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Big Data

Utilities Software

Part of a Group Review

NComputing X550 review

Article comments

The X550 is a genuine old-fashioned terminal server with a twist. One or two PCIe ports are needed in a server box to host NComputing's Ethernet boards. A small, smartphone-sized box called the XD2 has speaker, Ethernet, PS/2-style mouse and keyboard jacks and a VGA jack. Two PCIe cards yields 10 machines, and the 11th is the host computer itself. The host machine can run Windows XP, 2003 Server or 2008 Server editions.

Each Ethernet port connects in turn an XD2 box, where keyboard, mouse, monitor (in high resolutions) and even a speaker can be connected. The supported operating systems, controlled by NComputing's VSpace virtualisation software, are Windows XP, Windows 2003 and 2008 Server editions. Each user of the X550 system gets their own session, as though they were a simple logged-in user of the operating system.

Users share the machine's Internet connection, and peripherals such as printers. Policy controls of the host operating system control user accessibility to installed applications, file shares and the security of the host operating system's configuration.

The benefit of the X550 (smaller versions are available with fewer ports) is low cost, and low number of instances of an operating system in use. If applications can handle multiple users in this configuration, application costs may be lower as well. The beauty is that VSpace allocates resources readily and simply, and virtualisation and VM instances are spectacularly simple to control by comparison to VMware, MS Hyper-V, and even XenServer costs — even though XenServer is free!

We like the idea of a single box to run applications, although it represents a single point of failure, where the other virtualised platforms are often able to be made redundant through various schemes.


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Abhishek Rawal said: Few questions1 I am planning to open a teaching institute would i be able to run applications like corelDraw and Photoshop Flash with ease 2 Can internet connection of host be used by connected computers 3 Does this set supports windows 7 OS 4 would i be able to connect LED screens with the unit Please help me to select the product

Jatinder singh said: hey i have one Q my pci cards that comes with complete x550 set is burnd what i do now

Breanne said: The X550 currently utilizes only PCI slots not PCIe

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