NComputing

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NComputing, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 2003
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, USA
Key people Raj Dhingra (CEO)
Will Poole (Chairman)
Employees Approximately 200
Website www.ncomputing.com

NComputing is a desktop virtualization company that manufactures hardware and software to create virtual desktops (sometimes called zero clients or thin clients) which enable multiple users to simultaneously share a single operating system instance.

NComputing, based in Santa Clara, CA is a privately held for-profit company with offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Korea, Poland, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom; and resellers around the world.[1]

History[edit]

Financing[edit]

Dukker introduced NComputing to venture capitalists and technology journalists in September 2006 at DEMOfall 06.[2] By October 2006, NComputing had raised $8 million from Scale Venture Partners (formerly known as BA Venture Partners).[3] In January 2008, the company raised a $28 million series B round of financing,[4] led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Menlo Ventures with participation from Scale Venture Partners and South Korea’s Daehong Technew Corp. In April 2012, the company raised a $21.8 million series C round of financing led by Questmark Partners with participation from existing investors.

Current growth[edit]

The company was founded in 2004 and is the fastest growing desktop virtualization company in the world with over 20 million daily users in 140 countries. It has deals with 40,000 education and business organizations in 140 countries[5] including 5,000 school districts in the United States. NComputing has shipped more than three million units overall,[6] including 180,000 seats to provide one computing seat for every K–12 student in the country of Macedonia.[7] NComputing sells its solutions through value-added resellers around the world.[8] As of 2010, the company has 200 employees worldwide.[9]

Products[edit]

The combination of NComputing hardware (access devices, thin clients, zero clients) and virtualization software (vSpace desktop virtualization software) use the excess computing capacity of one PC or server to create multiple virtual desktops.[5]

The company offers four product lines, the X-series, L-series, U-series, M-series, and N-series, as well as an OEM chip.

vSpace Client[edit]

vSpace Client for Windows allows you to lower costs while adding new capabilities such as remote, mobile, and legacy PC access to NComputing vSpace deployments. Extend the value of our easy to use, but incredibly powerful vSpace Server desktop virtualization software to any Windows PC, laptop or netbook.

N-series N400 and N500[edit]

    • Both versions of N-series are only compatible with Citrix's XenApp, XenDesktop, Or VDI-in-a-box.

N400: The N-series entry-level device, the N400, is the thin client of choice for task workers and those workers with light multimedia needs. The N400 combines the proven horsepower of the 3rd generation Numo™ 3 SoC with the deep understanding of desktop virtualization to support full HDX sessions up to HD780p and uses server-side rendering for video and flash video playback.

N500: The workhorse of the N-series family of thin clients, the N500, provides the full multimedia capabilities demanded by knowledge workers and in other demanding environments. The N500 incorporates full clientside rendering for efficient playback of video content, and uses server-side rendering for flash video playback. It displays content up to full HD at 1080p. The N500 also provides options for dual display and wireless connectivity (not available with the N400). Also powered by the Numo™ 3 SoC, the N500 sets the new standard for price/performance in the thin client market with its rich set of features and capabilities. Also comes in wireless.

For N-series devices, the price includes an Enterprise bundle of 1 device license for vSpace Management Center and 1 year of Premium Support.

X-series - Direct Connect[edit]

X-series access devices connect via CAT 5 cable to a PCI card that is installed in a shared PC. The technology supports up to two PCI cards. The maximum distance between the PC and an access device is 10 m (33 ft). The X-series comes in kits which include one PC card and several access terminals, depending on the specific product.[10]

In a test published by Computer Aid International in April 2009 and conducted by three African universities, the X300 turned out to be the preferred solution when setting up computer labs.[11]

L-series - Ethernet connect[edit]

Unlike the X-series, the NComputing L-series does not use a PCI card. L-series access devices connect each user’s keyboard, mouse, other USB devices and monitor back to the shared PC over standard Ethernet cables through a router or switch. An entry-level server supports approximately 30 users.[12] The L-series comes in kits that include NComputing’s vSpace software and one access device.

U-series - USB connections[edit]

The U-series are the simplest of all to connect, because they connect into USB ports on the host computer, and thus no network switches or PCI cards are required. USB has an inherent distance limit.

M-series - Multiple seats[edit]

The successor to the X series is the M300, which brings a new architecture and a new upper limit of 45 users per host PC (15 three-client M300 kits). The M300 uses the Numo 2 ARM-based SoC (System on a chip) that provides HD video without excessive host-side processing.[13]

The M300 kit comprises three client devices, one 'large' and two 'small'. The large client serves as a hub for the two small clients, connected via STP and USB cables. Each of these devices can attach a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse.

vSpace Server software[edit]

NComputing’s vSpace Server virtualization software, included with the hardware, creates the virtual desktops in the shared PC by dividing the computer's resources into independent sessions that give each user their own PC experience.[5] The vSpace software uses the company’s proprietary display and communications protocol ("UXP") to communicate between the shared computer and the user stations. UXP serves a similar purpose as Microsoft’s RDP and Citrix’s ICA.

Operating system support[edit]

Linux support[edit]

Linux is supported through a version of vSpace Server for Linux software. Currently, NComputing offers support for Ubuntu <=12.04.1. The vSpace Server software and hardware clients require registration after 30 days for product upgrade notification.[14] This software is proprietary and is not regularly maintained. The last update was in December 2012.

Windows support[edit]

Windows is supported through a version of vSpace Server for Windows software. The supported versions of Windows include: Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, Windows XP SP3 (32-bit); Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Vista SP21(32-bit); Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows MultiPoint Server 2011, Windows 7 SP1 (both 32- and 64-bit). The vSpace Server software and hardware clients require registration after 30 days for product upgrade notification.[15]

Competitors[edit]

NComputing's hardware devices compete with traditional thin client companies such as Wyse, and Hewlett-Packard.

NComputing's software competes with virtualization and PC sharing solutions such as Userful,

In the education market, NComputing also competes with low-cost laptop solutions such as OLPC’s XO laptop and Intel’s Classmate PC.

Criticism[edit]

NComputing faces criticism over its alleged poor customer service handling and tendency to produce software updates later than scheduled, as stated by customers on their support notice board.[16][17][18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]