By Mark Pilgrim, VP EMEA, NComputing
New technology solutions allow an organisation to save both money and energy while delivering a first class experience for the user.
For example, the cost of buying PCs and their ongoing management and support is becoming more of a financial challenge. However, proven alternatives to the traditional ‘PC per desktop’ model are emerging, such as desktop virtualisation.
The concept behind virtual desktops is simple: today’s PCs are so powerful that most people only use a small fraction of their power. Desktop virtualisation enables a single PC to be “virtualised” (or shared) by many users, with each user getting his/her own computing session. Depending on the configuration, a single PC can host up to 30 simultaneous users. The low entry and ongoing costs of this approach to desktop computing access is, quite literally, turning the old economics of PC purchasing and maintenance on its head.
The most attractive benefits of desktop virtualisation come from its low cost of entry, dramatically reduced lifecycle and maintenance costs and vastly reduced energy consumption when compared to traditional PCs.
Most companies save around 75% on upfront acquisition costs alone. Desktop virtualisation also lowers ongoing support costs such as installation, maintenance and replacement. Installation time is dramatically reduced because there are far fewer PCs to image and install. A small business with 11 seats can be set up in as little as two hours because only one PC is needed. A 30-seat office can be set up in a day because only three PCs are needed. IT staff appreciate the quick installation, simple operation, and data security.
Because access devices only draw between one to five watts of electricity compared to a typical PC, which draws 110 watts (or more), companies can save up to 90% on electricity costs. As well as important sustainability issues, a 30-seat office, for example, would save £445 per year in electricity costs – an 89% reduction compared to an all-PC environment.
So, for businesses facing tough challenges trying to keep a competitive edge and continue their own growth, there is no doubt technology can help deliver ‘more for less’. In re-writing the rules of PC economics, desktop virtualisation is a solution worth looking into.
Tips for getting more ‘IT’ for less
1. Don’t be afraid to consider new alternatives to the old way of doing things. From online tools, alternative applications or desktop virtualisation to affordably extend computer access, there are innovative, low cost technology alternatives for just about any IT ‘problem’.
2. Extend high speed Internet access. This is key to ensure staff have access to the most current online information and tools.
3. Consider the emerging access devices. They will be more affordable and easier to maintain, making it possible to provide more staff with access to computers.
4. Consider the cost of a technology over its entire lifetime, not just the initial acquisition cost. Maintenance, energy consumption, e-waste, and useful life should all be considered when comparing technology alternatives.
5. Promote online collaboration tools. These are often free and easy to use.
6. Take the time to promote online security practices. This applies to both personal information and network security so that staff know how to use the Internet and online tools wisely.
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