NComputing Goes Inside The Box With Desktop Virtualization


Desktop virtualization vendor NComputing is branching out from its roots in the education market with an all-in-one offering for businesses that includes virtualization software, hardware, peripherals, services and operating system.

Slated for launch next month, NComputing's Office In A Box is aimed at midmarket customers that are looking to shave cost from their operations. It follows NComputing's launch last week of Classroom In A Box, which includes the company's virtual desktop devices and vSpace virtualization software and supports up to 30 users per virtual machine.

Redwood City, Calif.-based NComputing, whose desktop virtualization technology currently runs on some 2.5 million seats in the education space, sees untapped opportunities in the midmarket space, according to Jim McHugh, senior vice president of global marketing. "It could be something as simple as a small retail operation or branch office. It's a targeted solution that's pre-tested and configured to work right out of the box," he said in an interview.

With both its classroom and office products, NComputing's goal is to fit easily into different environments and scenarios, running on a standalone basis or as part of a VMware and Citrix deployment, McHugh said.

The cost savings NComputing offers are significant: In addition to speedy set-up, its desktop virtualization technology offers 90 percent lower energy costs as well as a 75 percent drop in maintenance and support, said McHugh.

McHugh said NComputing has carefully selected the components of Classroom In A Box to yield optimal efficiency, from the host machine down the keyboard and mouse, as well as the protocols that connect the software on the server to the end device.

"We are a hardware and software solution, which gives us an ability to sell something tangible in hardware and also get the margins of software," McHugh said.

What often happens in virtualization deployments is that ROI gets pushed out to operational expenditure that pays out over time, but NComputing differs from virtualization competitors in this regard, said McHugh. "We are attractive because you can actually have desktop virtualization pay out at the acquisition level," he said.

"We think it's important that you be able to save money and we make that justification by being less expensive than the cost of a physical PC. If virtualization costs more, it rarely succeeds," McHugh said.

NComputing is a Microsoft partner with deep expertise in explaining how Microsoft licensing works, and that's no mean skill given all the nooks and crannies of complexity that exist in virtualization licensing.

CDW is one of NComputing's largest partners, and the company also sells products through Eplus and Tiger Direct, but McHugh said the company is looking to recruit virtualization savvy solution providers with VMware, Citrix and Microsoft backgrounds.