Feeds

NEC adds VoIP to thin clients

Prefers VMware to Citrix for virtual PCs

The essential guide to IT transformation

Why provide thin clients only with remote access to applications, when you can give them a full VoIP-enabled Windows XP environment on which to run standard PC software? That's the question posed by NEC with its Virtual PC Centre, or VPCC, which combines thin clients with VMware and VoIP.

The company claimed that its converged €450 (£300, excluding screen and keyboard) thin clients provide the multimedia capabilities of a PC with the lower admin cost and greater security of server-based computing. It uses VMware's virtual desktop interface (VDI) to run up to 20 clients off one dual-processor server.

"We re-create a normal Windows desktop on the server, then transfer the screen. It creates an individual environment for each user – it's very different from the shared environment of Terminal Server," said NEC solutions marketeer Arnaud Gardin. Even the IP softphone runs on the server, he added.

The US100 desktop and TM160 mobile thin clients are based on NEC's own NetClient system-on-a-chip and allow you to plug in a phone headset directly. They connect to rack-mounted NEC SV5800 servers which run their XP sessions under VMware, and to an admin server which handles resource allocation plus application deployment and patching.

NEC also offers an IP telephony server to look after the VoIP side, and suggests using NAS or a SAN for back-end data storage.

The company said that the development of VPCC pulled in expertise from three NEC divisions – Components for the system-on-a-chip, plus graphics and audio decoders; Networks & Telecoms for VoIP; and its computing group for the servers and admin tools.

The US100 is the size of a fat paperback, silent and consumes just 13W of power. NEC said that its target customers include call centres, education and training, and healthcare.

Few other thin client manufacturers have anything like this, according to NEC. The company is not alone in putting VoIP into a thin client though - German outfit Igel has been doing it for some time, although it takes a different approach, instead embedding VoIP software into the desktop hardware alongside the Citrix client.

However, NEC's Gardin claimed that VPCC could be at least 30% cheaper than a similar Citrix-based set-up. "We don't need Citrix because it doesn't broadcast the applications," he said. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.