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Colleges Turn To NComputing’s Desktop Virtualization
Campuses From California to Florida Tap NComputing Virtual Desktops to Reduce Demands on IT Staff and Meet Green Initiatives

NComputing announced that over 250 colleges and universities across the country have deployed NComputing solutions to get the most out of their PC investment, cut support and maintenance costs by as much as 80%, and save electricity to help comply with aggressive green initiatives.

"We used to have 20 to 30 PCs in each of our computer labs," said Jacob Smith, technical administrator for Fresno Pacific University in Central California. "Upgrading that many PCs every three or four years would cost $24,000. But with NComputing, it's just $3,200 and we deliver the exact same user experience. Now we can upgrade more often and have greatly improved the student's perception of university technology resources."

The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer's capacity. NComputing's virtualization software and hardware tap this unused capacity so that multiple users can simultaneously share it. Each user's monitor, keyboard, and mouse connect to the shared PC through a small and very durable NComputing access device. The device itself has no CPU, memory, or moving parts so it is easy to maintain and generates no heat or noise.

"Maintaining and supporting that many machines was overwhelming our small IT staff," added Smith. "With NComputing, we've reduced support time by about 80%. Before NComputing, it would take us two days to perform upgrades in a single lab. Now, we can get the job done in as little as two hours. We have also realized some significant and unexpected benefits: because the NComputing devices don't take up any desktop space, our students have more room for books and papers. And because the devices don't generate heat, rooms are cooler and our students are more comfortable."

"Access to computing is critical for higher education," said Stephen Dukker, chairman and CEO of NComputing. "Because NComputing systems dramatically reduce the cost of deploying and maintaining PCs, these institutions can meet that demand without breaking their already tight budgets. That's just one reason why more than 10,000 educational institutions in 80 countries have chosen our solution."

Colleges and universities are not immune to the budget constraints driven by a slowing economy and lower levels of funding. Colleges are also under increasing pressure to stay competitive by providing cutting-edge computing platforms for students. They are discovering that NComputing is the perfect solution to meet these challenges.

"NComputing has provided us substantial savings during some rough budget times," said Glen Campbell, associate director for enterprise computing services at Florida Atlantic University, a 26,000-student institution in southeast Florida. "We are facing massive budget cutbacks at the same time that a lot of our older computers need to be replaced. With NComputing, we are buying 75% fewer computers to get the same number of seats. Without NComputing, we would not have been able to replace the majority of those machines."

College campuses nationwide are also adopting aggressive programs to reduce electricity usage. NComputing uses just one watt of power (compared to 115 for an ordinary PC), which lowers the demand for power and for air conditioning. "Running all of our old PCs generated so much heat that our air conditioning was running continuously, and the rooms were still extremely uncomfortable," said Campbell. "With NComputing, those rooms are now much, much cooler. In fact, based on that experience, our housing department asked us to deploy NComputing in their facilities to save on electricity costs."

NComputing not only lowers purchase costs and carbon footprints, it also relieves the IT staff burden of managing thousands of PCs spread across many campus buildings. "In recent years the number of computers supported by our IT staff has grown from 2,000 to 4,800 on four campuses," said Michael Merker, director of technology infrastructure for Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach, Florida. "Our IT budget didn't grow at the same pace, and our 12 staff members are increasingly stretched. We also had a goal of replacing our computers every three years to stay current with technology. We needed to find a new approach."

"The NComputing devices were incredibly easy to set up," said Merker. "We have 50 stations for computer-based testing in our nursing education center. In a traditional desktop environment, setting up those 50 stations would take a massive amount of time. Deploying the NComputing solution took less than 15 minutes per station to set up both the hardware and the software. With seven NComputing devices to one PC, our school saved about $50,000 for that installation alone. Better yet, installing a new test or performing maintenance takes us a fraction of the time it used to. We are standardizing on NComputing, and will be deploying it to all areas where we have large concentrations of PCs used for office applications and Internet browsing. We'll then deploy NComputing across all of our campuses. It's a no brainer."

About Virtualization News
SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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