and 15 percent represent manufacturing, healthcare and retail markets.

New Support and Subscription Programs

World-class software support and new product innovation from NComputing ensures that customers realize maximum value from their desktop virtualization technology investments. Membership in the NComputing Support and Subscription (SnS) programs is now available for the vSpace Server and vSpace Management Center software products. Customers who participate in the vSpace Support and Subscription programs are entitled to the new 7.1 software release immediately. Customer purchasing of NComputing SnS is increasing, and more than 80 percent of SnS purchasers have chosen our Premium Support option.

Snapshot Analysis

NComputing is one of the few suppliers that focuses on creating virtual environments using operating system partitioning and virtualization. This approach is more efficient and can offer higher performance than relying on virtual machine technology, such as suppliers like Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware do.

NComputing has found success creating virtualized environments for Small to Medium size Businesses (SMB), Government projects and virtualized departmental or workgroup solutions for larger organizations. The company's virtualized environments can be made to execute on much smaller systems, use much less system memory and require much less storage than similar configurations that are based upon virtual machine software.

Why? Virtual machine software is based on encapsulating a complete environment that includes an operating system, applications, database, networking and storage components. This means, of course, that each virtual environment requires the processing, memory and storage to support a complete environment.

Operating system virtualization creates a separate partition for each workload, but is based upon a single operating system instance. So, the amount of server processing power, memory and storage are sharply reduced and, here's the added kicker, the performance can be far better. Add virtual access technology and a selection of intelligent, but thinly configured, remote devices and it is possible for many people to share the resources of a fairly small server. This is the approach NComputing is offering as a way to address the needs of its clients.

While this approach is very useful and has a long track record of success, suppliers such as Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware have focused on marketing a different approach, using virtual machine software. This approach offers similar capabilities to share systems and isolate workloads while offering a greater amount of flexibility (each workload can have its own operating system), but requires more processing power.

Can lower cost, smaller systems, higher performance and increased levels of simplicity win out over what the bigger companies are offering? NComputing thinks so. You might too, if you take a few moments and see a demo.

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