NComputing

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NComputing, Inc.
Private
Founded 2003
Headquarters San Mateo, California, USA
Key people
Young Song (CEO)
Number of employees
Approximately 120
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 San Mateo, CA is a privately held for-profit company with offices in the United States, Singapore, UK, Germany, India, Korea, Poland, Russia, and Spain; and resellers around the world.[1]

History[edit]

Founding the company[edit]

In 2003, Young Song, a former VP at eMachines, met German entrepreneur Klaus Maier (formerly CEO of hydrapark), who had spent more than ten years developing the core software on which NComputing is based.[2] They formed a team to develop the complementary hardware in Korea, while the software was written in Poland and Russia. After they successfully launched the product and reached $10M revenue in two years, the two founders decided to move its headquarters to Silicon Valley. Stephen Dukker, former chairman of eMachines, joined NComputing in August 2006, to lead the company together.[3]

Financing[edit]

Dukker introduced NComputing to venture capitalists and technology journalists in September 2006 at DEMOfall 06.[4] By October 2006, NComputing had raised $8 million from Scale Venture Partners (formerly known as BA Venture Partners).[5] In January 2008, the company raised a $28 million series B round of financing,[6] 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. In 2017, original NComputing Co., Ltd, a Korean corporation, became the ultimate holding company for all other subsidiaries and had raised $6M from MDI VC (Telkom Indonesia VC in Jakarta), Pinnacle Ventures (Menlo Park, USA), and Bokwang Ventrues (Seoul, Korea) for accelerating South Asia region's growth and boost enterprise VDI software products.

Current growth[edit]

The company was founded in 2003 and is the fastest growing desktop virtualization company in the world with over 20 million daily users in 140 countries. It has deals with 70,000 education and business organizations in 140 countries[7] including 5,000 school districts in the United States. NComputing has shipped more than three million units overall,[8] including 180,000 seats to provide one computing seat for every K–12 student in the country of Macedonia.[9] NComputing sells its solutions through value-added resellers around the world.[10] As of 2010, the company has 200 employees worldwide.[11]

Products[edit]

An NComputing thin client computer at a public library

The combination of NComputing hardware (access devices, thin clients, zero clients) and virtualization software (vSpace desktop virtualization software) uses the excess computing capacity of one PC or server to create multiple virtual desktops.[7]

The company offers five 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 ourwho? easy to use, but incredibly powerful vSpace Server desktop virtualization software to any Windows PC, laptop or netbook.

N-series N400, N500, N500w and N600[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/N500w: 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.

N600: Introduced in 2015, it equipped two DisplayPorts to support native dual monitor features.

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.[12]

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. After X300 was discontinued due to counterfeit problem,

X350 (3 users) and X550 (5 users) Kit were introduced in 2008. Many school computer labs or MoE (Ministry of Education) tenders deployed X550 over 1.5 million seats today.[13]

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.[14] 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/MX-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.[15]

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.

In 2016, MX100 Kit was introduced, this improved version of M300, support native USB audio and higher resolution (1920x1080). MX100D (Direct) comes with PPPoE card to remove separate power adapter unlike MX100S. Both kit is for 3 user seats.

RX-series - Turning Raspberry Pi3 into thin client[edit]

In 2017, RX-300 (for vSpace Server, UXP protocol) and RX-HDX (for Citrix HDX Ready) products were introduced. It uses UK Based Raspberry Pi 3 platform instead of using own SoC processor. This RX provides HD video without excessive host-side processing using vCAST technology.[16] It also supports Dual Display.

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.[7] 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. In October 2015, vSpace 8.3.x was released to public and upgrade is available for free of charge.

Operating system support[edit]

Linux support[edit]

Linux is supported through a version of vSpace Server for Linux[17] software. Currently, NComputing offers support for Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 16.04. This software is proprietary and requires a server-based license. There is a 7-day free trial period. The vSpace Server for Linux provides features like client session monitoring, optimized video playback and messaging service between the clients.

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), Windows 8 SP1 (64-bit), Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. The vSpace Server software and hardware clients require registration after 30 days for product upgrade notification.[18]

Awards[edit]

  • InfoWorld's 2010 Green 15 Award[19]
  • Frost & Sullivan Green Excellence Award — Thin Clients 2008[20]
  • Gartner “Cool Vendor” — Client Computing 2008[21]
  • VAR Business Gold 5-Start Partner Program Winner 2008[22]
  • IT World Canada "Top 5 Business to Watch" 2008[23]
  • Red Herring Top 100 Startups in North America 2008[24]
  • Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award — Computing Systems 2007[25]
  • Silicon Valley Business Journal Emerging Technology — Green & Clean Finalist 2007[26]

Competitors[edit]

NComputing's hardware devices compete with traditional thin client companies such as Wyse, and Hewlett-Packard and Viewsonic SC-U25 Value VDI.

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]