Virtualization Technology News and Information
California School District Uses NComputing to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint and Change the Way Teachers Teach

NComputing, the leading provider of desktop virtualization software and hardware, today announced that Dublin Unified School District in California has deployed NComputing low-cost virtual desktops in its classrooms. The school district has embraced NComputing technology as a means of providing affordable computer access to students, which in turn has reduced the effective teacher-to-student ratio in classes and is improving the way teachers engage with students. NComputing's ultra-efficient technology has also reduced Dublin's computing systems carbon footprint by over 90%.

Budget cuts and large class sizes have always been a concern for educators. With recent news of layoffs, budget cuts, and a decrease in technology spending, more crowded classrooms and computer labs are looming. But NComputing has a solution that is being embraced by more and more schools, including Dublin USD. With NComputing X300 virtual desktops, Dublin has affordably expanded PC access for as little as $70 per student.

The impact goes far beyond increased access. "When the student-to-PC ratio moves from about 9:1 to 3:1, it makes sense to get the computers out of the labs and into the classrooms," said Stephen Dukker, chairman and CEO of NComputing. "And once there are enough computing stations in each classroom, the teachers can personalize lesson plans, be more productive, and better engage their students."
With NComputing technology, Dublin USD was indeed able to move computers out of the labs and into the classrooms. Many classrooms now have two PCs, each using two NComputing X300 kits to support seven users, putting 14 computing seats in each classroom. This creates a 2:1 student-to-computer ratio for the whole class, or 1:1 computing for half of the class. When half of the class is on the computers, the teachers cut their class size in half and can devote more attention to meeting special needs.
"Students are much more involved during class due to the increased personal attention they are receiving from teaching staff and are also highly receptive to the use of computers in the classroom setting," said Tim McCarty, director of technology and information services for Dublin USD during the installation. "Affordable desktop virtualization technology is truly changing the way we teach."
The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer's capacity. NComputing's virtualization software and hardware tap this unused capacity so that multiple users can simultaneously share it. Each user's monitor, keyboard, and mouse connect to the shared PC through a small and very durable NComputing access device. The access device itself has no CPU, memory or moving parts so it is rugged, durable, and easy to deploy and maintain. NComputing is now used by over 4,000 schools.
NComputing allows organizations to make the most out of their PC investment. With the X300 model, seven students can simultaneously share a single computer while the company's L-series supports up to 10 students on a basic computer, 30 on a mid-range system, and hundreds with server virtualization. A breakthrough in green computing, NComputing access devices consume as little as 1 watt per user, versus 115 watts for a PC.
"NComputing is delivering the greenest computing on Earth. At just 1 watt, it uses less electricity than a night light," said Mr. Dukker. "We are heartened that the Sundance Channel and others are recognizing the potential of this solution in helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions."
In fact, if NComputing systems powered the 850 million PCs that are turned on every day around the world, the environmental benefits would be significant and immediate. First, energy use would decline by over 120 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This would reduce the amount of coal that would have to be burned each year by 15 million metric tons. Second, CO2 emissions would decrease by 96 million metric tons. This is equivalent to planting some 460 million trees. Finally, e-waste would drop dramatically -- for two reasons: the NComputing access devices weigh a small fraction of what a PC weighs ( 0.33 lbs vs. 21 lbs each); and the access devices have a useful life about three times longer than PCs. NComputing would reduce e-waste by more than 6.7 million metric tons.
The NComputing solution and the deployment at the Dublin Unified School District will be featured on the Sundance Channel ECO BIZ program (scheduled to air September 9 at 9 a.m. PDT, September 12 at 10 a.m. PDT, and September 13 at 3 p.m. PDT). This original series explores the people and businesses driving change in a new wave of environmental innovation and will also be available online at:
Approximately 1 million NComputing seats have already been sold in over 90 countries, slashing their computing costs by as much as 70% and electric consumption by 90%. A calculator that can help schools and organizations determine the cost savings and green impact of deploying NComputing is available on the NComputing website at
Published Monday, August 25, 2008 7:06 AM by David Marshall
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