Virtual desktops provides large computer energy savings and are becoming easier to deploy. Great for schools and offices!Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Virtual desktops provides large computer energy savings and are becoming easier to deploy. Great for schools, universities and offices!
Most of the time only a small fraction of a computer’s power is being used. If you took a office or school with say 100 PCs, with an average load of say 15%, in effect 85 of the PCs would be redundant if it was possible to take advantage of the full power of 15 PCs across 100 work stations.
By employing “thin client” or “virtual desktops” this is made possible. With virtual desktops one PC “box” can then be used to power multiple workstations. This leads to very large energy savings. Additionally by reducing the number of “boxes” there is a resource saving. Maintenance costs are reduced and total lifecycle cost is lower.
There are some impressive examples of where this technology is now being used. Ncomputing is a vendor of virtual desktops, with 180,000 units deployed in schools in Macedonia. Canon in Thailand are using virtual PCs, as is DHL in Peru. In the USA virtual desktops are being used in schools in California and Wisconsin. In Australia its customers include schools such as Wondonga South Primary (Vic), Brighton Public School (SA), MacGregor State High (Qld).
In Australia Gold Creek and Parlmerston district schools in the ACT are using thing client computers supplied by Dycom. RMIT University in Melbourne is also using thin clients.
Take up of thin clients could however be much stronger. Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has reported weak demand from schools inquiring about the National Secondary School Computer Fund which is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Education Revolution.
The flexibility of notebook computers is certainly an advantage over thin clients. However for total minimum power use and minimum life cycle cost and resource use its hard to beat a thin client or virtual desktop system. Thin clients should certainly be seriously considered by anyone involved in computer purchasing and network administration.