Thursday, March 1, 2007

N Computing vs Personal Computing - my point of view

My company recently have a plan to improve existing IT infrastructure by replacing those old PCs so that our staffs could be happier and more productive. However, my manager was asking me to give him some advice and recommendation of it and he also did suggest me about the N Computing solution ( I was very impress with the technology because it could save us tons of money off from buying "duplicated" hardware and software licences.

After i had done my researches and I found that the device is not as cheap as i thought. In the US it is sold at USD50 per device however in Malaysia, it is sold at USD162. NComputing in Malaysia pricing is so ridiculous and unreasonable since today computing is so cheap that i could built a PC with a 2.8GHz processor, motherboard V+L+S, 512 RAM, DVDRW drive and casing (a PC really need a protection), which cost me at USD151 only. That is US10 cheaper and I could get a real computer rather that just a simple station box. I could upgrade my PC over time with more functionality but I have limited or no upgradable ability with the NComputing station box.

Are you wondering how i could built the PC so cheap? The reason is the PC has no hard disk inside because i want to compare between "Apple X" and "Apple Y". The concept of using N computing is to connect the station box (client) with the host (server) in multi-user session scenario using a network connection. However it also can be done by a PC without a hard disk since I could use a open source Linux OS distribution such as KNOPPIX ( to be loaded by just a CD or DVD!. Inside the distribution DVD, it comes with plenty of useful software including Open Office 2.1 and a FireFox Internet browser. In this case I could remote access to my Windows Server 2003 host which supports multi-concurrent user via the Internet browser. Therefore, I have no problem running Windows application such as Ms Office 2007.

As my conclusion, I would consider the station box if it is less than US50 else it should be an obsolete technology if the cost of making it is too high. Since today computing is so cheap, in which an unused CPU resources could be used as distributed computing purposes but not the station box.


Guy said...

...The thinking is just half right. What about the skills, time and effort needed to source, assemble, and deploy such a readily unavailable machine. But I agree about the US price being the right one to compete head-on with alternatives.

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