I work in education and am very interested in Microsoft's MultiPoint product as well as nComputing's similar product. Are any of you actively using either of these products? Although I have begun some testing, I'm primarily interested in understanding how well multimedia functions work on the devices, both USB-based devices and Ethernet-based devices.
If you have any experience, I'd like to hear about it.
I too work in education (K-12) and we use n-Computing pretty exclusively for desktop virtualization. We predominately use the X series for our classrooms as we have a standard model of 2 physical stations in each of our K-5 (1 for teacher and 1 for student). The one for student is outfitted with a X350 kit which gives us up to 4 virtual desktop + the 1 physical desktop for a total of 5 usable stations for the kids. We always keep a few extra kits and computers around in case that that computer dies so we can replace it pretty quick while we work on the failed computer. We are doing this same model in our 6-8 grades, but only for math, reading, and science classrooms as we tend to have more 1:1 computer labs in those upper grades. We have not done any n-Computing in the 9-12 grades as again, they tend to have more 1:1 computer labs at their disposal.
I have played with the U series and they pretty much work the same as the X series in regards to software. I have also played with their L series and am now trying to push it's limits to see how it fairs with a lot of media content. We mostly use a lot of web based content now, so it's done fairly well on that type of stuff. I'm about to try it (L series) out with our security camera system by connecting it to a LCD screen and running our DVR viewing software at the server level and pipe down all that video through the box to see how it does.
I have not done anything with Multipoint; however, some of my collegues in the state I work have and have posted to our group website that they are not impressed with Multipoint at this time. I know n-Computing now integrates with Multipoint (I assume you can use it instead of n-Computing's VSpace software), but again, have not tested it out personally.
Than you for the feedback! I've done a little testing with our L300's and have found the multimedia (Flash mostly) performance adequate. High def, however, wasn't spectacular at all, although I did not expect it to be.
Are you using any nComputing devices for your staff? I'm considering doing so but would be interested in hearing about other people's experiences who may have gone this route.
Just a short update - we've done some further L300 testing and the results have been very, very good. Even high-def video is working well, with the exception of NetFlix which doesn't work over remote connections.
If you're interested in nComputing's L300s, the company has a 4+1 deal going on until the end of June. Buy 4 and they're throw in a fifth for free.
I'm in the process of connecting with other nComputing customers to do some additional due diligence on the overall solution. The person I spoke with today indicated that they had some initial problems, but they traced them back to server configuration issues not related to nComputing's products. After adding additional RAM to the virtual machine (Windows 7) hosting their nComputing solution, they had much more success. They're running their solution with 2 vCPUs and 8 GB of RAM in each virtual machine.
Our deployment will use physical Terminal Services machines with 8 CPU cores and 32 GB of RAM for shared desktops and we'll combine the solution with VMware View for users that require dedicated desktops.
Further testing with the nComputing L300 has solidified my intention to use in in some situations on my campus. However, as is the case with many thin client solutions, bandwidth intensive services, such as USB cameras, won't function with the device. We don't need a ton of USB cameras on campus, but in some of the areas I'd hoped to target, this limits the opportunity a bit.
Again, this is a technical limitation in the hardware, but is really driven by, well, reality. This is intended to be a "thin" solution that doesn't hog hundreds of Mbps worth of bandwidth. For it's intended use, I'm confident that nComputing will be a good choice.